I met Biz Stone today – the co-founder of Twitter. He was in London to give a talk and after interviewing him on the telephone last month, I couldn’t resist saying ‘hi’.
Biz is worth quite a lot of money but he’s a pretty down to earth guy. He drives to work across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in a VW Golf when, in fact, his shares in Twitter could buy the bridge. And every car on it several times over.
Flash cars aren’t his thing. I can understand that but after a lifetime testing cars, I think that if I was Biz, a Boxster S would be a ‘modest’ drive for billionaire me.
it would be the benchmark sports car. Not too ‘in-her-face’ and, in London, they’re two-a-penny anyway. Forget comments about this being a hairdresser’s car – the Porsche is an exceptional driver’s car and not to be sniffed at.
Last week I asked the question, is the Boxster S worth the price of four Mazda MX-5s…. The answer, quite simply, is yes.
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…
Is this the coolest looking Citroen ever? Not only does the exterior styling look sensational but the interior is more like the cockpit of a spaceship.
We drove the DS5 to see the new George Clooney film Galaxy last night and the Citroen seemed to have such as many buttons and dials to play with as the International Space Station.
The HDi Sport model is just stuffed with technology and equipment. You need time on the driveway to understand everything that is going on here. I’m sure some technophobes would get in and hop straight back out again.
More on that later in the week but for now, just marvel at the styling of this exceptionally stylish family car. It leaves the Ford S-Max for dead in every department – apart from the lack of two extra seats in the boot, I suppose.
If I ever had to do the school run, this is the car I’d want to turn up in.
Saying goodbye to the 911 this afternoon was like watching a man come to repossess the house. Painful…
At lease seven days in a great sports car is better than none and we can tell you, the 911 Cabriolet is a great car in every respect.
It’s a super car you can use on a daily basis. Trundle around town in a low gear, storm off at the traffic lights or blast around country A-roads in four-wheel drive heaven, the 911 does the lot.
Negatives? Slightly tricky cupholders, an awkward gate to the seventh gear and poor over the shoulder visibility.
What are you waiting for?
There just aren’t enough good reasons to drive the 911 at the moment. Work is piling up and the wet weather hanging over Britain rather dampens the spirits.
Today I used the Porsche for exactly what it wasn’t built for – collecting a couple of bags of wood from the Longleat Estate timber yard. Don’t worry, I lined the bonnet boot with paper and made sure I didn’t slam the lid on a rogue log. That would be an expensive mistake.
The woman at the counter couldn’t quite believe I was using a Porsche but at the end of the day, if the 911 is meant to be an everyday car, then it has to do everyday chores too.
Which would normally mean using the back seat for passengers, I suppose. I haven’t tried them myself but space is at a premium, especially for adult legs. And with a black canvases hood, it’s going to be pretty claustrophobic too.
Still, I’m at the wheel and back seat passengers are the last thing I want to worry about. Just give me the keys, I’ll drive.