It isn't geared as much for top speed as it is mileage. A tall third gear does nothing for top speed, but the tests they're built to pass have strict guidelines about what gear, throttle positions, etc. and the numbers come out the other side. At least that's how it is here in the U.S. and I'd imagine Euro specs are dictated as tightly, as there's really no other way to get repeatable data. It has done a similar number on the VW GTI with tall gears in the middle, 4th gear at a 1:1 ratio with both 5th and 6th as overdrive gears. It couples well to more modern torquey engines, but doesn't suit a sports car like the Boxster (or even that GTI) well at all, and that's a shame.
The second paragraph included the word "affordable" as part of the original equation for success. Alas, that has clearly faded as a priority in the current model, with the opportunity to drive one out of the showroom for under $100,000, or even near that amount, long past. Once upon a time I longed for a Boxster, but no more. I purchased a bullet proof MX-5 instead, held onto the additional $70k plus immeasurable maintenance and insurance savings, and used a bit of that to dabble in vintage Triumph sports cars. Perhaps the neighbors would have been more impressed with the Porsche nameplate in the driveway? I, for one, care not.
The 1st gen Boxster is still quite the unspoken bargain, presuming you get a good one. Never buy a 1st gen without a thorough PPI, including sawing the oil filter in half to check for signs of IMS bearing failure. If you lose a 1st generation engine, that car is going to the scrap yard. ($20++ rebuild cost). Downsides of the 1st gen? Tight fit for tall people, rather bland interior, no inside storage space. Overall, a good and reliable car if you choose wisely.
I've owned a 911 and a 944 before and have recently bought a used 2001 Boxster S - which is, hands down, my favorite of the three as a car to drive and enjoy. I like that the top goes down on sunny days, and I like the simplicity of not having cupholders or a glove compartment. It's all about the driving, there is always more than enough usable power, and the handling is superb here on the backroads of North Carolina. For the price of "the new one", you can have six or seven of "the old ones", so, yes, it is "...a veritable used performance car bargain."
I think the Boxster in the form tested is the Porsche to get of all Porsches. It's nicely sized, has a great normally aspirated engine, the best manual gearbox, it looks great. As a sports car, it just does everything right.
My 2000, first year S is still a blast! Yeah, I've fixed everything once over, including putting in the IMS "Solution" (TM I think) and a few upgrades. But after 19 years of ownership, I thoroughly enjoy my Boxster every time I drive it.
I don't know where Hucknall gets the idea that the new Boxster is 213mm (8.4 inches) wider than the original. A first-gen Boxster was 68.5 in wide and the current GTS is 70.9 inches. Not quite 2.5 inches.
The early car also weighed more like 2900 lbs. compared to 3125 for the latest GTS--very similar to the 25. That's a difference of 225 lbs. not 342.
As nice as the Boxster is/was, I'll take my Cayman over it any day. More (a tiny bit more) space and not all of the grief that goes with a soft top during times when it has to be up....which is most of the time around here.
I drove the GT4 3-pedal at Barber Motor Speedway and the gearing was not for that track either. I'd think it would be similar to the Boxster? You'd hit the rev limiter in the 2 straightaways and that was quicker than another up/down shift. Existing turn 15 also required an additional down/up shift that wouldn't have been necessary with different gearing. It would also feel light in turn 11 at times. Still a great car. I had the 986 S model and loved the car. The new Boxster is a nice car but I prefer the less angular 986 lines.
How come even after I sign in I can't always post comments? Maybe it is because they don't like what I have to say! Like how come no mention of problems that owners were stuck with: IMS bearings, transmission failures, how many times the car went back for repairs or waited weeks for parts, and very expensive ones at that.. You pay the price Porsche is asking you should get quality. Ten years ago I looked into a Boxster and TT and I read about of a lot of unhappy owners so I passed. I picked up 2000 Miata for $2700, put new top on for $300 and a set of tires and been driving it ever since. I only smile and wonder what it must be like to throw your money away when I see someone driving those German things.
I owned a base Miata for 6 years and 132,000 miles of pure enjoyment but was introduced to the Boxster in 2003 and couldn't help myself from beginning my Porsche journey. I have owned a 2001 S which I drove for 4 years and loved. Then I purchased a 2007 S which was a vast improvement over the '01 and I drove it for 5 years until I purchased my current 2014 S which is no longer an analog vehicle in my mind but a true digital vehicle with all the bells and whistles I wanted. I'm currently on do have the desire and in search mode for a GTS with the 4.0