Porsche Boxster: Cutting edge, or cutting hair?
The ‘hairdresser’s Porsche’ was a name thrown at the Boxster when it first came to market. But, nowadays, even the most hysterically puritanical of Porsche fans will accept that the Boxster is a real sports car, and worthy of the badge.
In the early 90s, Porsche was in financial turmoil. As the brainstorming went on in the boardroom, Wendelin Wiedeking come up with a money-saving idea to bring the marque back on the road to profitability. A revolutionary – at the time – parts strategy provided the basis for higher margins on the sale of the Boxster and 911. Many parts were developed with the idea that they would be used in both models, bringing about a massive reduction in development costs. Notable features of the new Boxster, which bore some similarities to the Porsche 550, was the mid-engined layout and strict two-seater design.
The first model arrived in 1996. With a meagre 204HP six-cylinder boxer engine and an unusually low price in its home market of just 77,000 Deutsche Marks, the Boxster was rolled out to the dealer network. The world responded positively, with many customers initially ordering brightly coloured versions that can now be found at bargain basement prices. The two-tone rear lights and unflattering ‘fried egg’ headlights didn’t help, either.
Given the high demand, Porsche was compelled to split production. A partner who was able to supply the required quantities without deviating from Porsche’s quality standards was found in Finland. A facelift during the first model change in 2004 meant an improved image with sports car fans.
What many customers were asking for was more power, and this arrived with the 260HP Boxster S, a fun and lively two-seater. The Boxster possessed much of the technology found in its big brother 911, and sometimes offered similar performance – the maximum speed of the S-model shown here is more than 260km/h, and it was also considerably cheaper than the 911.
As you can see from our photos, even the unfortunate styling of the Boxster is less of an issue if you choose the right colour. Seal Grey paint, wheel spacers and dynamic 18-inch Carrera wheels with painted rims give this 2004 Boxster a stylish look. As you open the electric hood and admire the embossed Porsche logos on the seats, any lingering doubts are wiped away. Yes, it’s a Porsche. And yes, it’s a good one.
For more details on the Boxster S in the pictures, which is for sale, see Autosalon Isartal
See the dealer’s full stock list in the Classic Driver Marketplace
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Autosalon Isartal