The steering is good but less talkative than the telepathic rack of the previous generation. The buildup of effort through a turn isn’t as progressive. The new electric power steering gives more linear assistance, like you’re in a simulator. It’s a small annoyance in the big picture, because the new Boxster offers very accurate steering feel. The ratio is slightly quicker (16.5:1 compared to 17.1), but it could stand to be quicker still.

Complain all you want – electric power steering is the future. Maybe Porsche will work out the kinks over time. Or maybe we’ll just get used to it…

You need to drive the Boxster S to realize its greatest skill is making you feel like a pro. Because where a 997 GT3 might be capable of a fast lap time, your lap will probably be way off its ideal time. Yet in the Boxster, you’re a pro. No matter how hard you try, it’s not going to understeer.

Starting with the physics – its weight balance is 46/54% and the front track is within 0.5" of the rear. Add systems like torque vectoring and brake force distribution so that the car rotates like it’s on castors.

The brakes – did we talk about the brakes? It’s a Porsche, and if that’s not enough, you can now get PCCBs onboard. That said, we felt no brake fade after a day lapping Barber Motorsports Park.

The Boxster S will set you back $60900 plus $950 to get it stateside. That’s before you tack on the options like the PDK transmission at $3200, for example. It isn’t cheap, but you’re getting a Porsche convertible that looks great and performs fantastically. What’s not to like?

Second Opinion

Text Doug Neilson

Porsche has been hard at work showing the New Boxster around the world. So when the Porsche Boxster Grand Tour passed through my locale, it gave me the opportunity to drive the Boxster well before it was released to dealerships.

At the event, Porsche reps gave a comprehensive one-hour technical review, followed by a test drive on city, country and highway environs, finishing with a couple of runs on an autocross. If this doesn’t get folks excited about the new Boxster, nothing will.

I came away extremely impressed, although the Boxster has never interested me in the past. I’m a “911 man” but the new exterior is spectacular, and the interior equally beautiful. The Boxster has grown up but it was behind the wheel that I was truly spellbound.

First off, the seating position and visibility are perfection. On the road, the feedback is superb. Having read reviews condemning the new electro-mechanical steering on the 991, I figured the Boxster might disappoint. Wrong!

You feel all the goodness of the road, while ruts and bumpsteer is filtered out. The steering action and turn-in is excellent too: like a telepathic GT3 RS.

Ride quality is supple yet firm, easily gobbling any surface condition you may experience. This is all the result of increased track, control-arm radius and wheelbase, as well as the optional torque vectoring.

New features like the 9sec roof deployment, start/stop and coasting for improved fuel efficiency round out an amazing new package. Thankfully, the only downside is that the vehicle is larger than before, but perhaps Porsche is making room for a smaller, entry-level model in the future…

By Doug Neilson, James Tate
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