2001 Porsche Boxster
click image to enlarge

“My expectations before driving the Boxster were that is would be a little underpowered at 2.7 litres. This is absolutely not the case. The engine has tremendous flexibility…I have to say that I have raced many cars that don’t
have the grip or balance of this car…”

New features for 2001

The Boxster’s convertible top features a new cloth headliner that reduces interior noise and the front and rear trunks both have improved carpeting. All 2001 Porsches now feature new LED enterior orientation lights. One LED provides illumination of the cockpit and centre console, another LED lights the ignition lock , light switch and also the door latches.

A new option for 2001 is the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system. Essentially, PSM can help keep the Boxster going in the drivers’ intended direction. The PSM system replaces the previously-available traction control. First introduced on the 911 Carrera 4, PSM uses data from several sensor inputs to detect a loss of grip at the front or rear. PSM can reduce instability by applying braking to individual wheels and, if necessary, altering engine power.

Interior has new cupholders

Frank Allers
Frank AllersAutos is pleased to introduce well-known Canadian racing driver, Frank Allers – he’ll provide occasional test-drives of various
high-performance automobiles, beginning with the 2001 Porsche Boxster.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Frank began his career at the Jim Russell Racing
School in England, where he roomed with Danny Sullivan of F1 and C.A.R.T.
fame. He won 8 of 10 races in a Formula Ford. Frank began racing in
Canada in the Honda/Goodrich series in 1977. In ’78 he won the Canadian
National Championship at Westwood, B.C. and repeated his success the
following year at Mosport, Ont. In l985 Frank returned to Honda to capture
the B.C. region Honda/Michelin Series and in 1986 joined the Tom Johnston
Keen Engineering Formula Atlantic team.

In 1987 Frank raced for Town Centre Chevrolet and easily won the newly
introduced Player’s Challenge Series for GM IROC’s and Trans-Ams. He
repeated his success in 1988 and again in 1989, where, driving the
Motomaster Chevrolet Camaro, he took an unprecedented 3rd Player’s GM
Championship. The team also competed for the first time in two selected
Eastern races. Frank captured pole position in the GM race at the Canadian
Grand Prix in Montreal and had a 3rd place finish at the Molson Indy Toronto
GM race.

In 1989, Frank won the Canadian Formula Atlantic Championship, as well as
the GM series. Frank took home his 5th Player’s GM West Championship in
1992, a feat unmatched by any other driver in the series. Last year Frank
made an impressive debut in the Speedvision GT Championship series
where he raced a Chevrolet Corvette C5.

The interior is both spacious and comfortable and the power seats, in
partial leather, offer excellent support and comfort. The three instruments are clustered tightly together so that they are all easily visible through the new three spoke telescoping steering wheel. In the centre is a large analog tachometer flanked on the left by an analog speedo and on the right by a fuel/water temp./clock. The speedo also has a digital readout in its lower quadrant. While the passenger seat airbag takes up the space usually reserved for a glove box, there are still many smaller storage spaces. Besides the two door pockets, there is a dash cubicle, a right door sill bin, a lockable centre console bin and a shuttered storage tray at eye level, behind the seats. The interior look is set off very nicely by an aluminum trimmed shift knob and door latches.

The centre dash incorporates a stereo/cd player and a fully automatic
digital climate control system, as well as two (do we really need them) cupholders, directly above both systems. I couldn’t help thinking of the expensive damage that could result to both systems if you were to spill a beverage down the centre console.

The front trunk is very deep but rather short with a space saver tire and
the rear trunk — wide but fairly shallow. All in all though, the combined space is quite
generous for a sports car. Both front and rear trunk lids have electric releases — either
from inside or from the outside using the remote key feature.

The convertible top operation is simplicity itself. Pull one latch and a
one touch button does the rest. It can’t get much easier than this.
The Boxster also features two front airbags and two side impact airbags.

Driving Impressions

2001 Porsche Boxster
click image to enlarge

A weekend trip to Armstrong in the Interior of B.C. with my wife, gave
me ample opportunity to put the Boxster through its paces. Leaving Friday afternoon
found us in heavy stop and go traffic. Even though this is not the Boxster’s forte, the clutch effort and takeup were quite light. Once up to speed on the
freeway, the car and its occupants were much happier.

Soon we were into the big, power sapping mountains and fast bends of the
Coquihalla Highway. Despite an engine displacement of only 2.7 litres, the car pulled
up the biggest hills in 5th gear. The engine is virtually silent while cruising at 120 km/h.

