The New Porsche Boxster and Boxster S
Two Dynamic Power Machines with Supreme Fuel Efficiency
The Porsche Boxster is continuing to expand its lead as the trendsetter in the two-seater open sports car segment. Already acknowledged as a lightweight athlete with lots of power on very little fuel, Porsche's mid-engined roadster now entering its second generation is becoming an even greater performer on even less fuel than ever before.
The highlight of the new generation is the six-cylinder boxer engines developed as completely new power units from the ground up, displacing 2.9 liters in the Boxster and 3.4 liters in the Boxster S. Indeed, these engines belong to the same family as the particularly efficient power units introduced only recently in the 911 model series.
The new "basic" engine now develops maximum output of 255 bhp (188 kW) at 6,400 rpm, up 10 bhp over the previous model with 2.7 liters capacity. Featuring Direct Fuel Injection, the six-cylinder in the Boxster S churns out 15 bhp more than before, now offering 310 bhp (228 kW), again at 6,400 rpm.
Clearly, this gives both roadsters a truly outstanding power-to-weight ratio, each horsepower in the Boxster now required to move only 5.2 kilos or 11.5 lb, while on the Boxster S the power-to-weight ratio is even better at 4.4 kg/bhp or 9.7 lb.
For the driver this means maximum performance on minimum fuel, particularly with the likewise brand-new Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe or PDK for short. Featuring this unique double-clutch gearbox, the Boxster S accelerates to 100 km/h or 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, the "regular" Boxster with PDK completing the same exercise in just 5.8 seconds. At the same time these outstanding two-seaters are more fuel-efficient than ever before, consuming 8.9 liters in the Boxster (equal to 26.3 mpg US) and 9.2 liters (equal to 25.5 mpg US) in the S model, in each case according to the EU4 standard and with PDK transmission.
It almost goes without saying that both power plants fulfill the strict EU5 and ULEV emission standards.
The new Boxsters are understandably very self-confident and even proud in their appearance, the extra-large air intakes characterizing the superior look of both models and accentuating their superior performance. On the Boxster two of the crossbars integrated in each side on the outer air intakes are finished in body color, on the Boxster S they come in black.
The LED positioning lights and foglamps now in horizontal arrangement come above the side air intakes. The direction indicators, in turn, are integrated in the new halogen headlights which, through their two-tube look, are reminiscent of the legendary Carrera GT.
As an option both Boxsters are available with new bi-xenon headlamps with a daytime light function, dynamic curve lights, a headlight washing system and automatic headlight range control. The separate LED daytime driving lights take the place of the foglamps whose function is now performed by the bi-xenon headlamps optimized for perfect light spread and illumination to the side.
PDK: shifting gears more quickly, improving fuel economy by up to 16 per cent
Both Boxsters are now available for the first time with the Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe or double-clutch gearbox derived from motorsport and replacing the former Tiptronic S transmission. PDK comes with seven gears and is made up of two transmission units each connected to the drivetrain through their own clutch. One transmission unit comes with gears 1, 3, 5 and 7 as well as reverse gear, the other comes with gears 2, 4 and 6. Gears are shifted very fast, with supreme smoothness and without the slightest interruption of traction, the clutch on one transmission unit opening up and the clutch on the other transmission closing at exactly the same time for an ongoing flow of power.
This entire process takes place automatically in selector lever position D, while the driver is also able to shift gears manually via paddles on the steering wheel or with the selector lever in the middle. In each case the process of disengaging and engaging the clutch is fully automatic, without requiring any intervention on the part of the driver.
PDK improves not only motoring comfort, but also allows even better performance and greater fuel economy than on the manual gearbox models. As a result, the Boxster S, benefiting from the uninterrupted flow of power, accelerates to 100 km/h or 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, the Boxster completing the same exercise in 5.8 seconds.
On the Boxster S fuel consumption is down by no less than 16 per cent to 9.2 liters/100 kilometers or 25.5 mpg US versus the former model with Tiptronic S, thanks to the optimum shift points and transmission ratios offered by PDK. The "basic" model equipped with PDK even remains below the nine-liter mark, fuel consumption of just 8.9 liters/100 kilometers (equal to 26.3 mpg US) representing a decrease in fuel consumption by 11 per cent versus the former model.
Equipped with PDK, the new models accelerate to 100 km/h or 62 mph 0.2 seconds faster than before thanks to the new Launch Control with electronic power management ensuring optimum acceleration from a standstill.
Launch Control is activated by the Sport Plus button which, in conjunction with PDK, comes both on the optional Sports Chrono Package and on the likewise optional Sports Chrono Package Plus. The latter is available exclusively in combination with Porsche's optional PCM Communication Management and offers both an additional performance indicator and an individual memory function.
The Sport Plus button also comes with a particularly sporting gearshift strategy for the PDK double-clutch gearbox ideally suited for the race track.
Yet a further feature on both equipment packages is the particularly sporting set-up of other vehicle systems available at the touch of a button - for example engine management, PSM Porsche Stability Management, and the optional PASM suspension.
The packages are clearly recognizable at first sight through the activation buttons in the center console and an analogue/digital stopwatch on the instrument panel masterminded through the lever on the steering column and enabling the driver, to mention just one example, to precisely record his lap times on the track.
