2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster. Click image to enlarge

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2008 Porsche Boxster

What a difference a year makes. Or does it?

Therein lies the rub for most things Porsche: changes from year to year border on miniscule to the Nano power. Fans will argue that one shouldn’t mess with perfection, and when it comes to the overall driving experience, I’m waving my Stuttgart pennant from the sidelines with all the fervour of a soccer mom on espresso. But while the new four-door Panamera is in the wings and the iconic 911 is poised for yet another facelift, the 2008 Boxster, and the kissing-cousin Cayman, appear to be making do with new colours and stripe appliqués.

2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster. Click image to enlarge

Since there are hardly any interior differences of note between the previous 2007 Boxster and the current one, this week’s installment addresses the sniggly bits: a technical term for things I usually forget about in second gear, at about 4600 RPM. The candidate is this Speed Yellow Boxster, with an MSRP of $64,205.02. (Pricing shown does not include freight, taxes, or regional incentives.)

Inside Story Faves

There is much to applaud within the Boxster cabin. One of my favourite testaments to form and function is the useful cavities found below the flip-top armrests. These should be standard issue on anything with wheels, lawn tractors included. The dual cupholder system proves that a beverage receptacle can be functional, without becoming part of the design direction. What could make more sense than two trunks? The latest propaganda speaks to a revised rear trunk surround. It doesn’t increase stowage capacity, but it does make the void more useable. The cockpit has no apologies to make, with easy reach and actuation for driver’s controls.

Speaking of drivers, the Inside Story Comfort Dummy makes its stunning debut in the Boxster cabin. Porsche reports that the seat travel and pedal placement have been tweaked to accommodate taller pilots. Even with the top up, the headroom is surprisingly ample. Every two-seat roadster in production should adopt the seatback coathook system.

Inside Story Fixes

2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster
2008 Porsche Boxster. Click image to enlarge

You’re probably wondering how both the Boxster and/or Cayman would need any improvement. Sure, they’re both five-star Inside Story performers. The Nitpick begins with the exterior mirrors, which use a spring-loaded breakaway system for fore and aft movements. The problem is that those movements can easily surpass the spring-loaded travel threshold, leaving broken Speed Yellow bits strewn about the cobblestone. I have always found the travel of the centre console door to be somewhat restrictive, thanks to a Fabri-Tether that needs to elongated, or eliminated altogether. The underbelly of the console door could easily accommodate a card holder of some sort.

While we’re in the centre console postal code, it would be nice to see a smoker’s package delete tick on the option box. An HVAC-fed cooling system would be a useful addition to the flock-lined glovebox, once you store the War and Peace owner’s lit in your choice of trunks: ask Volkswagen how, considering the 35.14 percent that Porsche now owns of the people who brought you the People’s Car. Should a gas cap dangle? Not on a Porsche, with some form of carrier or plug-in holder seeming more appropriate than a bungee cord. I would like to see the convertible top switch relocated to the centre stack at eye level, preferably at or near the central locking switch.

The Verdict

The good news is that the Boxster and/or Cayman continues to hold its five-star Inside Story ranking, which means that the Porsche engineers must be cheering over bratwurst and Warsteiner brew right about now. Of course, Inside Story isn’t just about the wielding of the Angry Ginzu for things that have been missed; it’s about improvements. Let’s hope that Stuttgart is listening.

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