Inspired by recent great reviews of the Porsche 981 Boxter S and Cayman S models I seriously considered buying one.
However I couldn’t justify the cost of buying a new one given our punitive tax system meant the same car seemed to almost cost twice as much as the US. And let’s not forget the price of options on a new car!
Furthermore, I wanted a Porsche with the more tactile mechanical steering.
I considered buying a used 911 (997) too but I could not justify the extra expense of having the 2 smaller additional seats. It was cheaper to buy a later model Boxter S AND keep my late model prestige sedan as a second car than just have the one (still used) 911.
So I tracked down a barely used 987.2 Boxter S (the last of the old shape model) which included a handy GPS equipped touchscreen, bluetooth and iPod connector like the new 981 and had all the important performance fruit (PDK, sports chrono package).
The 987.2 Boxter S only has 4 kw less than the new 981 Boxter S, and with PDK and sports chrono easily does the 0-100km run in a claimed 5 seconds flat.
Yes I know, a few performance hatches and sedans can arguably match such claims.
However in truth, Porsche makes claims conservatively and the car feels a lot faster than 5s particularly in the manic sports plus mode (with the sports chrono package), more like a mid-4 second car. A base 911 (997) that I drove didn’t feel any quicker.
Whilst I originally wanted a manual car (overlooking the older tiptronic equipped cars) I was genuinely impressed with the PDK. So much so that it sold me on the car on the spot. Whilst a manual Boxter S would arguably be more fun, the PDK shifts with predictive lightning speed and definitively makes a quicker performance car.
With all the performance enhancements and the larger S motor, the 987.2 PDK equipped Boxter genuinely feels like a mid engined junior super car (and yes I have driven a few including Ferraris and Lamborghini’s).
Whilst the Boxter S does not have the raw sound of a Ferrari (though it still sounds great) or have the brutality of a Lamborghini (which naturally cost a lot more), I feel it gives you 90 percent of the excitement. It also arguably feels more agile and is definitely lighter than a lot of “full strength” supercars.
Add to the mix the fact that it’s a properly designed performance convertible that is a delight to drive in the sun and I can’t think of any other cars that are as fun for the price.