The Boxster opened up Porsche ownership to a whole new group of perspective buyers. The Boxster offers a mid engine, balanced chassis, and a simple design. Enough power and handling to more than separate it from the others in its class and to keep buyers perennially happy. It remains unmistakably a Porsche, and updates over the years have kept it at the cutting edge of two seat, open air roadsters. This is the purest expression of a drop top roadster to be found with its perfectly weighted steering, sharp handling, ample power, excellent grip, and sublime brakes. With all that, it surprises many to find just how comfortable of a ride the Boxster is able to deliver and even gas mileage is far from poor during normal driving. Though how long someone behind the wheel can maintain normal driving and not dipping into the Boxsters vast performance reserves is debatable.

There are two models of Boxster available, the base and S. The engine for the base is a 2.9 liter, 255Hp flat 6 cylinder engine. The S model raises the bar with a 3.4 liter, 310 HP flat 6. Both engines come mated to the slick shifting 6 speed manual, though a 7 speed Porsche PDK (a duel clutch automated manual) is available.

Bodystyle: Convertible
Engines: 2.9L flat-six, 3.4L flat-six
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Models: Boxster, Boxster S, Boxster Spyder

Ok, there are new steering wheels for 2010, but the big news is the arrival of the 2011 Boxster Spyder. Featuring 10 horsepower more than the Boxster S (for a total of 320 hp), a significant weight reduction, and a bodyshell optimized for driving topless, the Spyder truly is a worthy successor to the legendary 550.

All Boxsters are clean and lean, but the new Spyder — with its twin deck domes behind the two seats — really stands out. Don’t bother with the Spyder’s flimsy removable top; this one is meant for the open air only.

Not a dressy cockpit, perhaps, but the Boxster offers everything the driving enthusiast really needs: big gauges, a fat steering wheel, great seats, and a close-at-hand shifter. Navigation and iPod audio input are available.

When we put a Boxster up against three of its rivals in an MT comparo test, quickly it became clear we were dealing with one winner and three also-rans. The Porsche simply rules its arena — offering the class’s best suspension, a sweet and flexible six-cylinder engine, and excellent transmissions. For now, anyway, its competition simply can’t compete.

Side thorax air bags and side head curtains are standard — as are traction and stability control. Brakes a ventilated and cross-drilled for lasting stopping power. Rollover hoops are mounted behind the headrests.

Boxster: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway (manual), 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy (PDK)
Boxster S: 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (man), 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy (PDK)
Boxster Spyder: 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (man), 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy (PDK)

  • Jewel-like engines
  • Superstar handling
  • Near-perfect transmissions
  • Sports-car purity at its best

  • Price climbs fast with options
  • Not the dressiest cockpit in its class

Why twisting mountain roads were built

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  • Audi TT Roadster
  • BMW Z4
  • Nissan 370Z Roadster

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