Porsche’s latest Boxster S is demonstrably faster than the car it replaces, shaving some 12 seconds off the last car’s Nürburgring lap time. Faster is one thing, but is the new Boxster S actually better than the car it replaces?
Evo’s Chris Harris says yes, and calls the latest Boxster S a car that “a man could buy.” Many of us at Motor Authority are indeed men, and none of us would turn down a Boxster S, of any generation, parked in our garages. Harris may be able to flog a car around a racetrack, but we fail to see how perpetuating stereotypes is a good thing.
The latest generation of Boxster S is longer, wider, lower and lighter than the car it replaces, all of which add up to better and more predictable handling. That’s not to say the new roadster is perfect, and Harris does a good job of pointing out the Porsche’s flaws.
First, there’s the electric power steering, which has already been panned by numerous media outlets. As Harris points out, it’s a fuel-saving measure that’s here to stay, so complaining about it is futile. On the plus side, it’s even more precise than the hydraulic steering it replaces, even if it doesn’t offer up the same level of communication.
Porsche also seems to be under pressure to build cars for its least talented customers. Harris notices that Porsche’s Stability Management program can’t be fully defeated, even if it does allow for some dramatic, tail-out cornering. That’s probably a good thing on the street, but drivers who track their Boxsters may feel otherwise.
Worse, the brake pedal is positioned too far away from the gas, which discourages heel-toe driving on cars with manual transmissions, but likely reduces the chance of a driver mistaking the gas for the brake.
Then there’s the electronic parking brake, which replaces the former handbrake lever: we’re sure it always sets the brake at the right tension, but it no longer allows drivers to coax the rear out in corners with the handbrake.
Sadly, the “safety” improvements on the new Boxster S will surely find their way into other sports cars as well. While changes like this may produce a safer car for the masses, they also eliminate some of the reasons for buying a sports car in the first place.