A couple of months back I flew in a Spitfire – the aircraft, not the car. It was a sensory overload with noise, smell and vibration turning my knees to jelly and moistening the eyes.
The road-going version is the Morgan Plus 8. You can even wear goggles and a flying jacket and not look too much of a twat. The perfect antidote for over-branded Harley-Davidson riders who often do.
You don’t drive a Morgan you become part of the machine. It’s a hands on, demanding assault on the senses that few cars can deliver. The Porsche Boxster is probably the best convertible on the market right now but it’s totally sanatised and ‘safe’ in comparison.
You can drink coffee in a Boxster and make phone calls. They’ve even put a music system in for when you get bored of pressing the acoustic exhaust button. The Morgan has a music system too but I guarantee you will never use it (which is possibly why it’s hidden away under the dashboard!).
There’s no boot in the Aero 8, no glovebox and a bonkers heating system that pours hot air onto your lap every time that mighty V8 clicks about 4000rpm. I swear you can smell oil burning sometimes too.
But just like an English summer, which isn’t as hot as the Med and often leaves you caught in a shower of unexpected rain, there’s not other car I’d want to be driving on a windy day in July…
Car Couture has the iconic Mazda MX-5 on test from Friday and it’s going to be a great contrast to the Boxster S. I’m not just talking about the price. Our Porsche test car is three times the cost of the MX-5 1.8 but I’ll be interested to see if it is three times the fun.
There’s no doubt this latest Boxster is a fantastic car and if you want status, well, the Porsche wins hands down. But I also feel the Boxster has lost some of the rawness it used to have, rather diluting the fun factor in favour of being more grown up.
The acoustic exhaust system does make the Boxster feel like a tearaway but it’s all carefully controlled and, of course, you can switch it off when you don’t want to upset the neighbours late at night.
The Boxster is really two cars in one. You can use it as an everyday car most of the time, then press the sport button, activate the exhausts and let rip the next. The catch? You are paying top dollar for the pleasure.
It could be the meddling hand of God but the only hint of doubt I can find in the workings of the Porsche Boxster is hidden in the brain of the satellite navigation.
Yesterday I travelled to the Leon Paul Fencing Centre in north London, to interview the new European foil champion, James Davis. Oxford, M40, north circular would seem like the obvious route and it was, until satellite navigation got involved for the last mile.
While Davis was waiting for me at the centre, the Boxster incorrectly directed me off the north circular and up the M1 towards the north! It was a ten mile drive to the first exit, then ten miles back to where I started.
Infuriating? Yes, especially as system them took me off on another random route that was another waste of fuel. Of course, we’ve all had random moments like this with sat nav. But I’ve come to expect better from Porsche and besides, this is a £55,000 car!
What’s the one thing you can’t do in a Porsche Boxster? Get another driver to give way at a busy junction…. What is it about driving a Porsche that seems to upset people so much?
Maybe it just reminds us of the loadsofmoney days of the 1980s, when owning a Porker and a brick sized mobile phone were standard-issue kit for every yuppy.
Well, it seems the great British public has a long memory – either that or they are very upset about England losing to Italy on Saturday night. I’ve had three incidents of angry driving aimed at me over the weekend, even though I’ve barely taken the Boxster above 5000rpm.
There’s no doubt that this is the most mature Boxster Porsche has made. It’s refined, comfortable and more than capable of being your everyday car. Getting used to the aggressive antics of other driver is the only downside…
I thought the Jaguar F-Type was good but the Boxster S, well, it’s very, very good indeed. You may be afflicted with ‘Porsche-itis’ (more concerned about the slightly crass image than the greatness of the car) but only a fool wouldn’t consider a Boxster when buying a premium brand roadster.
The current Boxster came on the market in 2012. You can’t really say the old model was looking that tired but the styling is much neater and in keeping with current Porsche trends. It also looks bigger than the previous version but more purposeful too.
What is different is that a lot of the panels, like the doors and bonnet are made from aluminium, which shaves 30kg off the weigh. The PDK gearbox is heavy but it doesn’t impact on performance.
This weight loss helps makes for a supremely quick car, which responds brilliantly to steering corrections is wondrously good to drive on a winding A-road. This is a mature Boxster that is far and away the best yet.
World Cup, hottest day of the year, convertible on the driveway… It’s obviously bound to rain on Saturday, England will be thrashed by the Italians and and somebody will nick the Boxster. Moments like this have to be enjoyed.
Which is why I’m coming up with any excuse to take the Porsche out for a spin. I was meant to be driving to Shropshire on a job for the Sunday Times but it turns out the boss got the day wrong. Alas, I shall have to content myself with a trip to Tesco in Stow-on-the-Wold and a fight with a three-wheeled trolley.
People who haven’t driven a Boxster will tell you they are a poor substitute for a 911 and a hairdresser’s car. Absolute nonsense. The Boxster is the best value Porsche you can buy and is equally as entertaining as its big brother. You might want to consider becoming a barber just to buy one.
The S has more than enough owed for me and I can use it as an everyday car too. The 7-speed PDK gearbox makes town driving stress-free and when a country A-road opens up in front of you, well, there’s no better two-seater soft-top for the job…
You know it’s going to be a good week when you can hear your test car before you see it. The latest fad for ‘acoustic’ exhaust systems extends to Porsche, who have fitted the optional sports exhaust system to our Boxster.
And if it sounds good from a distance, inside the cabin with the top down, the S grumbles like an angry bumble bee. It’s still not as good as the Bentley Continental tested recently but not far off.
It positively pops when the PDK gearbox flicks up a notch and there’s a lovely rasp when you slip down the range too. Love it!
The 20-inch Carrera alloys really make the Boxster stand out but I was a little taken aback that at £56k, for-aft seat adjustment is manual…