12/01/2012 New Porsche Boxster: Economical athlete
This is no mere facelift: the latest Boxster, which goes on sale in the UK in April, has an all-new lightweight body, new flat-six engines with direct petrol injection, a “completely revised chassis” and a genuine evolution in styling.
But from the front, you’d have to look twice to notice the difference. It’s only from the side that the changes to the open two-seater are immediately obvious – shorter front and rear overhangs, the windscreen shifted forwards, and a flatter silhouette. Inside, there’s more space for driver and passenger, with a new, fully electric hood that means there’s no longer the need for a tonneau cover. The in-cabin design also boasts the distinctive centre console which we first saw on the Carrera GT.
Driving pleasure in the new-generation Boxster will no doubt be enhanced by its lower weight, longer wheelbase, widened track and larger wheels. There’s also electro-mechanical power steering, one of the features which helps to give better fuel efficiency. As with every fresh generation of Porsche model, we’re yet again told that there are significant improvements in both performance and fuel economy – in this case, fuel consumption is as much as 15 per cent lower.
Admittedly, the power gains aren’t that huge. At 265HP, the Boxster’s 2.7-litre flat-six puts out 10HP more than its larger-capacity predecessor, while the Boxster S’s 3.4-litre shows a 5HP increase on the older model, to 315HP. Both engines have direct petrol injection, plus electrical system recuperation, thermal management and start-stop functionality to further enhance efficiency.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on both models, with the seven-speed dual-clutch Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available as an option. Porsche’s clever PDK – whereby gear changes take place without interruption to the flow of power – actually improves fuel consumption and acceleration. The PDK-equipped Boxster claims 36.7mpg, and even the more powerful Boxster S manages 35.3mpg, while 0-62mph sprints take 5.7sec and 5.0sec, respectively.
The new models go on sale in the UK from April 28 priced from £37,589 for the Boxster and £45,384 for the Boxster S.