Open Season: Porsche Boxster

If I had worn a hat, it would have been perfect. We're kicking off our PH 'Open Season' with Porsche's simplest offering and, after an (icy) afternoon blast around some of Surrey's quieter roads, an object lesson in how to make a damn fine sports car. And a reminder of how cold a fellow's head can get.

The current iteration of the Boxster has been around more or less unchanged (barring a mild refresh in 2009) for half a decade or so now, and it remains a shining example of how Porsche can sometimes get a car so bang on straight out of the box.

Everything it does just feels absolutely right, from the ideally balanced, weighted and positioned pedals, to the just-so gearbox, to steering that responds quickly but without seeming hyperactive.

But we all know that the Boxster is a fine car to drive; what really counts for the purposes of 'Open Season' is whether it's a decent soft-top. And you have to say that here the Boxster scores pretty highly.

One of the key benefits of open motoring is that you can hear engine notes that much better. Of course, this only works if said engine sounds good in the first place, but that's all right, because the Boxster does sound rather lovely.

The 2.9-litre flat six (this is hair-shirt Porsche - no posh 3.4-litre 'S' model here) is nothing spectacular in the power stakes - 255bhp and 214lb ft won't set your trousers on fire - but from around 4000rpm all the way to beyond 7000rpm the sceramy, creamy gurgle that emanates from the (optional sports) exhaust is genuinely intoxicating.

It's also quick enough to keep you interested, particularly if you're feeling sufficiently brave to switch off the Porsche Stability Management system. Our car also had the optional limited-slip diff fitted, which is a seriously worthwhile addition - you can really feel it doing its stuff as you accelerate out of slow corners.

If we have to pick a fault, the general view among the rest of the chaps in the office is that the heating doesn't win the battle convincingly enough against the worst excesses of the current cold snap.

But then engine isn't in the most appropriate place to warm the driver at high speeds. And compared with the personal 'Open Season' I endured at the tail-end of last winter in my unheated PH Fleet Caterham Seven, the Boxster's cabin might as well be heated by a blast furnace - so these things are all relative.

As fresh-air motoring experiences go overall, however, the Boxster is near-unimpeachable. It truly is a fine - and very PH - way to start our season of wintry open-top motoring. Now if you'll excuse me I have a bobble hat to buy...

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (114) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Cabal722 07 Dec 2010

    Last christmas we took our mx5 out after the bad snow with the top down and went for drive to Porthcawl. You should have seen peoples faces. Its amazing how many convertable drivers dont drop the top even in summer. Whats the point of that?

  • AV12 07 Dec 2010

    Is the 2.9 a better steer then? With media hype of "get the S", this throaty, highly strung gem is being missed due to badge kudos. A basic spec manual would be perfect.

    I want one.

    Edited by AV12 on Tuesday 7th December 09:32

  • edo 07 Dec 2010

    I could be wrong, but I thought I saw this car (or certainly one very like it) last Saturday in Putney being driven completely stupidly (showing off to a girl in the passenger seat)....

  • Garlick 07 Dec 2010

    edo said:
    I could be wrong, but I thought I saw this car (or certainly one very like it) last Saturday in Putney being driven completely stupidly (showing off to a girl in the passenger seat)....
    Might have been me....I always drive like that (joke). I was only in Putney area at about 10.30am though?

  • PunterCam 07 Dec 2010

    Great colour and wheels - probably the best looking boxter I've seen.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment