I've been a fan of the Boxster since its introduction nearly a decade ago. Hell, I even bought one with my brother and we pimped the hell out if it with Boxster S components. But I'm starting to wonder: Is the Boxster destined to share the same fate as the 914, the red-headed stepchild of Porsche's elite?

Not that any of this makes a difference. I still have my Boxster and I still love the car. And apparently I am not alone. Porsche is still building Boxsters and selling them in decent numbers.

This screaming yellow job on this page is a marked improvement from its older sibling. Whereas my Boxster has a fairly Spartan interior, the new car reeks of tasteful restraint. The hinges, buttons and dials have all been upgraded to 911 standard although they remain unique to the Boxster. Whereas the older car had a somewhat "plasticky" feel, it has matured with significant refinement. It also feels bigger and the brushed chrome bezel trim on the black dashboard was beautiful. Porsche's sport seats are intelligently designed to provide good side bolstering while being flat enough for easy ingress and egress. Despite their rather ordinary appearance, you can sit in the Boxster for days without being fatigued. Ultimately, it's a no-nonsense cabin and allows you to focus on more important things, like the road ahead.

Although this was Porsche's base model, its 2.7-liter engine and 240 bhp is surprisingly ballsy. Basically, the new Boxster is almost as powerful as the previous Boxster S. It's got good punch off the line and really comes alive in the mid-to-upper rpm band. Spirited gear changes leave the Boxster a tire-chirping animal. The Boxster's shifting characteristics are unique to Porsche, that is, ultra-precise without being notchy. It almost feels as though the car pulls itself into the next gear. And while the Boxster was always the poster-child for neutral handling, it now sports an even wider track for greater stability (and the stiffer chassis doesn't hurt either). Getting the Boxster out of shape is a difficult proposition at best. Despite valiant efforts, those infamous "tail out" shots didn't happen. The Boxster prefers staying on the pavement rather than sliding across it.

We were fortunate in knowing the new owner of the former El Toro Marine Air Base. He simply unlocked the gate and let us play on nearly 15 miles of open concrete. According to the speedo, the Boxster will do 161 mph with the top up. Whereas my car's roof would balloon from low pressure (and blow my eardrums), the new Boxster is rock solid. Whoever designed the new multi-layered Boxster roof deserves a case of Spaten. Oh yeah, give one to the brake guy too. The Boxster's binders are indicative of all Porsches. In other words, they kick ass.

Not really much to say on the redesigned body except Porsche's insistence on "evolution" rather than "revolution." It looks more toned than before but still instantly recognizable as a Boxster.

The new Boxster is an easy car to live with. Featuring storage in the front and rear, it allows enough room for a weekend getaway with a significant other. It's comfortable, fast and incredibly agile. If I didn't have 20 grand wrapped up in my car, I'd order a new Boxster right now.

2006 Porsche Boxster

Price as Tested: $48,110
Drivetrain
Longitudinal mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine
2.7-liter flat six, dohc, four valves per cylinder
Transmission
Five-speed manual
Performance
Peak Power: 240 bhp @ 6400 rpm
Peak Torque: 199 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
0-60 mph: 5.9 sec.
Top Speed:159 mph
Fuel Economy: 20/29

From The Hip
+ Powerful for a base Boxster, great interior, overall ride quality
- A few hidden rattles

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