What is it? Porsche’s “entry-level” roadster is all new for 2013. Even with a 2-inch longer wheelbase and a wider track, the new Boxster weighs 77 lbs. less than its the predecessor. It also makes more horsepower: 10 more, for a total of 265 in the base 2.7-liter Boxster, and 5 more, for a total of 315 in the 3.4-liter Boxster S. (The Spyder and Black Editions go on hiatus.) Both versions will be offered with a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed, dual-clutch “PDK” automatic transmission.
Lighter weight plus more horsepower should yield better acceleration, and Porsche claims the best handling ever from the wider, longer-wheelbase platform. The new body is also more aerodynamic, aided by a new rear lip spoiler.
A redesigned automatic top can raise or retract at up to 31 mph in 9 seconds.
What is new or notable? The new Boxster gains electronic power steering, start-stop technology, and thermal and electrical management. Porsche claims “up to 15-percent” better fuel economy, and it says the base model with PDK transmission will return more than 30 mpg.
CR’s take: While we loved the old Boxster and welcome any fuel economy improvements, we’ve seen the excellent steering in some European cars lose their appeal with the transition to electronic power steering. We hope that fate doesn’t befall the new Boxster.
When will it be available? June 2012