When passing slower moving vehicles, I geared down to 3rd and let the engine do what it does best — rev freely to its 7200 RPM redline. When the throttle is opened, a wonderful intake sound is produced which changes pitch a couple of times through the long, flat power band. This is a function of the twin-resonance air induction system.

Friday afternoon weather was particularly nasty with very heavy rain all
the way to the Interior. The soft top never once let in a drop of rain and the lining
nicely muffled the pounding rain. The heating and ventilation system worked perfectly, unlike previous air-cooled Porsches.

One small gripe is that there is a lot of reflection in the windshield
from the dash-mounted speakers.

After a quick stop for dinner in Kamloops, it was back onto the highway,
then onto one of the twisty back roads leading into Armstrong. This gave me a chance to
probe the cars’ limits several times. I have to say that I have raced many cars that don’t
have the grip or balance of this car. Several times I came up to a 90 degree corner at the
end of a long straight, turned in very hard and applied full throttle well before the
apex, fully expecting to deal with some opposite lock. What actually happened, with PSM on, was that the impending slide was held in check with one brake automatically applied, then instead of full throttle, there is no reaction for a second before full throttle is
resumed. My first feeling was one of frustration because the car didn’t do what I wanted, like in the old days, when it was common to have a big flat spot with a carburator under cornering. However, one has to say that the PSM does exactly what it is intended to do and that is to keep the vehicle from getting out of shape. If a driver feels he or she has enough skill to do it better, the PSM system can be turned off.

2001 Porsche Boxster
click image to enlarge

Another great thing that jumps out at you is how good the brakes are. This has always been the case with Porsches, not only because of the size of the brakes, but
because of the rear weight bias which allows the rear brakes to do more work without
locking up, as is the case with most front engined cars. Combine that with the car’s
relatively light weight and you get some very short and sure-footed stops.
On the undulating back country roads the Boxster was a real pleasure.

The steering was quick and precise and the transmission nice and light, although I would
prefer a slightly shorter throw.

Although the car stays very poised under most conditions, when really
pushed hard, it would benefit from the sport chassis option, but bear in mind that this
would compromise ride quality.

2001 Porsche Boxster
click image to enlarge

Our return trip to Vancouver was a real pleasure. It was a beautiful
sunny day just made for top-down motoring. After stopping for lunch at Gray Monk Vineyards, overlooking Lake Okanagan, we headed up the Okanagan connector highway. High in the mountains near the summit, I realized just how much more you see and feel in a roadster. This was a really pleasurable trip in this extremely well balanced car. You have lots of room and trunk space for two, excellent handling and braking, enough power to do 250 km/h and a cruising range of 500 to 600 kilometres from its 64 litre fuel tank.

2001 Porsche Boxster
click image to enlarge

My expectations before driving the Boxster were that is would be a little
underpowered at 2.7 litres. This is absolutely not the case. The engine has tremendous
flexibility. For example, 3rd gear is perfectly tractable from 30 km/h to 175 km/h at redline. This is partially possible because of Porsche’s variocam system of varying valve
timing between 1250 to 5120 rpm.

A quick test drive around the city will not tell you what this car is all
about. For that you need a nice highway and a little time.

Optional equipment:

  • Tiptronic S electronically controlled transmission with fully automatic
    or manual operation

  • Porsche stability management system(PSM)….(replaces traction control)
  • Sport package
  • Sport touring package
  • Sport chassis
  • Porsche communication management (PCM) GPS navigation, etc.
  • Heated seats
  • Full power seats with adjustable lumbar supports and driver’s side memory
  • Litronic high-intensity gas discharge headlights
  • 17 inch alloy wheels (several designs)
  • 18 inch alloy wheels (several designs)
  • interior design packages, “leather” “carbon” or “wood”

See a dealer for a complete list.

Technical Data:

Base price $59,900
Price as tested $71,962
Type 2 door, 2 passenger, convertible sports car
Layout Mid-engine, rear wheel drive
Engine 2.7 litre flat 6 cyl. DOHC 4 valves per cylinder
Horsepower 217 @ 6500 RPM
Torque 192 @ 4500 RPM
Transmission 5 sp. manual
Tires Front: 205/55 ZR 16
  Rear: 255/50 ZR 16
Curb weight 1260 kg (2778 lbs)
Wheelbase 2415mm (95.2 in)
Length 4315mm (171.0 in)
Width 1780mm (70.1 in)
Height 1290mm (50.8 in)
Trunk space 260 litres (9.1 cu. ft.)
Fuel consumption (city) 12.2 litres/100 KM or 23 mpg
  (Hwy.) 7.7 litres/100 KM or 36 mpg
Warranty 4 years/80,000 km

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