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Porsche Boxster review


Gets High-Tech Automatic, Facelift

More Powerful, More Frugal Engines
The Ultimate Little Sports Car Pulls Way From Competition
***** out of 5

Grit Your Teeth When You Compare Base Price With “Extras”Porsche has freshened up its little Boxster roadsters for 2009, tweaking the bodywork and adding more power, and economy, to the petrol engines. It has also added LED daytime running lights and now offers the new dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which it calls the PDK, which is a relief given that its full handle is Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe.

The PDK has seven speeds, and Porsche claims it provides slightly better acceleration than the six-speed manual gearbox, and better fuel economy. And that’s not all.

“The PDK combines the driving comfort of a torque convertor-equipped automatic transmission with the dynamic manual gearshift functionality of a sequential racing gearbox,” Porsche said.

Porsche Boxster review 2009There are still 2 basic versions, standard and S. The standard version has a 2.9 litre mid-mounted flat-six cylinder gasoline engine developing 251 bhp; that’s an improvement of 10 bhp over the old one. The “S” has a 3.4 litre flat-six engine pounding out 305 bhp, 15 more than the old one. Prices start at £33,998 for the base car and £40,486 for the S. Is it worth lashing out extra money for the S? I don’t think so. The standard version with the manual gearbox races from rest to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds. The S version with the PDK automatic and Launch Control, which is included in the optional Sports Chrono Package (an extra £520) will get you to 62 mph in 5.0 seconds. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two, although if I was to take leave of my senses and threw money away on motor racing, this might be a crucial difference worth paying for.

Porsche said the S version now has direct injection gasoline engines.

Porsche Boxster review 2009All this talk of breath-taking performance and racing to the limit shouldn’t mask the fact that the Boxster is actually very user-friendly for any one who wants to drive about in a car which, on demand, might provide exciting performance and electrifying handling, but which most of the time would be driven in a more prosaic way. Going fast or slow, the Boxster is a joy to drive. The engine makes spectacular howling noises. It looks wonderful. The manual gearbox is fantastically smooth and precise. The PDK automatic gearbox does what it says on the tin, providing computerised, rapid-fire gear changes when you’re in the mood, or just takes gentle command of gear changing when required. The interior quality is impeccable. Prices reflect that.

Given that most of the time you will be driving in a restrained, low-key way, you could get the same experience from a Mazda MX-5, fit your golf clubs in the boot and save about £15,000. But it wouldn’t be a Porsche.

Porsche Boxster review 2009

Neil Winton – June 5, 2009

 Porsche Boxster
Engine:2.9 litre flat six-cylinder petrol, mid-mounted
251 bhp – 6,400 rpm
290 Nm @4,400-6,000 rpm
6 speed manual
rear wheels
Acceleration:0-62 mph-100 km/h 5.9 seconds
Top Speed:163 mph-263 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 30.1 mpg-9.4 l/kms
CO2:221 g/km
Length:4,342 mm
1,335 kg
Boot capacity:
not much
Competition:BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK
Same for much less:Mazda MX-5
Would I buy one?You betcha
Price:£33,704 (but you must have satnav £1,904, audio system interface £217, leather £2,005, electric seats £985, Porsche crest on head restraints £132, seat belts in guards red £159, wind deflector £213, 18 inch wheels £702, coloured wheel centres £105, automatic climate control £302, bi-xenon lights £1,016, automatic dimming mirrors £345, surround sound £880, hands free phone £512, floor mats with leather edging £143, real total £43,324, not forgetting DSG gearbox £1,920).
For:the ultimate, beautiful little sports car
Against:pricey, but if you want the best..

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