February 26, 2013
On my last morning with the car, I wake up to find a thick pea-souper muffling Vancouver like damp cotton-wool. The Boxster agreeably bumbles along through the slow-moving weekday traffic, and I spot an exit for a local ski-hill.
2013 Porsche Boxster. Click image to enlarge
Packed on Sunday, the road is relatively deserted on such a miserably wet day, but as I climb slowly through the construction caused by West Vancouver development marching up the hillside, the mist begins to thin.
I reach down, hit the Sport button. The suspension stiffens up. The throttle responds more eagerly. In a long right-hander, I very gently feed in the power. The boxer engine builds to crescendo as the needle climbs the tach.
Grabbing a quick shift as the road straightens out, the little red rocket lunges forward like a hound after a hare. It’s quick this thing, quick enough to be visceral but not as lunatic tear-your-license-up as something like a GT-R. The road loops on in great coils, snail-tracked with asphalt repairs; to the right, I can see the fog-swathed city. Up here the air is crisp, clear and clean, blowing out the cobwebs.
Climbing past the snowline, the road dries out, and the Boxster’s trick torque-vectoring rear differential helps the car slice deeply into corner after corner. The steering… well, no car is perfect, and if other electric power-steering systems are Aspartame-laced, this one at least feels like it’s sweetened with Stevia.
No matter: if you can’t feel the road through your fingertips, you can feel it coming up through the chassis. The Boxster flicks through the last S-bends with a wriggle, and we’re up in the snow and ice. A brief attempt at a figure-skating medal with traction control off in an abandoned parking lot (no points from the French judge), and then it’s assists back on and down the hill to join the humdrum of everyday traffic.
You can certainly go faster for less money. You could certainly spend more money and get a modicum more prestige, or at least a little more practicality. But having driven this car not long after driving a similarly equipped 911 Cabriolet, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s the Boxster that’s the better experience, the better sports car, better suited to wear the prancing stallion of Stuttgart upon its nose.
If you dug up Ferdinand Porsche and asked him which modern Porsche he’d pick for the weekend, this’d probably be his choice. Mine, too.
Pricing: 2013 Porsche Boxster S
Base Price (S): $69,500
Options: $17,810 (Infotainment and BOSE audio – $4,410; Premium Pkg – $4,290; Porsche Torque Vectoring – $1,510; Carrera wheels – $1,790; PASM – $2,050; Sport Chrono – $2,110; Sport Design Steering wheel – $290; Excl. Options – $1,360)
A/C Tax: $100
Price as tested: $88,495
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