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How much? £39,144
On sale in the UK: Spring 2009
Engine: 3436cc flat-six, 306bhp @ 6400rpm, 266lb ft @ 4400-5500rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 5.2sec 0-62mph, 169mph, 30.1mpg, 221g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1380kg/steel
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 5 out of 55

Handling

Rated 5 out of 55

Performance

Rated 5 out of 55

Usability

Rated 3 out of 53

Feelgood factor

Rated 5 out of 55

Readers' rating

Rated 3.5 out of 53.5

Porsche Boxster S (2009) CAR review

By Georg Kacher

First Drives

10 December 2008 09:00

Click here for the mini convertible video

The Porsche Boxster was the car that saved Stuttgart. Near bankruptcy in the early 1990s, Porsche hit upon the idea of creating a cheap sports car, one that would use the front end of the then-new 911 (the 996) to cut costs. Okay, purists might have bemoaned the original Boxster’s dull looks (toned down from the 1993 concept) and the tiny 2.5-litre flat-six, but those in-the-know realised the mid-engined baby had a better balance than the arse-out 911. The Boxster got critical acclaim, hairdressers also loved it and sales rocketed.

Now 12 years later – having spawned a hard-top Cayman sibling in the process – we’ve arrived at the facelifted version of the Mk2 Boxster. The new car offers gently smarter looks, improved interior quality, the latest PDK double-clutch gearbox, direct-injection engines and the promise to be cleaner and greener – plus it retains that added thrill of wind-in-your-hair motoring that the Cayman cannot provide.

Months ahead of everybody else, CAR has been behind the wheel of the new Boxster. Read on for our full first drive…

Straight to the point please – how does the new Porsche Boxster drive?

Brilliantly. Unless you’re anally nit-picking over the details you’d never notice the difference between this Boxster and its sublime Cayman sibling. The steering is wonderfully weighted, sharp and incisive. The brakes are mega, tirelessly hauling this drop-top down from big speeds, and they are also full of feel. 

And then you remember that there’s an added dimension to the Boxster driving experience: drop the top and cruise along listening to that flat-six’s hollow thrum. Welcome to a car that’s less claustrophobic than a Cayman and so much more fun in the summertime. Plus the latest engines make sure the Boxster S is still a car to worry dawdling, posing Porsche cabrio drivers.

>> Click 'Next' below to read more of CAR's first drive of the new Porsche Boxster S    

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JohnnyBimmer

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JohnnyBimmer says

RE: Porsche Boxster S (2009) CAR review

Atomic - love to see the Boxster and Cayman turbocharged. You can see Porsche put deliberate restrictions on the base models outputs not to make the 911 look overwhelmed. Probably very sound reasons to do so but personally I doubt the two models compete in that way. Whatever it takes for Porsche to buck up its design ideas and create some visual sould and excitement would be most welcome

11 December 2008 18:35

 

a t o m i c

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a t o m i c says

RE: Porsche Boxster S (2009) CAR review

JB, I'm glad you're bored, it must mean the car has value. Would Porsche DARE to turbocharge it, that's the question?

11 December 2008 17:33

 

JohnnyBimmer

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JohnnyBimmer says

RE: Porsche Boxster S (2009) CAR review

The Boxster, like the Cayman and 911, are the defacto choice, the King of the sector and who's to argue with auto magazines constantly favouring Porsches as group-test winners? Porsches' afterall are highly professional, utterly good at going, stopping and bending round corners. Such a sound, gold-plated, bankable asset these fantastic sportscars can be sold as company cars in Germany without raising an eyebrow of risk. What kinda 'nut' criticises such uber-completeness? Great iconic sportscars so immaculate even the company makes a profit. Why act crazy and rock the boat? The formula works beautifully, why change for changes sake? Because I'm bored, bored, bored. Bored of the 911, bored of the Cayman, bored of the Boxster. Bored of the spot-the-difference updates, facelifts and new models that look like the old models and every other f**king jelly-mould in the range with their dull, dreary, conservative detailing. I really cannot be bothered anymore. If Audi can come up with the R8, why can't Porsche make their 911 change a bit faster and funkier over 3 model cycles? Whilst the journalists wax lyrical about the engines, steering and chassis completeness (I totally agree) they miss the point that the best isn't always really what's best. You need to be doing 9/10ths or 10/10ths to 'feel' the sportscar in a Porsche. You need to travel like a banshee to get the (their) point. In 95% of driving a Porsche what you actually get is bump-thump and total boredom. The journalists wax lyrical about 5% of what you'll get, missing the point that 95% of the time your teeth rattle and your eyelids are closing. My sincere advise is if you just want a nice sportscar but an Audi TT. It's interior is in a different league for quality, years ahead for funkiness and design and more fun and alot more refined at everyday speeds. Save yourself £12,000 too. If you want a REAL sportcar, and not the journalists empty dream of one, buy an Elise. An Elise is not a Golf GTi with a Porsche badge. An Elise is a real sportcar that'll give you more thrills at 20mph, 40mph and 60mph than a Boxster which needs 60-100mph on the clock to feel like a sportscar. An Elise is fun 95% of the time. A Porsche, and its driver, is bored stiff 95% of the time. Sometimes 'the best' like snooker-ace Steve Davis is actually very, very boring and that's why the journalists favourite group-test Champion is also very, very wrong. Porsche as Champion is a journalistic myth. They're missing the point and have been for decades

10 December 2008 22:10

 

Houdini

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Houdini says

RE: Porsche Boxster S (2009) CAR review

jer - Porsche cars are light because they are relatively small. I do not know why Porsche needs the Boxster with the Cayman around. If you need to feel the wind in your hair, roll down the side windows. I think the Boxster should be scraped to make room in the production line for higher Cayenne volume. Just kidding.

10 December 2008 18:30

 

jer

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jer says

RE: Porsche Boxster S (2009) CAR review

More finely honed driving from the robber barons of Zuffenhausen. What I find so special about Porsches is their kerb weights, how do they get them so low yet maintain chassis rigidity and integrity even in the convertible? Reminds me of an interview many years ago, I think in Car. A senior Honda engineer said they had stripped a 190 W201 Merc several times but still had no idea how they built it so light and strong. Alfa take note.

10 December 2008 18:00

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