NOT for nothing was the Porsche Boxster named as the 2013 World Performance Car at the recent New York Auto
Motoring review by Nigel Wigmore
NOT for nothing was the Porsche Boxster named as the 2013 World Performance Car at the recent New York Auto Show.
I found out myself just why this car received such a prestigious award when I took a new Porsche Boxster for a spin (actually several spins) this week on the roads around Gloucestershire.
Its performance is mighty and beefy and everything you would wish for from a sports car. You can drop the hood in a rapid nine seconds and blast off, the 2,706cc, six-cylinder engine ripping up to 62mph in 5.8 seconds and sailing on to 164mph if you live in Montana (fast becoming my euphemism for taking a car to its quoted top speed).
Not that I did, of course, in this country but the Boxster is fun to drive as a sports car, hammering through the gears, swooping around bends and braking positively in all the right places.
I say this because the Porsche Boxster feels like a safe car to drive, even when you are getting the most out of its performance and beginning to push your own limitations. And thinking about it, that is a very important aspect of owning such a car. You want to enjoy the thrill of speed but you also want to have faith in the car’s capabilities and trust in its engineering — the mechanical bits that come together to let you fly.
I remember driving various sports cars during a day session at the famous Millbrook testing facility (used by manufacturers’ road testers). Once you are scorching around the banked circuit at 100mph plus you realise it is not just the speed achieved that is important, but how safe you feel once you have reached those kinds of speeds.
The Porsche Boxster is a car that has demonstrated steady achievement in most departments — but especially looks and performance — since its début in the late Nineties. Its progress into its current growing awed status has not always been smooth.
Today, some motoring writers have seriously described the Boxster as a challenger to the mighty 911. In other words, potential buyers might now find the kind of satisfaction they expect when purchasing a Porsche in not only the 911 but also in its little brother, the Boxster.
Yet once the Boxster was thought by some to fly in the face of a lot of what the Porsche marque was supposed to represent. (Indeed, the earlier versions attracted the attentions — for all the wrong reasons — of the odd Flash Harry, not an image I am sure Porsche wanted to encourage.)
But if you had really thought about it in those early days you could see where Porsche was going with the Boxster: the German carmaker presumably wanted to sell a less expensive sports car than the 911 but without compromising Porsche attributes.
Well, on the basis of driving this, the latest incarnation of the Boxster, I have to report that it has the looks, and it certainly has the performance: the Boxster has come of age and I am sure will go on improving.
It did share the World Performance Car with its sister, the Cayman. Great achievement, too, for the Cayman celebrated its world première only last November at the International Motor Show in Los Angeles.
An international panel of 66 motoring journalists from 23 countries determines the winners. Since the inception of the World Car of the Year Awards, Porsche has won World Performance Car twice; for the 911 (2012) and for the Cayman (2006).
The Boxster’s flat six engine delivers 265 PS, while in the Boxster S drivers have 315 PS at their disposal.
Recommended retail price: £37,589
Price of test car:
This included some of the following optional equipment;
GT Silver/Brown roof £1,594
20in Carrera S Wheels £1,942
Sports exhaust £1,473
Espresso natural leather interior £2,901
Porsche Communication Management (PCM 3.0 with navigation mode and universal audio interface - iPod/USB) £2,141