People tell us the Porsche Boxster isn't a very manly car -- that it's designed for hairdressers, those of a metrosexual disposition and people with ovaries. Well if that's the case, fire up the hairdryer, apply the crack wax and pass us a thong, because we've driven one and we think it's sensational.
The Boxster is more fun to drive than its big brother, the Car enthusiasts will already be aware that the Boxster's mid-engined layout gives it unrivalled balance -- it's as agile as a 10-year-old Russian gymnast -- but these new cars now have the grunt to match the exquisite handling.. There -- we said it. Okay, it's not as brutally quick as the 911, but on a twisty track, in the hands of a skilled driver, the Boxster S will give the 911 plenty to worry about.
Power to the feeble
Porsche has replaced the old Boxster's 2.7-litre engine with a new 2.9-litre unit that produces 255hp -- 10 more than its predecessor. The outstanding, top-of-the-ladder Boxster S gets a new lump, too -- a 3.4-litre direct fuel-injection unit producing 310hp -- 15hp more than the old Boxster S.
Miraculously, this extra performance doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy -- quite the opposite, in fact. The 2.9-litre Boxster gets 31mpg (9.1 litres per 100km), while the Boxster S gets 30.1mpg (9.4 litres per 100km) -- 10 per cent and 15 per cent improvements on the previous engines.
One of the hottest new features in the Boxster S is the PDK twin-clutch transmission, which (when fitted with the optional Sports Chrono Package Plus) allows launch control.
Select 'Sport +' mode using a button on the centre-console, place your left foot on the brake pedal, slam your right foot hard on the accelerator and the engine will rev to the perfect speed. When the traffic lights turn green -- or the pretty girl drops her hankie -- lift off the brake pedal while keeping the accelerator planted and what was once the horizon will become a distant memory.
The standard Boxster does the 0-60mph sprint in a respectable 5.9 seconds -- which is fast enough to embarrass most sporty hatchbacks. The Boxster S, however, with PDK transmission, does the sprint in 5 seconds flat -- just half a second slower than the Porsche 911.