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Thursday, May 29, 2008

2008 Porsche Boxster RS60

When I were a young lad, growing up in Australia, I got sick to death of motoring writers going on and on about how great Porsches were. I wished they'd just shut up about Porsches.
To me, even back in the Seventies, Porsches looked old-fashioned and a bit ordinary - even when the new 928 came out, it looked a bit puffed-up and wrong. The 911 sounded OK, but nothing special, and the constant wild-eyed raving, the eulogies, the awards and the near-lunatic passion for Porsches didn't make sense. Borr-ring.

Then one day, many years later, I drove one. It wasn't a 911, it was a Boxster S. And suddenly, all those years of incessant raving in car magazines made perfect sense. I'd never driven a car anything like as good, and the memories of that first Porsche experience ripped back into my head when I drove this latest Boxster S, the RS60 Spyder special edition. It's got a few extra cosmetic bits on it and a plaque and an extra 8bhp and a sport button, but none of that matters much - it's a Porsche.

Now, as then, the Boxster S is a glorious blend of all the best automotive engineering in the world - the kind that's focussed on driving pleasure above all. Honestly, when you first drive a Porsche, a large, bright light bulb comes on in your head and you realise what you've been missing all these years driving inferior rubbish. Honestly. If you love driving, this is for you.
The clutch, for instance, is perfectly weighted - not too heavy, not too light, moving precisely and smoothly through exactly the right amount of travel, biting cleanly at the right point, just where you want it - and that applies to every other control. Everything that moves - steering wheel, brake pedal, throttle pedal, gear shift lever, indicator wand, even the sweep of the wiper blades, it all has that beautifully-engineered, perfectly-judged, solidly-made, no-messing and urgent Porsche quality.

This extends to the way the car moves over the road, the way it sits on its suspension through corners fast and slow, and the way the flat six delivers its thrust.

Hard-nosed Porscheophiles label the Boxster a hairdressers' push me-pull you, a slow me-too with the engine in the wrong place. Fair enough, but that doesn't make the Boxster S a bad car. It is a wonderful car, one that I can't criticise in any meaningful way, except to say that the centre console should be narrower so it doesn't foul the driver's left leg in right-hand-drive cars. Other than that, it's incessant, borr-ring raving from me too, I'm afraid.
Power bhp: 295
Torque lb-ft: 251
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 5.1 Seconds
-Bill thomas, from Top Gear.


The Porsche said...

Great write up. Yeah, the Boxsters are actually tons of fun to drive. Very well balanced and nimble.


The Gombeen Man said...

I picked up my 2.7 a couple of months ago, and I can't speak highly enough of it. Haven't had so much fun since my 750 days, and it - unlike my Kawasaki of old - is rock solid stable at speed, and goes around corners and roundabouts with no regard for the laws of physics. Amazing car... period.