100 Hot Cars

Just Car Blog

Chris Harris Drives Porsche’s New Boxster S: Video 15
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Porsche Boxster S, Automotive, Chris Harris, Kurt, porsche, video, Videos on 03 15th, 2012

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is not the only car with gender identity issues, at least according to Evo’s Chris Harris. In his latest video, Harris ponders if a man can actually buy the newly redesigned Porsche Boxster S, which seems to imply that no man would be caught dead behind the wheel of the current Boxster and Boxster S. That’s a shame, since the car is one of the most balanced sports cars on the planet, which means that drivers with security issues will be missing out on a highly entertaining ride. Lucky for us that we review cars instead of stereotypes.

Porsche’s latest Boxster models are lighter, longer and wider than the cars they replace, and feature shorter front and rear overhangs. The faster Boxster S rides roughly a half-inch lower than the outgoing model, and now comes packing a 3.4-liter flat six good for 315 horsepower. That’s good enough to dash from 0-62 mph in five seconds with a six-speed manual transmission, or 4.7 seconds when equipped with Porsche’s seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK gearbox. Top speed is 170 miles per hour, which has Harris asking the question, “Do you really need more car?”

That’s not to say the Boxster S is perfect. Like many cars, it now comes with electric power steering, a concession towards boosting fuel economy and lowering emissions. While precise, it lacks the feedback present in the old Boxster’s hydraulic steering system. As Harris points out, electric steering is here to stay, so complaining about its weaknesses is a moot point.

Harris also notes that Porsche’s Stability Management system can’t be fully de-activated. It still allows for tail-out slides through corners, but the system now appears to intervene when things get too out of hand. Could this be operator error? Perhaps, but it’s equally likely that Porsche is feeling the pressure from regulatory agencies to build cars for its least competent drivers.

Need more proof? The brake pedal is too high and too far away from the throttle. While this may reduce the incidence of drivers mistaking the gas for the brake, it also makes the Boxster more difficult to heel and toe. The handbrake is gone, too, replaced with an electronic brake that makes handbrake turns impossible, but likely prevents the car from rolling on steep grades. The Boxster S is faster, to be sure, but it’s also built more for drivers that shouldn’t be in anything faster than a Prius.

Harris likes the car, despite the potential challenges to his manhood. We do too, and we’d be happy to park one in our garage, stereotypes be damned.

Porsche Announces Lighter, More Powerful Boxster 12
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Porsche Boxster, 2012 Porsche Boxster S, Automotive, Kurt, News, porsche on 01 12th, 2012

The 2012 Porsche Boxster and Boxster S. Image: Porsche AG

When it comes to mid-engine, rear drive roadsters, Porsche’s Boxster and Boxster S have long been the standard for agility and handing. As good as the cars have been over the years, Porsche isn’t an automaker to rest on its laurels. Now that the rollout of the new 911 has begun, the Stuttgart-based automaker has turned it’s attention towards launching a new generation of Boxster roadster.

Porsche calls this update the most extensive in the Boxster’s history, and the new car benefits from a completely new body, riding on a chassis that’s longer in wheelbase and wider in track. Porsche isn’t giving specifics, but it calls the new Boxster and Boxster S models “considerably lower weight” than the cars they will replace.

The 2012 Porsche Boxster. Image: Porsche AG

The engines are revamped, too. The Boxster gets a 2.7-liter flat-six, now derived from the Boxster S (but presumably with a shorter stroke) and good for 265 horsepower. Compared to the 2.9-liter flat-six in the current Boxster, that’s a gain of ten horsepower, yet the new car is up to 15 percent more fuel efficient than the outgoing one. In the Boxster S, the new 3.4-liter engine is good for an additional five horsepower, yet returns similar fuel savings.

The 2012 Porsche Boxster S. Image: Porsche AG

Equipped with Porsche’s PDK gearbox (which delivers both maximum performance and the best fuel economy), the new Boxster manages the run from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds, with the Boxster S doing the same in 5 seconds flat. That’s no different that the current generation, which is surprising given the new car’s lower weight and (slightly) increased output.

The 2012 Porsche Boxster S. Image: Porsche AG

Porsche has adopted electromechanical steering in the new Boxster (as on the new 911), but we see that as a good thing. The car also gets a start-stop system for increased city fuel economy, and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical rear locking differential for maximum traction in all conditions.

Pricing for the U.S. market hasn’t been set, and neither has an availability date. The new models go on sale in Germany next April, so we’d expect to see them on this side of the pond in the third quarter of 2012.