Read the updated first look review of the Porsche Boxster and watch all our car launch videos from the Geneva Motor Show 2012.
Porsche has announced the details of a new Boxster roadster, the third generation of its smaller open-top sports car. Available in standard Boxster and more powerful Boxster S guises, it promises to be better to drive and up to 15% more efficient.
Evolutionary Porsche styling
Porsche generally favours an evolutionary approach to vehicle styling. In fact, it has used just that word to describe the look of the 2012 Boxster, which makes its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2012.
However, it shouldn’t be difficult to spot the newer car – it’s strikingly different to the current Boxster it replaces. Significantly larger wheels are paired with sharper lines to give a more sporting look, in contrast to the softer edges of its predecessor. The 2012 Boxster carries more than a hint of Porsche’s most recent Carrera GT supercar.
Specific changes include shorter front and rear overhangs, a windscreen that’s shifted further forward and a new soft-top design that does without any kind of cover when it’s stowed. This presumably saves costs, but has been executed very neatly.
The interior now offers more space for driver and passenger, plus a centre console design directly inspired by the Carrera GT.
Boxster chassis update
Whether the car is all-new under the skin is a slightly more complicated question.
Porsche is refusing to be drawn on the subject, instead stating that the chassis is completely revised. That said, the track (the width between the wheels across the car) is wider, the wheelbase increased, and it now features electro-mechanical power steering instead of the previous hydraulic assistance.
Electro-mechanical steering is currently being adopted right across the automotive industry. A similar system has just debuted on the latest 911, which helps it use less fuel.
310bhp for Boxster S
The new Boxster is powered exclusively by six-cylinder petrol engines, in the marque’s preferred boxer configuration.
The regular car gets a new 261bhp 2.7-litre unit – smaller but 10bhp more powerful – while the Boxster S is fitted with a 310bhp 3.4-litre unit. This is the same capacity, but with 5bhp more. Gearbox choice is a six-speed manual as standard, with Porsche’s high-performance twin-clutch PDK automatic as an option.
The PDK typically allows Porsche’s cars to accelerate faster and use less fuel – although at this stage the only confirmed statistics for are for PDK-equipped cars, so we can’t tell you quite what the difference is yet. Still, claimed fuel economy of 36.7mpg for the Boxster and 35.6mpg for the Boxster S is impressive for a sports car, especially considering the latter is said to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.0 seconds.
Prices from £37,589, on sale April 2012
The standard Boxster will cost from £37,589 when it goes on sale in the UK this April, with the Boxster S starting at £45,384.
Standard equipment on the entry-level car includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Alcantara interior, start-stop, remote control roof operation, and a touchscreen stereo with MP3 interface.
The Boxster S adds 19-inch wheels and xenon headlights. Both cars come with a complimentary driving course at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone, to help new owners explore the limits of their car in safety.