Car news

29 January 2013

Sportscar of the Year: Porsche Boxster S

The new Boxster S is so light and so agile, it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist

Sriram Narayanan
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Porsche can be rather unimaginative with design. The Cayenne and the Panamera are brilliant but ugly. The 911 is brilliant but looks the same since the day it was born. And the Boxsters have looked like they were headed that direction. Until till this new one came along. The Boxster has always been phenomenal as a sportscar. But by bringing in those headlights, those taillights and those body panels, the new Boxster S is also one of the prettiest pieces of metal on our roads. And the most fun. What makes the Boxster phenomenal as a sportscar is the way it balances its weight. Porsche doesn’t seem to have bothered with weight distribution. It just put everything important in the car in the centre and created a machine that effortlessly pivots around its own axis.

The new 911 is, of course, more complete, more competent. But even that doesn’t provide the thrills and spills of the Boxster. The thrills and spills for which you went in for a sportscar in the first place. Moreover, the 3.4-litre flat-six puts out a marvellous concert through the twin exhausts. Of course, it’s fun to put the roof down. But if you really want to wring the neck of this car and listen to that engine note, you’re better off with the roof up. It’s made of canvas, but it keeps the wind out and lets in the right amount of exhaust music.

So we took it to Navi Mumbai’s brilliant Palm Beach road. It remains the city’s smoothest surface of road for over a decade. More importantly, it allows for the smoothest flow of traffic ever possible over a six-lane road. It has no bottlenecks, no right angle turns, no encroachments and no unruly things jutting out of  corners and dividers. It’s the way a stretch of road in a civilised society should be. Simple, efficient and fun.

Just like a sportscar. It isn’t about top speed, time to 100kph, or tyre smoke from a standing start. A sportscar is all about providing you the satisfaction of driving, irrespective of horsepower, irrespective of figures, irrespective of bragging rights at the club.

This year, no other car has provided that quintessential joy of driving, that feeling of perfect balance and that unparalleled control the way the new Porsche Boxster S has. Sportscar enough for us.

Tags: awards 12, porsche, boxster, boxster s

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