Porsche Boxster review:

Porsche Boxster

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Typical Price: £41,742.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Great handling; Fuel economy; HDD lets you record track day lap times.

The Bad Built-in HDD doesn't store audio; Chassis suffers from scuttle shake over rough ground.

The Bottom Line The Porsche Boxster has always been one of the best-handling cars on the road -- a mind-boggling achievement considering it's a convertible. The latest models continue that tradition and now (especially in Boxster S form) offer sensational acceleration, great, usable technology and -- crucially -- a certain cool factor.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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 911. 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. 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.

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.

Launch control

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.

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