2007 Porsche Boxster S

You know what I'd do if I owned a 2007 Porsche Boxster? I'd find someone with a 2006 Boxster, and I'd pull up next to him and say, "Excuse me, but what's it like to have only 240 horsepower? I have 245 horsepower, see, so I'm curious how the other half lives." That's right, the revised Boxster has five more horsepower than it did before. So a 2007 model would totally dust a 2006, unless the '07 had its air-conditioning running. Or the older car had racing stripes. (I hear racing stripes are good for five horsepower, minimum.)

Let me tell you, when you step on the gas, you feel those extra ponies right away. At least I do. But then, my ass is so finely calibrated that I work part-time as a dynamometer. For those of you who can't use your backsides to detect seismic activity in Southeast Asia, you probably won't know the difference.

The Boxster S gets a more robust bump, up from 280 to 295 horses. At this point you might ask, "Doesn't that mean that the Boxster now has the exact same engine choices as the Cayman?" That is affirmative. And yes, the Cayman still costs more than its droptop sibling. I'm tempted to visit a Porsche dealership just to hear a salesman explain that incongruity. "Well, with the Boxster you can put the top down and enjoy the sunshine. But if you pay just a bit more money, you could have the Cayman and not enjoy the sunshine."

The argument, I suppose, is that the Cayman is more hard-core than the Boxster. But after spending two days flogging a Boxster on Tennessee and North Carolina's Tail of the Dragon highway (motto: "318 curves in eleven miles"), I can assure you that the Boxster is pretty hard-core in its own right. If you think the Boxster's fabric roof marks it as some kind of fluffy poseur car, try exploring its limits on a public road--and get back to me when you've regained your ability to speak in complete sentences. Perhaps 245 hp doesn't sound like a mental amount, but it's more than enough to keep a smile on your face.

The pre-2007 Boxster was a great car, and now it's just a little bit better. If, in a couple of years, Porsche decides to give it another five horsepower, I'll be happy to drive it again.

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