Geneva Motor Show: Porsche Boxster


You did not need to be told what this car is – it could not be anything else. Visually, it is a gentle evolution of the familiar Boxster shape, although it is a little more curvy and has Carrera GT-style side scoops to give it a bit more character.

The big change for the bodywork is that it is now made out of aluminium to save weight, to the benefit of handling, performance and economy.

This focus on efficiency is carried on in the engine compartment. The new Boxster engine is described as "downsized", but a reduction of 200cc (under 10%) to 2.7 litres is hardly like Ford replacing the Focus 1.6 with the 1.0 Ecoboost.

The smaller engine is more powerful, producing 265bhp, which is slightly more than the first-generation Boxster S. The new Boxster S is up to 315bhp.

Fuel economy figures are excellent: 36.7 mpg for the Boxster and 35.3 mpg for the Boxster S, when fitted with the optional PDK dual-clutch gearbox.

Acceleration figures to 62 mph are 5.7 seconds for the Boxster and five seconds for the Boxster S, again when fitted with the PDK gearbox.

Although the chassis is all-new, it shares the same suspension layout as the previous model, with MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link design at the back. The steering, however, is a radical departure. It is electric instead of hydraulic and is deeply controversial.

Electric systems have a bad reputation for making the steering feel rather numb, but Porsche promises that the Boxster system is as good in this respect as a traditional setup.

We will get a chance to find out when the car is launched in the UK in late April, with a starting price of £37,580 for the Boxster and £45,384 for the Boxster S.

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