Reader's test: 2012 Porsche Boxster
PORSCHE ROADSTER BRINGS BLISS: Reader Joe says there are few cars that give as much joy as the latest Porsche Boxster, particularly at the price.
Author: Joe van Vreede, Cape Town
Don’t ever doubt that it will be worth the wait. That’s my advice for those who have just placed their orders for the new Porsche Boxster S.
The 981 is a revelation. There is nothing this side of a Ferrari 458 that feels as good to drive. And at less than a third of the price, is it even an option?
In the roadster segment there is no direct competitor for this tour de force.
Yes, there are faster cars, there are more luxurious cars, arguably there may be better looking cars, but I doubt that there is truly a better, more complete sports car.
At a base price of R699 000 it is relatively expensive. But the amazing thing is, even at that price, it represents an incredible bargain when it comes to how this car makes you, the driver, feel.
My previous car was a 2008 Boxster S. It was an exciting drive. Lively, fun and somewhat raw; it is, however, no 981.
If I was blindfolded and the new interior was then revealed to me for the first time, there is no way I would ever have associated it with a Boxster.
The 987 interior was always lacking a little in the quality department. It was definitely functional and from an ergonomics point of view relatively faultless. But there was nothing special about it. My previous Audi TT always looked and felt so much better.
There is no longer a feeling that this is a baby cut-priced 911 moulded from big brother’s parts-bin. The interior has catapulted this vehicle into the upper echelons of sportscardom. Everything feels clean, stylish, functional and of exceptional quality.
Park this car next to a new 991 and you’ll be wondering why Porsche slipped up and made the Boxster a better looking car than its flagship. It is truly a masterpiece of automotive design. Styling elements from the Carrera GT and the soon-to-be-released 918 hyper-car abound.
From the stacked headlights to the deep side air intakes, the sculpted doors to the beautifully integrated rear spoiler, everything has been perfectly executed.
The 3.4-litre boxer six engine is legendary. Mate this to the new PDK gearbox and optional Sports Chrono Pack and you are looking at 0-100km/h times of 4.8s and a top speed in excess of 280km/h!
The handling and poise is simply magnificent, which in turn instils an unmatched confidence in the driver.
I have always preferred a manual gearbox, but the PDK is brilliant. Simply put, the PDK makes you a much better driver than you think you already are. The blips on down changes are totally addictive especially when matched with the Porsche Sports Exhaust and gear changes are instantaneous and transitionless (yes, I made that word up).
This is undoubtedly the best roadster money can buy. It is also one of the best handling cars available at any price. But don’t take my word for it; every motoring journalist seems to agree.
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