The Boxster has never been my favorite Porsche. For that matter, the Boxster has never even been my favorite roadster.
I don’t have a good reason for that, other than the fact that the 911 exists and has always been a superior car. But where else can you go to find a midengine, lightweight, RWD roadster that’s as much fun to drive as the Boxster? There’s just not much in the way of competition there. For the money, though, a buyer can look at the Jaguar XK, Audi S5, BMW Z4 or even the Chevy Corvette. Each offers something the Boxster can’t, whether in the way of speed or more exotic looks.
Can the 2013 Boxster finally live up to the expectations of the Porsche name and be the purest sports car it offers?
I attended a local unveiling of the new Boxster last night at a winery that sits on the edge of a hill overlooking the city. The car, sitting under a black cloth that clung to the roadster’s curves, was perched on the edge of the hill taking in the view.
I’d seen pictures of the new Boxster already and knew that every single panel had been re-sculpted. But, even under the veil of the cloth, the shape was instantly recognizable as Porsche. After some wine and appetizers, the cover was pulled off to reveal an undeniably more masculine shape. Remember the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT? The new Boxster will never be confused with that masterpiece, but it certainly carries hints of the supercar. A new headlight shape, door-mounted mirrors and large side scoops help make sure of that. Signature Boxster elements remain in place, though, such as the pop-up rear spoiler and central exhaust outlets.
Without a doubt, the new Boxster has the looks to turn heads and give the purest of 911 fans reason to take notice. But what about its performance specs? One of Porsche’s classic flat-six “Boxer” engines lies out of sight behind the seats. Last year’s base engine used 2.9 liters to produce 255 hp, but the new model arrives with a direct-injected 2.7-liter flat 6-cylinder creating 265 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The Boxster S gets a direct-injected, 3.4-liter flat-six rated at 315 horsepower and 266 pound-feet. A traditional 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with Porsche’s 7-speed dual-clutch PDK optional.
The Boxster S with PDK will get to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and top out at 173 mph. In that dress, along with a few other desirable options, the MSRP will come close to $80,000.
And that’s where the Boxster remains hard to swallow, considering the 911 Carrera starts at 82 grand. Still, the new Boxster seems pretty darn close to perfection, especially for drivers who want their cars to obey every command with precision, provide constant feedback, and put a smile on their face and keep it there the entire time behind the wheel. Because of those things, the new Boxster is not only worthy of the Porsche name, it may be the automaker’s purest sports car. But still not its best.
Is there any car you’d rather have than the 2013 Porsche Boxster?