Deep Dive: 2012 Porsche Boxster

The Porsche 911 and Boxster/Cayman have become so closely related that it's difficult to tell where one model line ends and the other begins. That will begin to change when their replacements make their debut in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The new Boxster (981) and 911 (991) will again be under-the-skin siblings, but while the 911 remains the emphatically dynamic high-end model with a power output of up to 600 hp and with a strong emphasis on new six-cylinder boxer engines, the Boxster and Cayman will eventually shift toward four-cylinder power. In addition, last-minute changes to the design encouraged by the new bosses at Volkswagen are said to position the car more clearly. Positioning is indeed critical, as the new Boxster not only has to worry about the 911 above it, but also a whole family of smaller mid-engine cars below it, including one for Porsche.

The new 911 is expected to debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Show, with the Boxster appearing at Detroit in January 2012.The next Boxster is not an evolution of the current model but an all-new vehicle. Its cab-forward design looks quite different, and this theme was indeed essential for the much crisper and sportier proportions. The wheelbase will extend by nearly 2.5 inches, contributing to an overall growth in length of about 1.5 inches. The extended wheelbase helps to increase legroom and improve ride quality and directional stability. Despite the increase in size and a deluge of new equipment, weight will come down by 35 pounds or so, to about 2910 pounds for the Boxster and 2950 pounds for the Boxster S.

Cues that visually differentiate the Boxster from the 911 include different doors and lights, jazzier front and rear ends, restyled 18-inch wheels (19 inches for the S), a more steeply raked windshield, and, of course, rear side panels incorporating the necessary air intakes. The interior, too, has been redesigned from scratch, featuring a relatively wide center stack, higher-class surfaces and the large touchscreen monitor borrowed from the Panamera and new Cayenne. More upscale bits include keyless access and start, radar-based cruise control, and a Burmester sound system.

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Porsche is being held back by the stuffed suit traditionalists that refuse to unleash the Boxster. With its superior handling, a Boxster/Cayman with 911 power would be the new reigning king in Porsche's line up.
CGM, I agree with you, puting other than a Flat 6 on a 911 is blasphemy because its what makes it a 911, its got history. But I will have to disagree with you by replacing the flat6 to a 4cyl on the Boxster. The S2000 may have all of the HP but have you driven it below 6K RPM ??, its gutless and takes the fun out of it. Cylinders = class. Imagine puting a Turbocharged 4cyl 1,000HP (and yes its posible) motor into a Veyron; no one will, but whats worse is the power delivery is sure as hell not going to be the same as a W16. The Jaguar XJ220 learned that lesson the hard way and lost almost all of its buyers when Jag decided to put a V6TT on a supercar in place of the planned N/A V12 motor. Bottom line is, you can substitute HP, but not the torque-ban and power curve/delivery and not to mention smootheness.
@DayeAnd an 8 or 12 cylinder engine in a Porsche 911 isn't blasphemy?! Good lord, listen to yourself, man! Listen, it's 2010 and four cylinders aren't what they were thirty, twenty or even ten years ago. A four cylinder is light, can be made to rev high (see Honda S2000), and are compact in design, all traits that would suit a lithe Porsche Boxster. I welcome the change.
REALLY BEAUTIFUL!! I have the current Boxster S and that is exactly the design I want for the next one, a sportier and edgier evolution.Now come on Porsche, we've waited enough for better engines: give us a boxster GTS and Turbo. A Boxster/Cayman GTS with 3.6 carrera engine would be a great start. BUT NO 4-cylinders! Come on this is not a VW/Audi, this is a porsche, it must have a flat-6!!!I will never buy a $60-70k 4-cylinders, might as well get a TT for half price.The fact that rear suspension is multi-link is a huge clue that it will receive higher power engines.
A four-cylinder Boxster?! That's blasphemy, no matter how powerful it is. Porsche should put 8-cylinder and 12-cylinder engines into the 911 to distinguish it from the Boxster. Even a twin-turbo six-cylinder in the 911 and a single-turbo or normally aspirated six-cylinder in the Boxster would be better than a four-cylinder Boxster.

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