Okay, maybe – just maybe – you haven’t loved the Boxster yet. You aren’t able to tell whether it’s coming or going, and it doesn’t appeal to the masculine side of your personality (that includes you, ladies). But who can argue that in terms of driving pleasure, the old Boxster is a tough act to follow, particularly in “S” trim. The steering was great, the engine robust and interior a reasonably pleasant place to be. Nevertheless, it’s never been compelling enough to earn a spot in your garage. But that’s all about to change – in a big way.
The 2013 Boxster is drop-dead gorgeous, and if you think it looks good in photos, wait until you see it in person. We’d go so far as to say it’s reminiscent of the Carrera GT – and you can bet tuners will try to create just that.
The headlights are shapely, reminding us of the legendary 917, while the enlarged side intakes add just the right amount of aggression.
Inside, we’re happy to report it follows the current Porsche design aesthetic, which means the best in class.
But while the visuals are the big story, the rest is impressive as well. The Boxster S continues to displace 3.4 liters from its flat-six engine, now producing 315hp at 6700rpm – that’s slightly peakier than before but, with an extra 5hp, you’d be really hard-pressed to tell the difference.
The PDK-equipped car is more efficient than its predecessor, checking in at 21/30mpg (city/hwy), while the manual version manages 20/28mpg with one less gear ratio.
For anybody who still regards 0-60 as a means of gauging competence, the new Boxster S pulls it off in 4.7sec with PDK. And drop another 0.2sec if you opt for the Sport Chrono package with dynamic transmission mounts and launch control with the “Sport Plus” option. The manual reaches 60mph in 4.8sec and both will truck on to more than 170mph.
This year the Boxster S has 19" wheels shod with 235/40 tires front and 265/40 rear. Don’t worry, you can have optional dubs as well as the corresponding taller gear ratio, weaker acceleration, more unsprung weight and harsher ride. Passive aggression aside, the standard wheels are bigger, and so is the car – slightly. It’s 1.3" longer than before but no wider. It should also be noted this car is lighter: 2976 lb as tested versus 3042 in the previous Boxster S with PDK. The manual transmission tips the scale at 2910 lb.
Although lighter, it’s loaded with technology like improved in-car entertainment and bi-xenon headlights. Dynamic transmission mounts adjust to real-time driving conditions to maximize torque transfer to the rear wheels. Meanwhile, torque vectoring mechanically optimizes traction out of corners, while electronic brake force distribution grabs the inside rear wheel to enhance corner entry speeds. The updated PDK allows “coasting.” which is the paddle transmission equivalent of dropping into neutral downhill to save fuel. There is also new start/stop technology.
The current double-clutch PDK is pretty damn good, offering a satisfying “pop” from the exhaust with each aggressive – and instant – gear change. The automatic mode appears to be psychic, discerning whether you’re looking for a little more oomph or a full downshift. The seventh ratio is a boon on the highway, but disabled in “Sport Mode.” You can shift to seventh in Sport, but after a moment the onboard logic changes back to sixth. Hell, it’ll even hold a gear if it senses drifting!