2013 Porsche Boxster
2013 Porsche Boxster, With better looks, more power, better gas mileage, and improved handling, the 2013 Porsche Boxster is the best luxury roadster you can buy. Yep, I said it: don’t bother with the BMW Z4 or the Mercedes-Benz SLK. This is the roadster you want.
The last Boxster, the 986, was a bit rough around the edges, and if we’re honest, a bit doughy-looking. It was noisy, the interior wasn’t all that nice, and while it still handled brilliantly, the charms of the Z4 and SLK were enough to make it a three-horse race. With the 981 Boxster, Porsche has pulled ahead, and by more than a nose.
Having just spent a day at the track, on the road, and on the autocross course with the 2013 Boxster S–PDK versions only, as we journalists can’t be trusted with manuals, apparently–I can confirm the 3.4-liter engine’s 315 horsepower rating feels conservative, and the 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds does too.
But the Boxster isn’t about straight-line performance–it’s about dynamics, and here, the 2013 model succeeds almost effortlessly. Well, it’s effortless for the driver, at least–the engineers behind the Porsche Torque Vectoring, the 40-percent stiffer yet lighter chassis, and electric power steering doubtlessly spent many a weekend and evening to deliver the coherent, refined, and capable package that’s available on dealer lots this summer starting from $49,500 for the base Boxster or $60,900 for the Boxster S.
Behind the wheel, the Boxster sings. Even the electric power steering doesn’t let the car down much–it’s a bit over-boosted for some tastes, though others will find it just right. On-center feel is very good, making it easy to track straight and true on the highway, while surface feel in mid-corner is surprisingly good, at least on par with the 2012 911, making it easy to approach the limits of the grippy, bespoke Pirelli P Zero tires without going over.
Speaking of the Pirelli tires, it’s worth noting that these aren’t your standard off-the-shelf P Zeros. In fact, they’re unique to the Boxster, designed from the carcass up to work with the Boxster’s suspension, power, and weight. They’re surprisingly grippy, heat-tolerant, and quiet on the road.
Turn in and the wider front track is immediately noticeable, with ample grip and almost no tendency to understeer, even with some of the electronic nannies on. Sport mode is fun, but Sport Plus mode is where it’s at if you like to play hard but keep a bit of a safety net. In this almost-no-nanny mode, the Boxster will let you trail brake, get power-on oversteer on corner exit, and even flick back and forth through a tight slalom without intervening. Go a bit too far, however, and the system reins you in, doing its best to keep the car headed forward and stable. (Washington Post)
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