2012 Geneva Motor Show: 2013 Porsche Boxster looks ready to face the competition

Article by Christian A., on March 7, 2012

Porsche AG is hastening the third generation of the Boxster roadster to set record sales and surpass the success of its rival, BMW AG's Z4. The revamped Boxster, which made its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, has greater horsepower, a retractable spoiler, and cleaner engines. Sales will start this summer in North America with a starting price of $49,500.

Porsche is hoping that these modifications will boost the appeal of the Boxster to buyers such as 35-year-old actuary Nick Griggs who chose to buy a used 911 last year. Griggs, who had once been the owner of a Lotus Elise sports car, said that his 911 built in 2001 is better than the Boxster.

He explained that it offers a combination of performance and practicality, and is a step higher to becoming a “grownup’s car.” In 1996, the Boxster was introduced and as this was aimed to appeal to a popular segment, its sales aided Porsche’s recovery.

To cut costs, Porsche heavily depended on the 911. Its sales are the poorest in the lineup but Porsche thinks that it boosts the sporty image of the brand. That’s why the automaker is offering larger and pricier models. A source said last October that it would be crucial in helping the luxury-car maker, which is owned jointly by Volkswagen AG and the Porsche SE holding company.

They delivered a record 140,000 vehicles this year. This combination of reduced weight and enhanced power cuts the acceleration time to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour by a tenth of a second to as low as 5.5 seconds.

This performance is even better than the 36,400-euro Z4, which reaches this speed in 6.9 seconds. Meanwhile, the SLK from Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz that’s priced at 38,675 euros needs 7 seconds to reach this speed. Porsche's two-seater convertible will start selling in Germany in April, beginning at 48,291 euros ($64,940), which is 2.8% higher than the previous version. The Boxster S has a starting price of 59,120 euros.

The new Porsche Boxster takes advantage of its mid-engine layout to enjoy awesome agility, which is furthered by its new chassis and the sports car’s splendid dimensions. For instance, the wheelbase of the new Boxster is around 60 mm longer than that of its predecessor – an attribute that makes the new sports car more stable during high-speed driving.

This stability is complemented by the fact that the new Boxster comes with a wider track (both front and rear axles) and larger tires. And the results are significant. For instance, an optimally equipped new Porsche Boxster S has completed a lap at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in just 7:58 minutes, or around 12 seconds faster than a comparably equipped predecessor. Customers could help their Boxster perform much better on the road by availing of certain options like the improved Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), dynamic engine suspension and 20-inch wheels.

There is another element that helps the new Porsche Boxster become more agile and more responsive to the driver’s command – its electromechanical power steering. This system passes feedback to the driver through the steering wheel while filtering out negative or unnecessary influences. Debuting in the new 911 Carrera generation, this electromechanical power steering boasts of better comfort, safety as well as fuel efficiency than its hydraulic power steering counterpart. In fact, the steering system could help reduce fuel consumption by at least 0.1 liter per 100 km.

Vehicle traction, meanwhile, is improved by the new Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), replacing the mechanical rear differential lock. PTV works with PASM to improve the sports car’s steering behavior and precision by selectively braking the inside rear wheel, thereby enhancing the Boxster’s cornering behavior. Moreover, PTV complements the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) to improve the Boxster’s dynamics and driving stability.

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