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Porsche Boxster S in the super test: the open mid-engine 911

Rossen Gargolov
Porsche Boxster S in the super test
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E a good origin does not necessarily guarantee high recognition - apparently especially not among the top ten thousand. Because what was the use of the Boxster with the surname Porsche in the past that it was so ambitious and developed so magnificently? It was his parents' house that always denied him access to the upper class. Sure, the older brother, the 911, shouldn't be damaged in its further development; he has always been considered inviolable. So value was always placed on sufficient distance between the two dissimilar Porsches, both technically and in terms of provenance.

As is well known, the Boxster was built in Finland at the beginning of its career. It is not surprising, then, that the younger scion was never accorded equal reverence in higher society. Incidentally, the strongest rejection of the Boxster can be found precisely where the Porsche family has traditionally been most conspired: in the Elfer circles. That speaks volumes. But now the time seems to be ripe for the Boxster to be freed from its forced secondary status. The hostility from outside has simply become too great for Porsche to be able to afford not to raise all the available treasures associated with the modern, technically promising and compactly packaged mid-engine concept called the Boxster.

Entry-level Porsche with sufficient equipment

This is how the Porsche two-seater, presented for the first time in 1996, should look at the latest As of the 2012 model year, we are obliged to be able to design a Boxster vita of similar beauty in addition to the grandiose 911 story. One that also and especially in the circles of committed 911 fans ensures high recognition. Because with all due respect to the 911, which has been shaped by five decades of development and great tradition: the little Porsche has what it takes - especially now. The characteristic appearance of the Porsche Boxster S and thus the recognition value are ultimately just as high as the 911. And anyone who studies the far-reaching technical changes will feel that Porsche is now very serious about its entry-level athlete.

New development instead of a simple facelift

Much more elongated than before, with a longer wheelbase,wider track, larger wheels and optical borrowings from the super sports car Carrera GT, the two-seater looks more grown-up, stockier - and as far as the lines are concerned: also significantly more erotic. It is therefore more than just a facelift that the Porsche Boxster S had to endure: It was completely renovated for the first time in its 16-year era. This has not only changed the proportions permanently. The wheelbase grew by 60 millimeters, the front track by 40 and rear by 18 millimeters. The windshield has been moved forward by 100 millimeters and has also become flatter, reducing the overall height by 13 millimeters. We bow to the Boxster designers for the fact that the sum of the changes is not accompanied by a significant increase in size - as is usual elsewhere - especially since the space efficiency of the two-seater, which conveniently comes with two trunks, has been significantly improved overall.

Perceived halving of the sound level

This not only applies to the now attractive and ergonomically perfectly arranged cockpit, but also to the new, itself stretched hood that spans the interior and folds up in an ingenious nine-second act in the back of the crew at the push of a button. Thanks to the front magnesium roof frame, it can now do without an additional cover.
Incidentally, the interior noise has been reduced from around 75 to 71 decibels at 100 km /h compared to its predecessor thanks to a new soft top material including upholstery fleece. This corresponds - felt - to halving the sound level. Anyone who, in view of the optimizations carried out in all areas, expects that the weight spiral has also been automatically set in motion will be pleasantly disappointed.

Lightweight at 1,405 kilograms

The new Boxster can claim to be one of the first to move down in terms of weight rather than upwards after the model change. And this despite the unanimous reason given by the manufacturers to have to incorporate innovations that are relevant to safety and thus weight-increasing. At Porsche, the extra pound, which is responsible for higher torsional rigidity, is around 20 kilograms. Nevertheless, the new, much more compact and stocky Porsche Boxster S weighs fewer kilograms than its predecessor. From what, according to Porsche, up to 35 kilograms, which it is said to have lost net compared to its predecessor, has turned into minus 42 kilograms in the case of the current Supertest model. The type that last raced at sport auto was measured at 1,447 kilograms, while the new Porsche Boxster S, which, according to Porsche, has “more power from the middle”, is recorded at 1,405 kilograms(Click here for Porsche Boxster S in the 2009 Supertest ).

Long list of options for the Porsche Boxster S

As can be seen from the test car price of just over 94,000 euros at the time is, the 2009 candidate brought almost everything (also relevant in terms of weight) goodies that the Porsche surcharge list has to offer. That cannot diminish the performance of the new Porsche Boxster S in terms of weight loss, because the current base price of 59,120 euros adds up to a pretty penny for which a veritable compact sports car could be bought elsewhere. The surcharge of just under 25,000 euros includes - good to know - six items that have a direct influence on the driving dynamics. But before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let's briefly go back to the basic work. The body has been completely redesigned. The aluminum /steel construction only uses the heavier steel where it is indispensable due to its strength and toughness.

Porsche Boxster S shows smooth driving behavior

Over 46 percent of the new bodyshell are made of aluminum, for example the front and rear sections as well as the floor panel, the doors and the two trunk lids. Like the front roof rack of the fabric hood, the cockpit rack is made of extremely light magnesium die-cast. Despite the reduction in the amount of material used, significantly higher rigidity values ​​have been achieved thanks to the intelligent material mix. This is easy to understand in practice: no bump, no transverse joint and no pothole, no matter how nasty, manage to shake the body, decorated with beguiling curves, to its foundations or even to make the window frame tremble. Another plus: The center of gravity of the new Porsche Boxster S is six millimeters lower, which basically benefits the driving dynamics talents.

