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A liquid silver Porsche in our garage

CNET Car Tech starts reviewing a 2007 Porsche Boxster S.

2007 Porsche Boxster S
CNET Networks

Actually, the color of the 2007 Porsche Boxster S that arrived this week is called Arctic Silver Metallic, but the curved silver cladding on this car makes it look more liquid than solid. We don't have much control over what options our review cars come with, which is too bad because we would have liked to see the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system that's available on this model. The PCM is an all-in-one navigation, four-disc changer that can handle MP3 CDs, and hands-free calling unit, the kind of technology we look for at CNET Car Tech. Our review car didn't come with the PCM, but that didn't matter.

What matters about the 2007 Porsche Boxster S is that it's fast, and it constantly dares you to engage in bad behavior. During a drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay I alternated between having fun on the curves to paranoid glances at the rear view mirror. The Boxster S has a 3.4-liter flat six-cylinder engine that's mounted right behind the cabin and produces 295 horsepower, not to mention a particularly beautiful engine noise. The car steers incredibly well, due to the balanced fore-and-aft weight ratio made possible by the mid-engine arrangement. The six-speed manual transmission shifts with European refinement--it's not precise like many Japanese car transmissions, where shifting feels like flipping a switch; rather, it moves into each gear comfortably, like each gear is a well-worn groove.

2007 Porsche Boxster S steering wheel
CNET Networks

Although it didn't have the PCM, and its single-disc stereo couldn't read MP3 CDs, our review car did come with a Bose surround stereo system. This stereo uses seven speakers: high, mid, and low on each side plus a center fill. There is no subwoofer, but the lows in the doors are big enough to shake the car when playing heavy bass. The speakers sounded good, although the stereo only offered basic adjustments such as bass and treble. While roaring down the highway, I found the biggest challenge was deciding whether to listen to the engine or music.

Look for our full review of the 2007 Porsche Boxster S on CNET Car Tech after Thanksgiving.