I’ve read a lot lately about how Millennials supposedly hate cars.
Fortunately, modern science has come up with an antidote that for automotive antipathy: It’s called the Porsche Boxster S, arguably the purest expression of what a mass-produced sports car can and should be. And it will make your heart race, knees weak and the inside of your mouth wet.
All new for 2013, the Boxster S and the base Boxster — 315 horsepower for the S and 265 for the base model — have been significantly improved and upgraded in this latest iteration.
The 2013 Boxsters are lighter than the old models, from 25 to 35 kilograms or roughly 55 to 77 pounds, depending on which Boxster model. Adding lightness, as any racer will tell you, improves every aspect of performance: cornering, braking and acceleration foremost among them.
The new Boxster is also longer, lower and wider. Specifically, the wheelbase is 60 millimeters longer, the front track is 40 millimeters wider and the rear track is up 18 millimeters. The new Boxster is also 13 millimeters lower than the 2012 model. The center of gravity is lower and chassis stiffness is up 40 percent.
Collectively, those dimensions have implications on three critical fronts: handling is improved by the wider, lower stance, and so is the appearance, and the lengthened wheelbase makes the cockpit habitable for tall individuals, which was not always the case.
Always an attractive car, the Boxster is now downright sexy and finished in Aqua Blue Metallic over an interior of agate/pebble grey leather, our test Boxster S was just stunning. Put simply, it turned heads everywhere we went.
Being that it was the Boxster S, the test car had the 3.4-liter flat six engine, which produces 315 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. EPA fuel mileage is 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway. Mated to the optional seven-speed PDK transmission, Porsche says the Boxster S uses 14.9 percent less fuel than the old model. Zero to 100 kilometers per hour takes just 4.8 seconds, with top speed an impressive 279 Km/h.
This might sound like heresy to sports-car aficionados, but the PDK gearbox, a $3,200 option, renders the manual gearbox obsolete, in my opinion. Porsche has significantly upgraded the PDK to be much more responsive to driver inputs on the throttle and brakes. And the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters work very, very well for spirited driving up and down through the gearbox.
The interior of the Boxster S will be instantly familiar to anyone who has spent much time in any Porsche model. The key goes to the left, the dashboard features three gauge bezels, the biggest being in the center for the tachometer. The seats are firm, but comfortable. And, as previously noted, the extra legroom is a huge upgrade. Porsche also earns high marks for offering front and rear storage compartments in the Boxster that provide ample room for a weekend’s worth of clothing if you and your significant other want to get away.
As you would expect, the Boxster S has a whole host of sophisticated electronics designed to enhance the car’s performance. There isn’t the space to explain, or even list, all the doodads and gizmos here, but they function harmoniously.
And that brings us neatly to the bottom line: Driving the 2013 Porsche Boxster S at speed is an experience that can only be described as exhilarating. It is a rush to drive this car. With the top down on a nice fall afternoon, it is the perfect cure for boredom and torpor.
This car, driven properly, or anywhere near close to it, will make you feel alive, or at least more alive. It’s that good. The engine noise, the sureness of the steering and the instantaneous response of driver inputs add up to an experience that you simply can’t duplicate elsewhere for the price.
Speaking of which, the base price for a Boxster S is an incredibly reasonable $62,100. Be careful, though: It easy to go nuts with options, which is why our tester cost an eye-popping $88,585. Still when you consider a “base” 911 Carrera Cabriolet S starts at $110,000 making the Boxster S look even more like the screaming deal that it is.
The Porsche Boxster S is unapologetically and unabashedly a pure sports car, executed without compromise. And for that, we can be very glad.
VEHICLE TYPE: Two-passenger, roadster, rear-wheel drive.
ENGINE: 3.4-liter flat six-cylinder, 315 horsepower 265 pound-feet of torque.
TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed PDK automatic.
WHEELBASE: 97.4 inches.
OVERALL LENGTH: 172.2 inches.
CURB WEIGHT: 2,904 pounds.
EPA MILEAGE RATING: 21 city, 30 highway.