Porsche Boxster S

Porsche's Boxster sheds its apologetic skin to reveal the beast within

Price: From £45,385 (Boxster non-S from £37,589). On sale May
Engine: 3,436cc, flat-six cylinders, 24 valves, 315bhp
Transmission: Six-speed gearbox, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 173mph, 0-62 in 5.1sec, 32.1mpg, CO2 206g/km

The Porsche 911 underwent a major reinvention at the end of last year. So the arrival of a new Boxster two-seater soon after was inevitable, given the front halves of these two Porsches have always been near-identical underneath. And here it is.

Much of what has made the new 911 new applies to the Boxster. So, the body structure is lighter, stiffer and contains much aluminium; the wheelbase is longer, the wheels are set more widely apart, and the styling has a more assertive edge. This last part is important, because in its 15 years to date, the Boxster has always suffered from a slightly apologetic look. The nose is now stubbier, the windscreen rake racier, the wheels bigger and the flanks have gained bold ducts to funnel air to the mid-mounted engine. The rear spoiler's line extends through the rear lights, although just the non-light section raises itself as speed rises. From demure to demonstrative: a clever transformation.

Inside, too, new-911 themes follow. Most obvious is the high, upward-sloping central console, which unfortunately ousts the normal handbrake in favour of a technologically neat but functionally clumsy electric one. The manual gear lever ahead of it doesn't select seven forward ratios as it does in the 911, though; the gearbox retains six speeds unless you specify the PDK (double-clutch) automatic.

Another new-911 feature now found in the Boxster is the electric power steering. An open cockpit, too, so after just nine seconds of electro-hydraulic activity the roof is unlatched and stowed. It takes just a few bends and bumps to reveal the new structure to be impressively rigid, not a shudder to be felt. The suspension feels more supple and fluent, with the Sport mode of the optional Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management (PASM) no longer intolerably choppy on poor roads.

As before, there are two engine options. The larger S version is still a 3.4-litre version of Porsche's direct-injection flat six, now with 315bhp instead of 310, but the smaller now also gains the direct injection previously denied to it and has shrunk back to the 2.7 litres of earlier base-model Boxsters. Power is 265bhp.

I naturally incline to a manual Boxster S as my ideal. The engine is smooth, punchy, revvy, tuneful, and the gear change is a wrist-flick delight. The S was ever thus, so the new car's new abilities lie elsewhere. The ride I've mentioned, but it is combined with a precision and tenacity in corners that the previous Boxster could never quite manage.

You need the PASM in Sport or Sport Plus to eradicate a feeling of looseness in the steering around the straight-ahead, brought about by an excess of assistance. So you separately switch the suspension damping back to normal mode and gain the best of all worlds. Yes, the electric steering has lost the detailed feedback of road surfaces that was such a joy in the old Boxster, but in itself it feels fine.

Another big advance is in noise levels. You hear all the good parts of the engine's song but the brain-drilling resonance you used to suffer with the roof up has gone. Then there's the PDK transmission option, which in Sport mode shifts exactly when you want it to in a miracle of intuition – although in Sport Plus it's too frantic and in normal mode too sleepy.

And the Boxster 2.7? It's rapid enough to make you feel very good about the near-£8,000 saving. Either way, no rival – BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK, Audi TT RS – comes close to matching the pure pleasure that driving a Boxster brings.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Associate Recrutiment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

    Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

    £120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

    PMLD Teacher

    Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence