It’s been a few weeks since I had the pleasure of driving the Boxster S. From the outside, the third-generation model certainly looks more aggressive than its predecessor. It has a wider track, sits lower, and has a more muscular body. The dual exhaust, red brake calipers, and 20-inch Carrera Classic wheels add to the overall sporty appearance.
During the week of driving, the symphony of sounds from the sport exhaust and 3.4-liter flat-6 engine were definitely the highlights. I didn’t even bother turning on the radio. Aside from the appearance, some notable differences between this generation and the last are the electronic steering, fully electric top, and aluminum body panels.
Having driven a variety of cars with different steering systems, I think “feel for the road” is a subjective metric. There’s no doubt that the electronic steering has taken away some of the feedback that’s present with a hydraulic steering system, but the overall driving experience is still superb if you take into account the continuous innovation that has to occur.
The fully electric top is a very welcome improvement, it means not having to latch and unlatch whenever you decide to use it. It takes 9 seconds to operate each way, and is able to, while driving up to 31 mph. Both the newer S and base models are lighter than their predecessors. This is immediately noticeable when opening/closing the doors and trunks. One of the great features of the mid-engine Boxster is that there are two trunks.
Some of the car’s other aspects weren’t as noticeable, but the improvement is there. Even with 20-inch wheels, the ride quality was the same, if not better, than the previous model with17-inch wheels. The 7-speed PDK (Porsche’s dual clutch gearbox) seems to shift quicker. Overall, the Boxster S was a joy to drive. Porsche has demonstrated that iteration does mean refinement.
- 3.4-liter flat-6
- 315 hp @ 6700 rpm
- 266 lb.-ft torque
- 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds
- Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway)
- Curb weight: 2976 lbs
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