This is not a car that people usually aspire to, or that is pined after. Stereotypes abound; this car is known best as either the Porsche you buy when you can’t afford a 911 or a hairdresser’s car. But that’s all nonsense and here’s why.
Porsche is primarily known for building the 911. The 911 employs a rear mounted motor, which, by all accounts, should not work at all in terms of handling dynamics. As the Klaus’s and Dieters over in Stuttgart have spent the last 50 plus years toiling to mitigate the wonky characteristics of a rear-engined vehicle, the answer may have been in the middle all along. In 1996 the first generation Boxster was introduced with the Porsche signature flat-six motor behind the driver but in front of the rear axle, making it a mid-engined car.
There’s a reason Ferrari and Lamborghini have been mid-mounting their engines for decades, and the reason is that a mid-engined vehicle keeps the weight in the center of the vehicle, allowing for more predictable and neutral handling at the ragged edge. This translates directly into the everyday driving characteristics of the Boxster in the absolute best of ways.
Turn in is sharp, weight transfer happens almost seamlessly, and the raspy hollow howl of the 2.7 liter flat six will plaster the most idiotic grin on yours and your (lucky) passenger’s face. A quick pull on the smooth silver PDK paddle for an upshift is met with the next ratio and un-interrupted power delivery. Pull on the left paddle for a downshift and revel in the BARK from a central exhaust outlet that sounds like it’s actually inside your ear.
This car will happily plod along city and suburban thoroughfares with the transmission in automatic mode, but it lives for the twists and turns of an empty country lane. Only so much can be expressed with words, check out the video above to immerse yourself in the Boxster driving experience through the lens of a GoPro fastened to my head.