Eight years after making its debut, the Porsche Boxster is now entering its second generation – with even more self-assertion, more power and more performance. In their design, the new models follow Porsche’s usual process of steady and consistent evolution.While only carefully modelled in its contours, Porsche’s mid-engined sports car is significantly wider on the road. Larger wheels and a wider track accentuate the new, further enhanced design of the body. And at the same time these improvements symbolise the increase in power, the 2.7-litre six-cylinder in the Boxster now developing maximum output of 176 kW (240 bhp), 8 kW (12 bhp) more than before. The Boxster now accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and has a top speed of 256 km/h or 159 mph, but is more fuel-efficient all the same, averaging 9.6 litres premium plus (29.4 mpg Imp) in the EU combined cycle.
Engine / Transmission
The six-cylinder power unit of the Boxster remains largely unchanged with the exception of one significant modification: The bearing bridge on the crankshaft is now made completely of aluminium reducing engine weight by a significant 5.5 kg. Apart from its increase in maximum output, the 2.7-litre power unit offers more torque at low and medium engine speeds. Among other things, this is attributable to fundamental, ongoing development of the entire air flow system from the air filter to the exhaust tailpipe.
Power is transmitted on the new Boxster by Porsche’s revised five-speed manual gearbox. Shift operation is modified to shorten shift travel by approximately 27 per cent. The new six-speed manual gearbox of the Boxster S is available as an optional sports package together with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). And five-speed Tiptronic S also comes as an optional extra.
To enhance the Boxster’s dynamic performance to an even higher level, Porsche’s engineers have upgraded the suspension set-up: Wider track, new and larger wheels combined with 17-inch tyres, weight reduction on the various components as well as enhanced torsional and flexural stiffness give the new Boxster even more sporting driving behaviour and larger safety reserves.
Apart from the basic suspension, the Boxster is available as an option with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), in which case the entire car is lowered by 10 millimetres or almost 0.4 inches. Four dampers electrically adjustable for hardness are consistently tuned to current requirements in an automatic process depending on driving dynamics and road conditions. The driver himself is able to choose from two suspension programs by pressing a button on the centre console: The Normal mode offers a more comfortable setting automatically becoming more dynamic as the driver chooses a more sporting style of motoring. The Sports mode, on the other hand, activates a harder damper control map for a particularly agile style of motoring.
The brake system has also been upgraded to match the car’s even higher standard of performance, now responding even more quickly thanks to the upgraded and even more effective brake servo. Diameter of the brake discs cross-drilled and inner-vented on both models is 299 millimetres or 11.77 at the rear and 298 millimetres or 11.73 at the front.
The world’s first roadster with a head airbag
The Porsche Boxster is the first roadster in the world to protect both driver and passenger against collisions from the side by means of a head airbag. Combined with a thorax airbag housed on the outer side of the seat backrest, the airbag comes out of the doorsill whenever required and ensures a very high standard of safety around the head area also in an open car. Frontal airbags for the driver and passenger, plus three-point inertia-reel seat belts with a belt latch tensioner and belt force limiter round off the restraint system featuring all these highlights as standard.
New interior with unique seats
Although the car is only slightly larger outside, the new Boxster offers more space in the completely redesigned interior thanks to the pedals moved further to the front and the lower seating position. The new seats, in turn, also offer more space and better support at the sides.
The seats themselves are brand-new, offering the customer a choice of four different variants ranging from the standard seats through the electrically adjustable seats complete with a lumbar support and the leather sports seats all the way to the adaptive sports seats offering individual adjustment of the side supports on the seat bottom and backrest. Indeed, this range of seats is quite unique in the Boxster segment.
Use of new materials within the interior including Alcantara, leather and trims finished in aluminium-look, creates a very sophisticated flair. The three circular dials with the rev counter in the middle and black faces are now further apart in the new instrument cluster, ensuring even greater clarity, particularly with white LED illumination at night.
A power-operated soft roof is now obviously featured as standard, opening and closing at speeds of up to 50 km/h. At a speed between 10 and 50 km/h, all the driver has to do is briefly touch the roof button to open or close the roof in just 12 seconds.