It was a typical, beautiful Northern California weekend; bright, vibrant with a steady cool and crisp sea breeze off the Pacific coast, perfect conditions to test the 3rd generation 2013 Porsche Boxster (981)! After four days of testing, I can easily declare that the new Porsche Boxster can proudly stand on its own four tires. It is a brilliant Little Roadster that beautifully delivers pure Porsche thrills without excuses. I could not say that with the last two generations, which felt marginalized and looked the part of a prodigal son. Sure, I am fully aware that since 1996, the Boxster has been instrumental in keeping Porsche profitable along with the Cayenne. I also appreciate that the mid-engine boxer- 6 platform was very balanced and athletic; even fun as long as you were driving spiritedly and concentrated only on the road ahead and ignored the way it looked inside and out, but what they couldn’t live with was the stigma that I had desperately settled if I had succumbed to buying either the 986 or 987. Hardcore enthusiasts would consistently argue that an older legendary 911 (993) was preferable to a spanking new Boxster. It didn’t help that the court’s original concept back in 1993 was not religiously followed. Buyers and motorheads like me felt short-changed. The new car, however, is nothing short of a revelation. My gratitude goes out though to the first couple of generations for if they were not financial successes; this new model will not exist.
Our Platinum Silver Metallic test unit looks particularly interesting but it is blue “yatching” leather interior. At one point parked off Highway CA 1, a lady with her window down exclaimed “Hey! Beautiful car! Looks like a jewel sparkling in the sun! We had the optional PASM on the test unit so we rolled 10mm lower than stock, and with the active continuous regulation of the damping force on each year according to the road conditions and driving hubris, the new Boxster was never crashy despite also having the optional 19” Boxster S alloys. In fact, the Boxster felt more comfortable than any 911 before the 991! Handling was superb, great balance, and very tactile. You were rewarded with tremendous pace and driving enjoyment at every turn and straight away. The new direct injection 2.7-liter flat-6 is as quick as the old Cayman with the 2.9-liter engine; in fact, it is as fast as the old 986 with the 3.2 S package! I honestly did not feel that the Boxster was lacking in power. The engine felt very progressive and, with the white torque band, very practical for everyday use. And this is the entry point to the new series! Our test unit did not, however, have the new Porsche Torque Vectoring system that mimics a mechanical limited slip differential, but it did have the optional Power steering Plus, the speed-sensitive electric power-steering system that minimizes steering effort during maneuvering and parking but tightens up appropriately with the absolute feel when flogged.
Along with the new hardware and new skin are a host of extra energy saving measures like a standard Auto Start / Stop, electrical system recuperation and enhance thermal management. The Auto Start /Stop switches off the engine at rest, or neutral with the clutch released. The Boxster ragtop either way in about nine seconds up to a speed of approximately 50 km/hr, though I would never recommend you to do this for safety reasons as well as not to piss people off. The integrated automatic rear spoiler deploys at 120 km/h and makes no functional impact at speeds less than that, so if you see a moron running with the spoiler up for show at slow speeds, by all means think of him as a foolish show-off.
The key interior design features, which began life in the Panamera then the new 911, have found their way into the new Boxster without looking like a knock-off. The new lights are very effective and look distinctive, unlike before. To think that for a bit more money with the same new base engine, a buyer can choose the updated 7 – speed PDK with the sport Chrono and consistently achieve 0 to 100 km/h times of 5.3 seconds and get as much as 32 mpg on the highway! Obviously if you can afford it, the top range 3.4 liter 315 BHP Boxster S with the PDK and Sport Chrono package will get you to 100 km/h from rest in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 275 km/h while still using 30 mpg on the highway, which is Supercar pace!
The new Boxster is more spacious than its predecessor thanks to the wheelbase increased by 2.3 inches, is also a bit wider while its length has stayed almost identical. The new car is lighter, more rigid, more fuel efficient, and more aerodynamic as well. The bottom line is: I genuinely and thoroughly enjoyed driving the new Boxster and highly recommend picking one up. It is certainly not the fastest Porsche or the most dynamic but it doesn’t have to be; it is plenty fast for everyday driving, makes the right noises and sensations, and with two ample storage areas, one in the trunk and the other in the hood, you could even justify a practical argument.
Specifications: 2013 Porsche Boxster
Engine: Flat-6, 2706 cc, dohc 24V, VarioCam Plus 6-Speed MT
Max Power: 265 bhp @ 6700rpm
Max Torque: 206 lb ft @ 4500-6500 rpm
0-100 KM/H (0-62MPH): 5.7 secs
Top Speed (MPH): 264 km/h (164mph)
Fuel Mileage: 20mpg City & 30mpg highway
Price as tested: US $66,185.00
+Best it’s ever been, can stand completely on its own laurels.
-Only that the acquisition price is still challenging for most folks