2013 Porsche Boxster S : First Drive
The third generation Porsche Boxster is packed to the gills with tech and mechanicals from the 911 yet so very much more different from it in character and delivery. Adil Jal Darukhanawala gets behind the wheel of this prodigious German roadster to tell you if things have really improved for the better
The most impressive thing about the cockpit is its familiarity plus also its high grade feel and turn-out. If that is not all, the way the driver-focused ergonomics have been crafted makes it so very comfortable to eke out the optimum from the machine. The interplay between the controls, steering wheel, pedals and seat plus the forward visibility adds to making the driving experience oh so very natural for many drivers and that is another beauty of the Boxster package. Fire the flat-six and you are rewarded with an engine which is surely at the top of its ability but one which is the least bit temperamental.
In fact tip-toeing through towns and the narrow streets through many of the quaint villages dotting the Black Forest sees the car being as docile as a family hatch with driveability to match. Head out of these very village roads and hit the open stretches and the boxer begins to punch like a thoroughbred. I first drove the PDK-equipped version and the alacrity with which the Boxster hurtled itself from rest and also out of corners while going through the ’box is one of modern day motoring’s sheer pleasure. It is not about how quick or fast that get the juices flowing but the taut chassis and the way the four tyres stick like glue to the tarmac which has you howling with delight.
The prodigious grip and that terrific electrically-assisted power steering are revelations that clearly manifest themselves as the hallmarks of a great car. There has been quite a deal of debate on the subject of the electrically assisted steering gear but make no mistake that this has ample feel for the initiated, being not just well weighted across its operating spectrum but also supremely precise and thanks to the widened front track plus the extended wheelbase, the car grips well and turns in brilliantly. This ability to dart in and out of corners, track true yet firm through the twisties, make lane change movements with élan and yet stay supremely poised makes you never stop driving. The high speed stability is near perfection, more so since a day after I reluctantly handed the Boxster back, I got to drive the latest 911 Turbo and the differences in the handling, ride quality and steering were decidedly loaded in the Boxster’s favour!
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