Test Drive: 2012 Porsche Boxster

?Porsche Boxster serves up four 2012 models?

The new 2012 Porsche Boxster is available in a choice of four flavors: Boxster; Boxster S; Boxster S Black Edition; and the Boxster Spyder.

The base powerplant for the Boxster is a 2.9-liter flat-opposed six-cylinder that delivers 255 horsepower, while the Boxster S is powered by a 3.4-liter flat-opposed six-cylinder that cranks out 310 horsepower, benefiting from Direct Fuel injection. Both the Boxster S Black Edition and Boxster Spyder also draw their motive force from a 3.4-liter flat-opposed six cylinder. The Boxster Black Edition and Boxster Spyder make 320 horses while generating more torque (273 pound feet).

Both the 2.9 and 3.4-liter engines mate to either a 6-speed manual gearbox, or a 7-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK for short), Porsche?s revolutionary double-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Both engines meet ULEV emission standards in the U.S. and EU5 in Europe. When equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Plus Package with Launch Control, the Boxster is capable of traveling from 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds (5.1 seconds without the Sport Chrono Plus Package).

There is a base Sport Chrono Package as well as the Plus version, which is available exclusively in combination with Porsche?s optional PCM communication management, offering an additional performance indicator with a individual memory function ? ideally suited for on track race scenarios. A very worthwhile standard feature is the Start-Off Assistant which prevents the car from rolling either forward or backward on a gradient, holding the car in position when the brake is released, allowing the driver to accelerate smoothly without the use of the parking brake.

All Boxster models share the same basic architectural dimensions except for height ? the Spyder version is lower than the other Boxster models. All are two-seat roadsters with aluminum front and rear luggage compartment lids, roll over protection, auto-extending/retracting rear spoiler, bow-type door handles and underbody paneling. Brakes are cross-drilled and inner-vented, with optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes available.

Boxsters feature a soft top with an interior lining that raises and lowers at the push of a button, after manually releasing the headliner latch. An aluminum removable hardtop is available as an option.

The external appearance of the Boxster is clearly Porsche, with a low, sleek stance and curvaceous body panels that blend harmoniously in perfect proportion, with the top up or down.

The interior is no less appealing, with switchgear optimally placed for user friendliness. Materials are of high quality, with fit and finish superbly executed in true Teutonic fashion.


My test 2012 Porsche Boxster happened to be a base model with the 6-speed manual gearbox, finished outside in Speed Yellow with a Black top, and the interior executed in a combination of Black and Stone Grey, with Speed Yellow faced gauges and seat belts. The base sticker read $48,100 while options elevated the final tally to $ 58,745 before tax and license. Optional features and equipment included: the Convenience Package; the Infotainment Package with Sound Package Plus; front heated seats; 18-inch Boxster S II wheels; steering wheel center full color crest, front ventilated seats; Speed Yellow instrument faces and seat belts; Porsche embossed headrest crests; and Destination Charge.


SUMMARY:? Basically, the 2012 Porsche Boxster lineup is representative of a constant and continuing evolutionary process, with improvements, not only in looks, but in performance and efficiency as well. A full complement of standard safety features and equipment are further enhanced by optional systems.

Acceleration is gratifying, with outstanding braking qualities to offset the Boxster?s rapid forward progress. Handling characteristics are superb, with immediate response to driver input. Seating is both comfortable and supportive in virtually all driving scenarios.

For the 2012 model year, the Boxster now offers a SportDesign steering wheel, and the Porsche Stability Management button sports a new graphic. The Boxster is proof positive that a genuine sports car need not be Spartan to be effective. The Boxster Spyder is, of course the exception with it?s lack of air conditioning, cloth only manual top and strap interior door handles. Admittedly, there were some features on my test car that I would have been able to live without, particularly if racing competitively were on the agenda. This latest iteration Boxster provides sufficient interior space making it more pleasurable to drive. It is a car that is at home on the road or on the track. There is now, truly a Boxster in Porsche?s stable that should satisfy nearly everyone shopping within that market segment. Bottom-line, the basic or base level Porsche Boxster is basically amazing, while both S models and the Spyder example have longer legs through the gears.











More from Our Auto Expert