Monday, October 23, 2017

FIRST DRIVE: 2013 Porsche Boxster S

May 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Content

The all new 2013 Porsche Boxster S is an absolutely amazing car. 9 Magazine had the opportunity to spend some time with it recently at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL. I must say I am thoroughly impressed. This car is SO good! Porsche has hit it out-of-the-park in every category with the new generation Boxster.   

And although we usually reserve these types of reviews for our print publication, we felt it was necessary and timely for us to publish this report online. We already put many photos from the event on our Facebook page (visit us there at facebook.com/9magazine) so we figured why not?  

Never before in the history of the Porsche Boxster has a change of generation been so comprehensive. The open-top two-seat car receives an entirely new lightweight body and a completely revamped chassis. It’s lighter and more fuel-efficient, faster and more agile. The latest generation of the Porsche Boxster is nothing short of stellar.

The Boxster’s mid-engine concept has been the primary reason for its outstanding agility ever since the roadster was introduced.  Considerably lower weight, a wider track, a longer wheelbase and larger wheels on the new Boxster significantly enhance the mid-engine sports cars driving dynamics yet further. The windshield is flatter and set approximately 3.94-inches further forward and its 0.51 inches lower. Together with its convertible top line extended far to the back, the new Boxster cuts a very elegant silhouette.

The new Boxster’s front-end is dominated by the large lateral radiator openings and the headlights. The new Bi-Xenon headlights, standard for the Boxster S, were completely redeveloped. At first glance they resemble those of the Carrera GT. The headlights housings where also redesigned, with daytime driving and position lights in LED technology, are integrated above the striking air intakes for the radiators.

The rear end of the new Boxster has been completely redesigned and proves to be the most oblivious visual difference. There is no longer a convertible-top compartment lid. The rear wing and lights are linked by a prominent edge spanning the entire vehicle width and the central lamp unit located beneath it combines the rear fog light and reversing lights in one flat strip. The new LED taillights are integrated into the rear apron and curve around the corner of the car. The redesigned tailpipes complete the deep, centered look. This is further emphasized by the diffuser, which spans the width of the vehicle.

On the inside, the new Boxster has borrowed many elements of its interior from the Panamera. The prominent center console is the most obvious change from the previous model. We recently saw this same style center console in the new 991 series 911 with very little difference. The new interior now completes the Panamera-Esque look across the entire Porsche lineup.

The latest iteration dubbed the 981 series, boasts superior performance to the previous generation (986) as well as being up to 15 per cent more fuel-efficient.  The new Boxster S features a 3.4 liter boxer engine. The addition of direct fuel injection, the Boxster S puts out 315HP which is five HP more than before. The Boxster S features a manual six-speed gearbox as standard with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available as an option.

With direct fuel injection, thermal management, electrical system recuperation and auto start/stop function, both models’ engines are even more powerful than before while being more than 10 percent more fuel-efficient irrespective of model. The car achieves its best fuel consumption and acceleration performance with the PDK. With gear changes without interruption to the power flow, the Boxster S sprints from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

To enhance driving dynamics yet further, Porsche offers the Sport Chrono Package as an optional extra for the Boxster, featuring dynamic transmission mounts for the first time. Also new in the Boxster is Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical rear axle differential lock.

My drives in the new Boxster S included track laps, auto cross time and a street tour. The balance and handling is absolutely perfect. On the auto cross, I was able to toss it around with ease and with great speed. It is remarkable how planted and nimble the Boxster is.  

The sound from the exhaust is greatly improved and noticeably different. I enjoyed the sound of the new car much more than I expected. The exhaust note is much more refined and exotic sounding, and with the top down – it’s intoxicating. I think Porsche worked very hard to improve every aspect of this car, including the details such as how it sounds to the driver.

During the event, I also had the opportunity to ride shotgun in the new Boxster S with both world-famous endurance racing champion, Hurley Haywood and Brumos Racing driver Andrew Davis. These Boxsters, wrapped in classic racing livery, were awe inspiring and looked incredible in the pits and on the track at Barber Motorsports Park.

In the classic Martini Racing livery Boxster S, Hurley demonstrated the abilities of the new car as we circled the track at blazing speeds. I was absolutely amazed at the performance and capabilities of this car. It handled everything that Hurley threw at it. My first thought was how confident Hurley was in the car and the handling as he took the corners at super high-speed. Then rain began to fall, and heavily at times. Hurley he didn’t even let up and continued to push the limits. I walked away with an all new respect for the Boxster and its superb capabilities.

The new Boxster models are expected to show up  in dealer showrooms in early summer 2012. The basic list price will be $49,500 for the Boxster and $60,900 for the Boxster S, (not including a $950 destination charge.) It’s truly a bargain in the sports car world for the type of performance that you get with this car. 

The bottom line is that the new Boxster S is simply superb.

Photos: 9 Magazine