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Expert opinion

According to received wisdom, the humble Porsche Boxster lives somewhat in the shadow of its bigger brother, the 911. It’s too slow, too effete, too clinical, say its detractors. What they don’t tell you is that the 987, the second-generation Boxster, is beautifully balanced – light, direct, poised and agile in a way that the 911 never could be. Thank the mid-engined configuration for that; there’s no sense of an ungainly mass slung out behind the rear axle here.

The Boxster is plenty fast enough, though. True, the base model (whether an early 2.7 or later 2.9) would struggle to lose a well-driven BMW 320d, but keep the revvy flat-six in its powerband and it’s no slouch. The more powerful S models are much quicker, too.

It also shares that delicious sense of mechanical connection that you get with all good Porsches – particularly the 911 – every input, whether on the throttle, brakes, steering or gearshift makes you feel like you are part of the machine. That’s unusual even in dedicated sports cars, and a sensation to savour.

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