Porsche Boxster S: Family DNA adds to drop-top appeal

By Liz Dobson

Dramatic new styling inside and out, including a raised central console with display screens, puts the new Boxter in a class beyond other convertibles. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Dramatic new styling inside and out, including a raised central console with display screens, puts the new Boxter in a class beyond other convertibles. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Parked at Auckland's Westhaven Marina to take a "brag" photo of my Porsche Boxster S test car, an elderly yachtie couple nod appreciatively at the convertible and say "love your car".

Though keen to keep up with the pretence, I quickly 'fess up that I'm a motoring writer for Driven and that the Porsche is on loan.

"Well," said Mr Yachtie, "if I were you I'd hit the motorway now and head for the South Island before Porsche catch you."

Good plan, and with luck I may be in Christchurch by the time you read this.

Actually when you read this, the first of the new Boxsters will be in dealerships, and Porsche NZ is expecting stocks not to last. And that's no sales pitch because this 2013 version of the iconic German car isn't just a zhooshed up model but could be a new product for the company. Roxster maybe?

I drove the previous model last year and the transformation between the two is dramatic. The latest Boxster follows cues from sophisticated European marques but leaps ahead of Dramatic new styling inside and out, including a raised central console with display screens, puts the new Boxster in a class beyond other convertibles with its new styling. That's partly due to gaining DNA from other Porsche models, including the Carrera GT, and the fact the car is revamped inside and out.

The wheelbase is increased by 60mm, the windscreen is flatter and set 100mm further forward while overall, the car is 13mm lower.

The nose is 27mm smaller and the rear has had a total overhaul - the rear spoiler spills through the lights creating a more aggressive stance on the road, especially when you add the twin-flow double tailpipe.

The new shape creates a more fluid silhouette, gaining the Carrera's door indentation which guides the air to the rear intakes.

The Boxster's interior is also is influenced by Carrera - with a central console, raised gearstick and a touch screen display. I was impressed with a nifty circular display screen in the front dials that you can use to call up a map, check out the G force, monitor fuel efficiency and change radio stations.

Priced from $120,300 for the standard Boxster 2.7-litre manual to $147,300 for the 3.4-litre V6 S auto, my test model, in platinum silver, cost $159,200 due to bigger wheels, chrome package and the 7-speed, dual-clutch transmission which helps the car move faster through the gears.

That 3.4-litre engine has also had extensive work with 360Nm of torque at 4500 to 5800rpm rather than the previous 4400 to 5500rpm.

It claims 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds in my model - though I did try to beat that taking off from motorway onramp lights.

The car demands to be given room to do what it does best - drive fast, smoothly and dynamically.

A motoring colleague said it hadn't just stepped up a generation but actually skipped ahead two - and I agree.

- NZ Herald

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