Reviews

2016 Porsche Boxster Driving Impressions


The Boxster is a miracle of balance and one of the world’s most thrilling roadsters at speed. That’s even true for the base Boxster with its 2.7 liters and 265 horsepower. The 3.8-liter Spyder with its 375 horsepower is merely most-thrilling magnified.

When we say balance, we’re not just talking about the mid-engine layout with its ideal weight distribution, and horizontally opposed H-shaped engine with its low center of gravity. Not just mechanical balance, but spiritual balance as well, between high performance and comfort. That’s balance, not compromise. Superb driving dynamics on the open road in curves, and superb manners around town. Its chassis is tuned to do both.

It has electric power steering, a system that’s almost universal nowadays but inherently burdened by less feel and feedback than the old hydraulic way, but Porsche engineers solve it in the Boxster. The steering is almost perfectly weighted, while being consistent and precise. It feels intuitive, as if it can read your mind.

The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system is designed to virtually do that. It’s available on the base Boxster and Boxster S, standard on the GTS. It broadens the car’s range, adjustable from Normal to Sport and Sport Plus modes.

The 6-speed manual shifts as slick as you could ask. On the other hand, and the twin-clutch PDK nicely balances Sport when you’re feeling aggressive and Comfort when you’re cruising.

For wind-in-your-hair exhilaration, the Boxster is hard to match. The extra power of the Boxster S, GTS or stripped-down Spyder is fun but not necessary, nor is the twin-clutch transmission.

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