If a Porsche Boxster S doesn’t have enough power you’ve either never driven one or you’ve driven so many powerful cars your perception of power is warped! For most of us, the ‘entry level’ Porsche is more than enough car…
I get a call at about 9:30am. I’m in bed. My mate is on the other end.
“Dude, you busy?” he says.
“Um, what do you think? It’s Saturday, I’m a drummer and it’s the morning…”
“I think you wanna come meet me on Chapel street. I hired a Porsche Boxster S for the weekend”
“I’ll be right there…”
I’d never been in a Porsche before. Yes, the Boxster S isn’t a 911 but the reviews it got in all the magazines say that it’s not only one of the best cars the famous German marque make but also one of the finest convertible coupes on the planet. Good enough for me!
I arrive to find a black 2007 987 Boxster S with Carrera 19″ rims. Gotta say, the car looks great in the metal with swags of leather around the very inviting cabin. And it’s a manual. Porsche have the reputation for basically having the best manual gearbox in the world. I’ve had dreams about what it would feel like. This car features a 3.4 litre flat 6 with 217kw (295hp).
I’m the passenger first. So I take in the car and the vibe. It’s small and cozy. I’m a big guy but I fit in fine and the standard Porsche pews are very comfortable. They’ve used basically the same design for ages and they’re great. All the witch gear, whilst small is stylish and useable. The leather stitched dash give a real sense of quality – not that I need a whole lot of convincing. Over the years, I’ve read nothing but good things about Porsche.
As we take off, the vibe is one of comfort and poise rather than sports and stiff. It’s ride at low speeds is nice and the engine just whirs away behind you. Then my mate gives a bit of stick. Wow, that’s what a flat 6 sounds like! – gruff and cool. Big fan. Who says you need a V8? As we cruise around town, we sus out the Bose system stereo and discover that the crisp sound is better than we expected. By the time we get on the motor way, we’re flying. A teen in a VN Commodore attempts to keep up but 190km/h takes care of that. Hey, I’m in the passenger seat remember? Wasn’t me officer!
At speed the Porsche is rock solid and you has confidence in the machine. And the experience of speed with the top down is better than you’d think as the Germans have cleverly thought about the roof and you don’t get slaughtered by wind. Very cool.
Now it’s my turn. I slip back into the sculptured seat and assess my driving position. It’s perfect. No off set pedals or any supercar drama. Function and comfort here – everything electric bar the steering adjustment but there’s still reach and tilt. But I find I don’t have to really adjust anything. Reach my left hand out and there’s the shifter. It feels great in hand as does the Porsche wheel. I push the clutch in. Weighter than I thought but welcomed and I take off. Man, that was easy. This Boxster S overwhelms me with user friendliness and everything is sorted. The steering is awesome on and off centre with heaps of feel and not too light. The throttle has pinpoint accuracy and then there’s the shift. Bloody hell. Awesome. Like moving a knife through soft butter. There’s no movement outside of the gear you’re in. Fuss free controls. Love it. Very German and well designed. Guess that’s what you pay for.
I’m very hooked all of a sudden and have no quarrels about having a crack at the engine because this is a civilized sports car, not a super car. The engine just howls and I slam through the gears like I’ve somehow done it before. The sound at the 7300rpm redline is awesome and the engine has nothing to complain about being revved. It doesn’t feel choked or sound like its struggling either. The power delivery is predictable too. No turbo surprises but it’s definitely not boring. You just feel as if you have all the power in the world at your disposal – even though you don’t ;-)
The Boxster just makes you comfortable.
I have a play around with the sports setting (Porsche Active Stability Management) and the car is noticeably stiffer but still not bone shattering. The turn in is great and you can have a little fun with oversteer out of low speed corner and easily catch the back end. Being mid engined unlike its rear engined brother, the weight distribution is sweet and the balance when you do actually provoke it and lose traction is superb. The brakes are ridiculous too. Four piston brembo calipers offered heaps of feel and confidence. Oh yeah, they stop the car really good too… That’s an understatement actually. I reckon they could stop time.
Speaking of time, I would have liked to spend some more with the Boxster S but this is the conclusion I got from our brief encounter. Here’s a coupe that is in a lot of ways one of the more affordable options for those in the market. It’s in pretty much every way, more car then you’re ever likely to need and could without adoubt be your daily drive. Power, poise, style, that badge… What else would you want? Apparently, 911′s try to kill you all the time. Why do you want that? As far as first impressions go, this Boxster S made a big one.
Wouldn’t mind trying a 911 just to see if it really does wanna kill me though…