More sensitive Chassis set-up

The high stability of the chassis creates a perfect basis for a driving behavior that no longer forces any lazy compromises in terms of comfort or agility. The new basic geometry - longer wheelbase, wider track, lower roll center - plays a decisive role in this ideal situation. As a generally calming factor, it causes a noticeably more secure straight line stability and at the same time a smoother rolling of the 20-inch wheels in this case. For this noble purpose, the front axle has also been completely redesigned with weight-optimized lightweight struts in McPherson design. The suspension struts are more compact and therefore stiffer and more precise in maintaining the camber. A lighter support bearing for the strut separates theForce introduction from the damper and auxiliary spring, thus enabling a more sensitive chassis tuning. The improved anti-dive property prevents the front end of the car from dipping too deeply when braking, which is ultimately supposed to boost braking performance. The results in this area speak for themselves: after an emergency stop from 100 km /h, the new Porsche Boxster S comes to a standstill after just 33.6 meters, which corresponds to an average deceleration rate of 11.5 m /s².

Electromechanical steering ensures high agility

The measures to calm the temperament are in a certain way counteracted in another area - but by no means With a bad outcome: The new electromechanical steering, borrowed from the Carrera, overlays the peaceful character of the new Porsche Boxster S insofar as it also gives it extremely high levels of agility. In any case, the improved results in the slalom and evasion test are first, sure proof of this. The fact that it is largely insensitive to external influences transmitted by the front wheels is considered to be assured, up to the highest speeds and also in undulating curves. Nonetheless, the steering, which appeared at low speed with active reset, also drew slight criticism - precisely in the criterion in which Porsche itself sees the greatest advantage: The feedback from the electromechanical component from one or the other driver was not transparent enough because it is considered to run too smoothly.

Active damper system PASM for 1,666 euros surcharge

With the ' Sawing “a steering wheel that is directly influenced by the road is definitely a thing of the past with this steering system. One can comfort oneself with the fact that the new component helps reduce fuel consumption by 0.1 liters /100 kilometers because - according to Porsche - it does not consume any energy when driving straight ahead. In other areas, the forced arrangement with the sensitively acting sensors is nothing but joy: the optional, active PASM damper system (surcharge: 1,666 euros) with four additional vertical sensors on the front and rear wheels ensures that a faster and better reacting to the situation Configuring the damper is achieved.

Measurably increased agility in sport mode

The separation between 'normal' and 'sport' is in its sharpness logical and understandable. As pleasantly sporty, firm and direct as the suspension and roll comfort is in the normal level (apart from the occasional rocking), the crew of the Porsche Boxster S is clearly signaled in the 'Sport' setting what this is about : Namely not just (as before) for one by nothingjustified, flat increase in the subjective driving experience through annoying damper hardness, but a measurable increase in agility at the limit. The good thing about it: The two-man crew is not exposed to unpleasant hardships even with this tighter chassis variant.

The Porsche Boxster S is no pulling miracle

Lying on the road without getting too tight The Porsche Boxster S loves to tremble or to squirm, in other words: its crew more than ever to cheat the competition at the right opportunity - including a Carrera that just happens to appear. Admittedly, this is not easy on the autobahn, because with 315 naturally aspirated engine horsepower, the disgrace of partial inferiority cannot be ruled out in the vicinity of large, powerful turbo diesels - especially in contact with new 911s. Because the new Porsche Boxster S is not a pull-through miracle.

In a duel with its predecessor

Although Nominally stronger by five HP and also better conditioned in terms of weight, the corresponding values ​​are in some cases significantly below those of the previous model, which was also equipped with the PDK transmission. The torque in the range between 80 and 160 km /h in sixth gear is currently estimated at 20.3 seconds. The previous Porsche Boxster S carried out the same exercise in 18.2 seconds - also in Hockenheim, with the same crew and even at slightly higher outside temperatures. But with smaller 19-inch wheels. What the old man made up for in the sprint to 100 km /h (0.2 seconds), the new Porsche Boxster S catches up with a margin of 0.4 seconds up to 200 km /h. The differences are certainly not the world, but the bottom line is a possible indication that the new generation of engines with gasoline direct injection, thermal management, electrical system recuperation and auto-start-stop function may have to warm up a bit after all.

Porsche Boxster S ensures fireworks

If you ignore the figures for the longitudinal dynamics and let the 3.4-liter boxer work exactly as it is comfortable according to its naturally aspirated engine character, then it burns the Porsche Boxster S sets off fireworks that have never been seen in this displacement class. As difficult as it is to accept this as a friend of the manual Porsche six-speed gearbox: In combination with the heavier seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, the boxer cuts another breach in the type of power delivery and smooth running that only types of his stature and design can offer in this quality bring about. The extremely silky run across the entire rev range and its fine, direct response, perfectly channeled by the automated gearbox, have an addicting effect.

Wonderful babbling

But honestly: The big one, supported by ambitious performance and wonderful acousticsThe entertainment program only starts at around 4,500 rpm - before that, the Porsche Boxster S plays the role of the splendid man who is sensible in every respect and strongly committed to efficiency, and whose specifications even include “sailing” as a compulsory program. This driving state has recently been understood to mean non-powered rolling in top gear, in which the engine is idling. And that is only ended when the driver again demands the active role by accelerating, braking or manually shifting gears. Knowing the wonderful babbling that the six-cylinder produces in the 'Sport' configuration and /or with the valve exhaust open in overrun mode, sailing in the Porsche Boxster S remains a seldom initiated interlude.

Nice, practical, sensible and fast

Good to have - the Briton would say and in his very own pragmatism also point out that it is in view of the built-in savings potential is theoretically possible to reduce the average consumption of the Porsche Boxster S to 7.7 liters (factory specification). Unfortunately, we were just as unsuccessful in doing this as we were in fulfilling the order from Porsche to race around the Nordschleife in 7.58 minutes. We allowed ourselves - with all our ambition - six seconds more time for the lap and would like to point out that we are on this extra -Time because of its entertainment value and wonderful dynamism. So beautiful, so practical, so sensible - and so fast: who knows a similarly attractive package? Please let him get in touch.

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