I used to feel uncomfortable behind the wheel of a Boxster. Not the kind of uncomfortable behind the wheel you experience in a 1971 Ford Pinto because you know it will burst into flames if someone rear-ends you; but more like the kind of uncomfortable you feel when you’re riding in a hot pink, Barbie Edition Jeep Wrangler. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been an absolute fan of driving the Boxster; the balance of its chassis, predictable power delivery, and pinpoint steering has always been just what you’d expect from a car carrying the Porsche nameplate. But still, I’d be damned before I’d want someone I knew to actually see me piloting one — the wonderful traits named above were simply too masked by the inescapable aura of the Boxster’s feminine exterior styling; to be frank, it always looked like girl’s car regardless of trim level (save the Boxster Spyder). But dare I say, with the all-new 2013 model, Porsche may have finally banished the Boxster’s female-friendly figure.
The ground-up redesign of the Boxster has led to a much more exotic looking car. The front bumper has been shortened and the windshield has been moved forward, which create a profile that mimics those of automobiles closer to three times its price tag. Larger side intakes almost reminiscent of Carrera GT proportions further add to the masculinized styling, and a higher rear deck translates the cockpit-like feel inside to an aggressiveness that can be observed from all angles of the exterior. The layout of the instrumentation takes queues from the 911 and Panamera (which take theirs from the Carrera GT); an elevated center console and high-mounted shift lever add to the no-nonsense, race-inspired appearance. To round off the package, 991-like seats and high quality materials throughout make it the most expensive looking and feeling Boxster yet.
With horsepower increases of the Boxster and Boxster S only being +10 and +5 respectively (265hp and 315hp overall), Porsche has placed an emphasis on lightweight, high-strength materials to achieve the heightened performance that one would expect from a next-generation model. As a result, they’ve given the Boxster the lightest weight in its class, tipping the scales at only 2,888lbs. Both Boxster variants are available with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or an all new and improved 7-speed dual-clutch PDK unit — you’ll be faster to 60mph (5.8s vs. 5.5s Boxster, 5.1s vs. 4.8 Boxster S) and around a circuit with the PDK, but we all know there’s nothing like the feeling of rowing through the gears of a manual transmission. Also as expected are a host of improved driving aides, including a revamped Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, and the new Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) system, which improves steering response by braking the inside rear wheel when cornering.
The new Boxster starts at a very reasonable $50,450, but we’d recommend dropping a little extra dime for the $61,850 Boxster S — both of which are available in L.A. dealerships as of now.