As a professional auto reviewer, you don’t get many shots at a Porsche, so when one is offered up, you jump at the chance. I feel fortunate to have been able to spend a week with the 2015 Boxster S Convertible, an exciting and very comfortable roadster.
Porsche redesigned the Boxster in 2013 and did a great job making it more like the popular 911. This new version is longer, wider, and lower. In looking at other reviews on the Boxster, some go as far as calling it a mini 911, which is a compliment considering the engineering and styling of the 911.
Under the hood is a deep storage well that will accommodate luggage, and like most cars, has a trunk in rear, which is not as deep, but still offers up quite a bit of room. The Boxster is a mid-engine car and that in itself is a huge benefit. When you get that much weight dead in the center of a car, the stability and handling of the car is amazing. It is even more pronounced in convertibles, which are often unstable due to the lack of support from the top.
Speaking of engine, my review vehicle had the larger of two available engines, the 3.4-liter 6-cylinder that produces 315-horses. The way the Boxster is engineered, I would have bet money that it was over 400. Attached to the engine is a 7-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted from steering wheel paddles. Even when not shifting it yourself, I love the feel of the transmission, every change is full of determination.
I have always been a fan of Porsche interiors. The blue leather seats are comfortable and plush. The contour of the seats is not overdone like many sports cars, yet they hold you in place when you are taking the tightest of curves. I was surprised by how much legroom and headroom the Boxster S has. This was one of the results of the big redesign in 2013. People over 6-feet tall will be comfortable in the Boxster.
The dash is well done with a huge tachometer that sits right in the middle, and reminded me of the configuration of the Panamera I reviewed a few years ago. The center console allows you to go into sport mode, or sport-plus mode. You can change the sound of the exhaust, and you can disable the stupid stop/start system that so many cars have these days. You can raise or lower the spoiler on the console too, but if down, the spoiler will raise itself when the Boxster reaches 75 miles per hour. The driver information center is easy to operate and will even give you G-force measurements.
My review vehicle is Agate Grey, which is a darker shade of grey. Interestingly, this one has a blue convertible top, and Yachting Blue interior. It did not sound like it would all go together, but it worked amazingly well. It is a striking car on the exterior, with 19” wheels and optional colored Porsche-crest center caps.
The convertible top operation is fully powered with the push of a button. The top raises and lowers in 9 seconds, and you can operate it up to speeds of 31-miles per hour. It is amazingly tight too, no hint of wind noise or water leaks. There are dual roll bars behind the seats that are very good looking as well as functional.
As you would expect, the Boxster S is very well equipped. It has a number of options, most notable:
- PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) dual-clutch transmission runs $3200. A double clutch arrangement provides an alternating, non-positive connection between the two half-gearboxes and the engine by means of two separate drive shafts. The flow of power from the engine is transmitted through one half gearbox and one clutch at a time, while the next gear is preselected in the second half gearbox. During a gear change, one clutch simply opens and the other closes at the same time, enabling gear changes to take place within milliseconds and thus offering significant performance advantages over a manual transmission, and it improves highway fuel economy
- Sport Chrono Package is $2370 and includes Dynamic Gearbox Mounts, a performance display, a digital and analog stopwatch and the Sport Plus button. The PDK utilizes the "Racetrack" shift strategy when the Sport Plus button is pressed. Here, the lowest possible gear is used, downshifting under braking happens as of about 4000 rpm using the quickest possible shift times, best possible shift points and torque stall to maximize performance. The Sport Chrono Package also incorporates a Launch Control feature, reducing 0-60 mph acceleration times by about 0.2 seconds compared to when it is not used. The Dynamic Gearbox Mounts are electronically controlled and use a fluid with magnetic properties in interaction with an electrically generated field to minimize the oscillations and vibrations of the drivetrain and adapt their stiffness and damping characteristics to changes in driving style and road surface conditions.
- Porsche Torque Vectoring is $1300 and increases dynamic performance and stability by varying torque distribution to the rear wheels. It includes a mechanically locking rear differential. When the car is driven assertively into a corner, moderate brake pressure is applied to the inside rear wheel. An additional rotational pulse is thus applied to the vehicles vertical axis in the direction of the turn, promoting a sharper turn in.
- Sport Exhaust is my favorite option and runs $2825 and is equipped with modified main silencers for a more sporty exhaust note and specially designed twin-tube tailpipes in stainless steel. This enhances the engine sound via the Sport Exhaust button and enabled automatically when Sport or Sport Plus Mode is selected.
- Sport Suspension is $1235 and includes more stiffly tuned springs and dampers, adapted anti-roll bars and reduces the ride height by 20 millimeters.
Like all Porsches, the driving, handling, and cornering of this car is incredible. It is a thrill every time you get behind the 3-spoke steering wheel. The Boxster S is priced very well at MSRP and is a bargain for what you get.
What I liked most: Performance, driving experience, and overall looks.
What I would change: Surprised navigation system is not standard.
MSRP: Base price $62,100. As equipped $82,655.
Fuel Economy: 21 City/30 highway/24 combined, doing better on the highway.
Odometer reading when tested: 405 miles.
Towing Capacity: N/A
2015 Boxster S in a few words: Definitely a car to aspire to, a real driver’s machine.
Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance.
Car Pro Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars.
Manufacturer’s website: Porsche