The Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster and Boxster S are fast, powerful cars and most of all the best-handling production roadsters on the planet. Introduced in 1996, it remained essentially unchanged, other than moderate horsepower and interior-options tweaks. That’s what Porsche usually does with the successful models: it retains car look and configuration for ages.
A more powerful second-generation Boxster was introduced in 2005 and it keeps Porsche’s conservative evolutionary path. Like its precedent, it is a mid-engine, six-cylinder two-seater that looks like Porsche Spyder. Still, over half of Boxster's structure and electronics are borrowed from the 911 Carrera.
The 2005 Boxster looks sprightlier than its 2004 equivalent, thanks to the revision of the torque and the 15 added hp and the extra power coming on strongly between 2000rpm and 4000 rpm. The 2005 Boxster S virtually equals the acceleration and top-speed performance of Porsche's expensive 911 Carrera. The Boxster exhaust has been tuned to play a distinctive tromboning wail like no other car. This is a amazing thing thinking that both engines are smaller versions of the six-cylinder in the Carrera.
The transmission for base Boxters is five-speed manual but the optional variant offers a six-speed. Both models can also be fitted with a five-speed Tiptronic, the superb Porsche-designed automatic transmission that began the trend toward manually shifted automatics.
The bodywork and the interior of the Boxster are of high quality, but considering that there’s noting tricky or purely decorative, we can definitely say that these are not opulent cars. Still, the interior has been improved since the old car was often criticized for being to cheap-looking. The center console has been upgraded with revised switch-gear and titanium look paneling.
The seats are more supportive and body-shaped in the new version, making them look absolutely superb. Unlike other roadsters, the Boxster has no problem swallowing luggage for a long trip: it has two trunks, a small one in the rear and an amply deep one under the front hood.
One of The Boxster's best qualities is the powered convertible top, very quick to retract or re-erect. In the new Boxster, the top can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph. The triple-layer padded cloth tops (with a heated-glass rear window) is as weather-tight and quiet as most metal roofs.
The Boxster is called a mid engine-car. The reason is that the sweet six-cylinder engine is mounted behind the seats, just fore of the rear axle. So if you want to see what’s under the hood once in while, well…you can't do that with The Boxster. The only way to see the engine is from underneath or by meticulously removing body panels, which mechanics must do to service the engine. But, the good news is that having the engine mounted closer to the center of the car makes for better weight distribution. And that’s what makes the car handle so well.
Porsche Boxster built in Valmet
In 1998, Porsche realized that if they wanted to sell more Boxsters, they needed to produce more cars. To do so, they contracted with a plant in Finland called Valmet because the plant in Zuffenhausen couldn’t handle the increased production.
The initial plan was for Boxster to be produced in Finland for only two years. Everybody thought that by that time the demand in Zuffenhausen would decrease so that plant could handle all production. But the Boxster demand remains high, and so does the one for 996, so against all expectations the plant will remain busy for the foreseeable future. Zuffenhausen can assemble 30,000 cars per year, so the only way the Boxster would be moved entirely to Finland is if Porsche could sell the better part of that many 996s. In the short term, that isn’t likely to happen though. Most of the cars destined for North America are builtin Valmet.
Now it became impossible to specify where a car was built. Even ordering Tourist Delivery doesn't force a Stuttgart build. Apparently some cars are shipped from Finland to Stuttgart for Tourist Delivery.