In 1997, Porsche introduced an all-new roadster to its lineup that combined the Porsche pedigree with a relatively economical sticker price. This lowering of the exclusivity bar may have upset some Porsche owners, but its overall success as it enters the 2013 model year speaks for itself.
The 2013 model year, Porsche completely revamped the Boxster, but took special care not to change it too much. It’s most important dimensions – wheelbase, front and rear track, ride height, and body overhang – have all been improved to maximize handling while only increasing the overall body length by just 1.26 inches. Even though the body stretched slightly, the Boxster’s curb weight dropped across the board for 2013, allowing the roadster to accelerate, handle and brake more effectively. The body was also revised with a completely new rear end that eliminated the convertible-top lid, and new LED taillights accent the body much better than before. To finish off this light redesign, Porsche added in a bolder shoulder line and smoother air-intake vents on the front and sides.
This revamp wouldn’t be complete without some performance upgrades. The Base model Boxster features a smaller 2.7-liter flat-six engine, which is down from 2.9-liters in 2012. This engine pushes out 265 horsepower – a 10-horsepower increase from 2012 – and 206 foot-pounds of torque.The Boxster S has the same 3.4-liter flat-six from 2012, but with an increase to 315 horsepower – a 5-horsepower bump – and pushing out 266 foot-pounds of torque.
The luxury-roadster ring is not very larger, but is highly competitive nonetheless. The 2013 BMW Z4 starts things off and it comes standard with a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission and leatherette seating for two. Next up is the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, which starts off with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower, a 7-speed shiftable automatic trans and leatherette seating. The final competitor on the list is the 2013 Audi TT Convertible, which comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 211 horsepower, a six-speed automated manual transmission and leather-and-Alcantara seating.