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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The Boxster at 25: A German renaissance styled in Detroit | Hagerty Media

When you think "German sports car," you're almost certain to think about Porsche first-but the original Boxster was penned by an American for Americans, and Porsche won the lottery by trusting that pen. When experts consider the cars that saved Porsche from losing its financial independence, their lists usually begin with the 1996 Boxster (internally known as the 986) and continue with the 2002 Cayenne.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/the-boxster-at-25-a-german-renaissance-styled-in-de...
13 REPLIES 13
DavidHolzman
Detailer

Re the last line: It's hard to imagine a Boxster sans internal combustion. I like to say of my Civic, it may not be Mozart, but it IS Salieri to the Boxster's Mozart.
MPetrany
Pit Crew

Hi David! The next generation Boxster/Cayman has already been confirmed by Porsche, and you are right, it is hard to imagine a fairly basic roadster such as the Boxster without a potent gasoline powertrain. However, we all sense what's coming, and 2046 is a long time from now. Perhaps battery mass won't be such an issue by then.
drhino
Instructor

Once again, it bothers me that everyone has resigned themselves to an electric future. What about the synthetic fuel that Porsche (and F1) are involved in. No infrastructure issues and your cars can still sound great (and have manual transmissions).
MPetrany
Pit Crew

Producing synthetic fuels at such volumes and at a competitive price would be rather impossible given our current tech.
Tom9716
Intermediate Driver

Keep in mind that a lot can happen in the next 25 years. Never say never.
OldCarMan
Instructor

Trouble is, the ICE is NOT politically "woke" by eco-nazis...
I won't be here to mourn it!
DavidHolzman
Detailer

We are sort of stuck. I recognize that global warming is an existential crisis. Heck, I learned about it back in 1975 from a class taught by John Holdren at UC Berkeley. (He later became Pres O's science advisor.) 

 

But my biggest source of cognitive dissonance is my environmentalism and my love of cars powered by internal combustion. I've driven a Tesla Model S, and it IS a tour de force. But I was very happy to get back into my Civic. Like electronic things generally, the Tesla is soulless in my opinion. 

FrankFF47
Pit Crew

The article did not say anything about the contributions by Porsche designer Pinky Lai. I think he deserves some credit, too. I have heard him speak on his career in design.
CJinSD
Instructor

I'll say one thing for Porsche. They stopped using those broken-egg headlights. I understand that it might not seem like much of an accomplishment, since the first step was ignoring aesthetic and crash-repair concerns to produce cars with broken-egg headlights. Nonetheless, just think what a better looking world it would be if BMW management could have admitted that hiring Chris Bangle was a mistake and gone back to evolving their Corvairs.
Zephyr
Instructor

The history of the Boxster seems to parallel that of the Mazda Miata, Plymouth PT Cruiser and Toyota Scion. Designed as a low-price (relatively) entry level model to attract younger buyers in hopes that they would develop brand loyalty, it failed to attract the target audience but instead became wildly popular with aging baby boomers (like me). This had two results: it turned off young buyers (who began referring to the PT Cruiser as "grandma's car") even more, and it caused the price of said autos to suddenly rise way beyond "entry level."
JohninNC
Advanced Driver

Would love to see a new 928 with very similar styling to the original. Love that car! Too bad it costs so much to keep one on the road. That 'bargain' $10,000 928 isn't a bargain for long.
JohninNC
Advanced Driver

Edit... that "Bargain" $15,000 928 I should have said, prices are up!
Dougbok
New Driver

I would not have thought that a discussion of the Boxter design heritage could be presented without at least a reference to the Panamericana concept car and 80th birthday present given to Ferry Porsche in 1989. As I recall the patriarch was not entirely complimentary of the project and it was displayed at a couple of shows and quickly swept under the square weave carpet with all hope of a small production run dashed.
It seems that at the time most dyed in the wool Porsche aficionados knew what the management at Porsche apparently did not - that to save the company it had to get back to its roots and produce a nimble, affordable (and hopefully) air-cooled sports car. A car that would draw in new buyers and rekindle the excitement of the loyal fan based left behind with the front engined Camaro clones.
Sure the Panamericana was rear engined, but the design influence on subsequent models including the Boxter is apparent. It was taunt and sinewy and had a visceral, youthful attraction. Just what was needed to bring buyers into the fold who hadn’t yet started wearing green pants with white belts.
It took years before the Porsche saw the light, and if it wasn’t for the 911 fan base helping keep the spark alive a pretty good argument could be made that the Boxter may have been like the Studebaker Avanti, a nice design but just too little too late.