2012 Porsche Boxster: first details revealed

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 30, 2011

Sources in Zuffenhausen revealed that Porsche's new Boxster Mk3 will have more variations from the 911 as it will receive a series of technical revisions and will be fitted with a flat-four powerplant. The old management had approved the replacements for Boxster (981) and 911 (991) and so the two cars continue to share elements of their platform and componentry.

The 911 will still be the high-end model. It can deliver up to 600bhp and while it’s available with new six-cylinder boxer engines, the Boxster and Cayman will later be offered with downsized four-cylinder boxer units.

It should be clarified that the 981 is an all-new vehicle and wasn’t derived from the present model. The proportions of its cab-forward design are sportier but it is still easy to recognize as a Boxster.

The difference in its appearance is owed to the changes to the Boxster’s dimensions. The wheelbase is longer by 60mm, 37mm was added to the overall length, overall height is lower by 10mm, and the front overhang is reduced by 25mm. The legroom in this two-seater's cabin is bigger by 18mm.

It’s remarkable that the new model has improved features and is a bit bigger but the weight of the standard Boxster is lower by 15kgs to 1320 kilos and the Boxster S is reduced by 1340 kilos.

What makes the Boxster different from the 911 and its predecessor include the use of bespoke doors, tailormade lights, jazzier front and rear ends, restyled 18in wheels (19inchers for the S), a more steeply raked windscreen and a new version of the Boxster's distinctive side air intakes.

Its interior also gets a complete redesign. It features higher-class surfaces, and a relatively wide, rising console and centre stack. It also has been fitted with the large touchscreen monitor that is seen on the Panamera and Cayenne.

Porsche made sure to redesign completely the convertible top that is in the new version of the Boxster. The length of its window in the rear has been increased by as much 120 mm and this helps highlight the vehicle’s stylish, athletic, and extended form. While the company used the same basic technical concept as that of the prior Boxster model, it also made sure to have the new model have a top that is electronically controlled. The top can be closed or opened with just the push of the rocker switch that has been placed in its center console. This is however only possible for speeds as high as 50 km/h and not exceeding 9 seconds.

What this also means is that the speed of the new Boxster is unrivalled. This elongated convertible top is one of the inspirations of the new design especially with how it works together with a windscreen that has been moved forward and made flatter.

As such, the new design now goes all the way to the area near the rear wheels. Even with the top down, the differences from the previous model are highly apparent. Since the convertible top does not have a compartment lid anymore, it makes this new Boxster appear lighter. The interior is just as excellent. It is fitted with new sports seats that have been made lower by 5 mm. This gives the driver and the passenger in the front more legroom, an important feature especially for those long trips.

It also offers side support when the Boxster is driven which is great given that it offers a dynamic driving style. Unlike the previous models, its legroom is longer by 25 mm which results in more cabin space and greater comfort. However like its predecessors, the new Boxster’s steering wheel can be adjusted, though mechanically, in order to change the reach and height.

The longitudinal adjustment for instance can be lengthened by 10 mm. With this, driver can then adjust the seat accordingly. With regards to its interior architecture, it may sport a new design but the basic functions remain and are likely to be familiar to the driver. In addition to having a new design on the interior, the new Boxster makes use of clean lines inspired by the Carrera GT. The center console has a shape that slopes upward and since the elevated gear control is the same as that of racing, it enables the driver to experience being integrated.

This athletic feel is facilitated by the fact that the gear lever, or selector, is only a short distance away from the steering wheel. All of the important settings and functions that are needed to control the new Boxster are in the center console and are sorted logically.

The set-up of the buttons ensures that its operations of the different functions is instinctive and easy. Equipped inside is the CDR audio system that offers a 7-inch touchscreen. Since it has been placed higher, it allows for easy access to the different functions and improved visibility. Also on the console are the three round instruments that have been put on the rev counter, which itself is placed in a central position, reminding one of the Boxster model lines.

Making sure that the driver is in a familiar cockpit setting is the ignition lock that is on the left side of the steering wheel. Another new feature inside the new model is the VGA multi-function 4.6-inch display. Aside from being able to show the different significant on-board computer functions, the display screen also offers other features; an example of which is the map of the optional PCM with its navigation module.

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