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Porsche Boxster S Sport

Road Test

Porsche Boxster S Sport driven

Driven October 2012

Additional Info

This isn't a new model, just an option package. But it does make a significant difference to a car that's already one of the most delicious you can buy.

It's an even more handling-focused optional chassis pack than the existing adaptive (PASM) option. Where the PASM option lowers the car by 10mm, this one lowers it by 20mm. PASM also brings stiffened spring rates and stouter anti-roll bars. But the new Sport chassis is another dose stiffer in springs and anti-roll. As you'd expect, this means a car that's even more lithe, even more precise, even more connected. Which is better than anything it competes with.

On the Sport chassis, it's the rear anti-roll bar that has been stiffened far morethan the front. What does that mean for the price of sprouts? It means that at the apex of a corner, the grip balance of the car is changed, so it feels absolutely neutral rather than very slightly understeery. So it's more agile and more playable.

Coming out of corners, the limited-slip diff operates with brake-activated torque vectoring for traction and uncannily follows the line you've set with the steering.

Everything is more alive; there's not just extra feel from the steering, but especially there's another dose coming up through the seat of your pants. The car pivots around you; you feel like a component. It makes you feel confident and safe. You are safe, by the way, as the stability control is excellent.

I drove the new option pack back to back with the standard PASM car on a track, and you could feel the subtle but definite difference from the very first corner.

Out on the road there's no doubt the ride is firm. Not hard-edged, not tiring on motorways, but getting uncomfortable on a broken B-road or a potholed urban street. And the dampers don't help, as they're passive, so unlike the PASM car's they don't soften off when you're not hooning.

Of course, in other respects it's a normal Boxster. The engine is gorgeous at full howl, but urbane at a cruise. The roof is snug and quiet. There's precision and quality in everything you see and touch.

Still, the harder ride means that unless the roads are delightfully twisty and smooth around where you live, think carefully before ticking the box. Otherwise your passenger might not thank you. The answer: let them drive occasionally.

Paul Horrell

The numbers
3436cc, 6cyl, RWD, 315bhp, 266lb ft, 32.1mpg, 206g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 5.1secs, 173mph, 1320kg

The cost
£45,384 plus £1,500 approx for Sport pack

The verdict
Chassis option gives agile handling. But ride does erode usability a little.

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