Both models come as standard with a further improved six-speed manual gearbox. Another standard feature in both cases - with the manual gearbox and Porsche's new PDK - is the Start-Off Assistant relieving the driver from the usual chores of everyday motoring and preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards when setting off on a gradient by automatically holding the car in position and letting go of the brakes in a controlled process after the driver has released the brake pedal. Without having to pull the handbrake, the driver is therefore able to set off on a gradient smoothly and comfortably thanks to Porsche's new Start-Off Assistant.
Suspension even more dynamic and comfortable than before
The exceptional driving pleasure offered by both models in the Boxster range is also a result of the wide track and the newly set-up suspension improving the cars' driving dynamics to an even higher standard despite the enhancement of motoring comfort. One of the features contributing to the re-set suspension is the newly developed tyres offering a further improvement of performance together with greater driving comfort by reducing tire pressure on the rear wheels.
The Boxster now comes as standard on 17-inch wheels half an inch wider than before in order to take up the larger brake system of the Boxster S on the front axle. Tire dimensions remain unchanged at 205/55 ZR 17 up front and 235/50 ZR 17 on the rear wheels. The Boxster S, in turn, comes on18-inch rims running on 235/40 ZR 18 tires at the front and 265/40 ZR 18 tires at the rear.
In conjunction with 18- and 19-inch wheels, the new models in the Boxster range are also available with a limited-slip differential on the rear axle. Locking action in this case is 22 per cent under power and 27 per cent in overrun. The result is a significant improvement of both traction and stability providing a substantially higher level of performance on winding routes, particularly on the race track.
Yet a further advantage is the more stable load change behavior. And at the same time the mechanical limited-slip differential, through its particular function, interacts perfectly with the electronic ABD Automatic Brake Differential for optimum traction control, the locking action delaying the tendency of one wheel to spin on a road surface slippery only on one side.
Porsche Active Suspension Management or PASM for short is available as an option on both models. At the touch of a button PASM changes damper forces and thus offers the ideal combination of both a sporting and comfortable as well as a sporting and dynamic suspension, the latter proving its qualities particularly on the race track.
Superior brake system with optional ceramic brakes
Cross-drilled and inner-vented brake disks ensure excellent deceleration and stopping power on both models in the Boxster range. At the front brake energy is conveyed to the brake disks now measuring 318 mm or 12.51" in diameter and 28 mm or 1.10" across by four-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers.
At the rear the Boxster comes with 20-millimeter (0.79"), the Boxster S with 24-millimeter (0.94") thick brake disks, in each case measuring 299 millimeters or 11.77" in diameter for optimum stopping power and again interacting with four-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers.
Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) available as an option on the Boxster S open up a new dimension in brake technology and performance in the roadster segment. This very special package of ceramic disks measuring 350 millimeters or 13.78" in diameter on all four wheels as well as special brake pads features yellow-painted six-piston aluminum fixed calipers at the front and four-piston aluminum fixed calipers at the rear, offering truly supreme and, in particular, consistent stopping power and deceleration and therefore ensuring very short stopping distances even under extreme conditions.
Comprehensive restraint system with head airbags
Featuring head airbags in an open car, the Boxster sets the standard also in terms of passive safety. The airbags protect the cars' occupants in a side-on collision as an additional safety factor supplementing the side impact protection in the doors, by inflating out of the sills beneath the side windows within fractions of a second.
This effect is supplemented by thorax airbags inflated on the outer section of the seat backrests.
Together with the two full-size frontal airbags operating in two stages as well as belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters, the Porsche roadster offers a very high standard of all-round passive safety.
Sophisticated interior with new PCM
Both the Boxster and the Boxster S come as standard with Porsche's CDR-30 audio system featuring an easy-to-read five-inch monochromatic display. The CD player integrated in this system also plays music in the MP3 format.
Porsche's new PCM Communication Management now even more efficient, versatile and a lot easier to use is available as an option, serving as the central control unit for all audio, communication and navigation features in the car.
The highlight of PCM is the new control monitor with its highly advanced touchscreen. Measuring 6.5 inches, this screen is significantly larger than the 5.8-inch unit on the former model. At the same time the number of control keys has been halved to just 16, again in the interest of extra convenience.
In conjunction with the optionally available universal audio interface, PCM is now also able to control external audio sources such as an iPod® or a USB stick.
Further options on the PCM unit are Porsche's new voice entry and the electronic logbook.
Yet another new feature is the Porsche Sound Package Plus complete with a radio, CD player and nine loudspeakers available as an option, just like the BOSE® Surround Sound System with ten loudspeakers and a seven-channel digital amplifier naturally geared to the car as well as various telephone connection options.
In combination with seat heating, the new Boxsters come as an option with seat ventilation on both the standard seats and the comfort seats in full or partial leather. Particularly in the warm season, active seat ventilation ensures a pleasantly comfortable and dry climate on the seat surface ventilated at exactly the right points where the occupant is in close touch with the seat.
The driver and passenger are able to activate seat ventilation together with the seat heating, reliably removing moisture on the surface and ensuring a pleasant temperature at the same time.