2003 All-Star Sports Car: Porsche Boxster / Boxster S
Bishop Joseph Hall died in 1656, but his assertion that "Perfection is the child of Time" could have been written as a tribute to the Porsche Boxster. We have always held this enchanter in sky-high regard and gave it our Automobile of the Year accolade in 1998, but it keeps getting better, thanks to Porsche's ability to hone and polish. Evolution being the name of the game, the 225-horsepower Boxster and the 258-horsepower Boxster S combine subtle styling tweaks with a little more muscle and a slightly more practical interior. You want long-haul practicality? The Boxster provides some 25 percent more luggage space than a Bentley Azure. Porsche's racing pedigree, combined with experience gleaned during zillions of high-speed road miles, explains why the Boxster is such a paragon. You feel you're part of the car rather than an operative who has been inserted to push pedals and shift gears. Above all, it inspires the confidence that makes you feel you're a better driver. Changes for 2003 include the provision of a cup holder. That's not insignificant, because the Boxster is civilized enough to be enjoyed at a gentle pace, top down and admiring the scenery. But its natural habitat is a challenging, rewarding road where corners, straights, and switchbacks confirm its brilliance.