2013 Porsche Boxster
• Type: Two-door, rear-wheel-drive roadster.
• Engines: 2.7-litre DOHC H6 (265); 3.4-litre DOHC H6 (315).
• Mileage: L/100 km (city/hwy) 10.6/5.9 (PDK).
• Base Price (including destination): $58,500.
Porsche says you don’t drive fast in a Boxster. Rather, you drive the third-generation roadster “with a dynamic driving style.”
Remember that phrase should your exuberance attract the local constabulary, although reciting it likely won’t save you from financial penalty and attendant points deduction.
For the 2013 model year, Porsche’s dynamically daring Boxster is brand new, despite appearing familiar with its mid-mounted engine and recognizable silhouette.
But the numerous differences collectively add up to significant change. The windshield is more steeply raked and has been relocated forward of the cockpit by 10 centimetres, presumably for aerodynamic reasons and to keep your noggin a safe distance from the windshield edge when entering/exiting.
The rest of the body is now edgier, especially the deeply sculpted door panels, reshaped fenders and a rear deck with a prominent spoiler that give the Boxster a squared-up presence reminiscent of the Carrera GT supercar.
Nearly 6.5 centimetres have been added between the front and rear wheels for greater legroom. Overall length, however, has increased by only about 2.5 centimeters due to reduced front body overhang. The Boxster’s wheels have been moved farther outboard for a wider stance and the car now sits slightly closer to the ground, all of which aids stability and cornering composure.
Another noticeable design change is the latch-free power-operated soft top that no longer hides beneath a hard tonneau when folded; a portion of the roof remains exposed to the elements.
That doesn’t in any way hinder the roadster’s eye-riveting looks and allows the folding/unfolding process to occur in a quick-draw nine seconds (formerly 12) and “with a dynamic driving style” of up 50 km/h.
The cockpit has been re-engineered to a similar degree with a new centre console, control panel and optional sport seats that assist whenever the aforementioned dynamic driving style is initiated.
A console-mounted electronic parking lever now replaces the traditional hand-brake control, which might upset some Porsche purists, but there’s no denying its elegance.
Following this month’s launch, the latest Boxster will generate considerable interest and once more leave Porsche 911 Cabriolet buyers wondering why they didn’t save nearly half the car’s $108,000 admission fee and instead select a roadster that can turn both corners and heads with equal aplomb.
The base Boxster’s six-cylinder engine has been reduced in displacement to 2.7 litres from 2.9. However horsepower is increased to 265 from 255 due to some key modernizing initiatives including direct injection. That same measure is employed for the Boxster S’s 3.4-litre six, only its 315-horsepower rating remains unchanged.
Zero to 100 km/h
According to Porsche’s stopwatch, the base Boxster can hit 100 km/h from zero in 5.8 seconds and 5.5 with the PDK (the optional seven-speed paddle-shifted manual/automatic gearbox).
The numbers for the Boxster S are 5.1 and 4.8 seconds, respectively.
Along with generating impressive straight-line times, the Boxster should prove adept at conserving premium fuel with auto stop/start that shuts off the engine when stationary, then fires it up when the driver wants to move forward. As well, PDK-equipped models come with a coasting feature whereby the engine will simply idle when power isn’t needed.
• Best-looking Boxster yet.
• More powerful, fuel-efficient base engine.
• Lack of hard tonneau cover seems like cost-cutting.
• No other automaker does transmissions like Porsche.
• Attractive base price, but pile on options and you’re not that far from 911 territory.
• Another chapter in Boxster’s impressive success story.