Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

This section holds reviews of Babybmw members own reviews

Moderators: babybmwadmin, marco_polo, Producethis, Lambster, Rich196

Post Reply
RagingKileak
Knowledgeable Member
Knowledgeable Member
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:38 pm

Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

Post by RagingKileak » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:31 pm

Hello all,

I know some of you have been awaiting my review of the Porsche Boxster S and certainly, noone who loves cars could fail to appreciate some of the pics which as always, have been taken by my mate Ant Pearson, so here you go!!

The Quest

As many of you know, I've looked into a lot of cars. Some which would be a compromise between sports and everyday use, some of which were just plain silly, and fewer still which were perhaps just unrealistic for what I needed. After running the 135i and the E36 M3 in parallel for a while, I realised that having two cars wasn't neccesarily a massive headache, especially if I cleared the garage of junk.

With that in mind, I began searching for either a Boxster S, a Z4M or a VX220 for the weekends, whilst a secondary plan was hatched to sell the 135i and buy something sensible. In particular, because I was offerred a new job midway through the buying process and because a loan I've carried since I was 18 has finally ended, I was able to stretch my budget a little from the very base spec Boxsters I had been looking at to some around the 30k mark.

Equivalent (or sometimes better, not withstanding the archaic E46 Sat Nav) spec Z4M's could be had for around 20k, so the argument against the Boxster was strong, especially considering the Z4M is probably the more characterful performer.

This all changed though when I saw this car for sale at Porsche Centre Chester:

Image

Featuring everything I could want and more (Ceramic Brakes being a very unlikely to achieve option on a Boxster) except the later 3.4 litre engine, I just had to go take a look.

The Dealer

Having experienced a certain level of disinterest from Porsche Centre Leeds on two seperate occasions, I must admit that I wasn't expecting much from PC Chester, but having brokered a strong PX for the M3 and a nice raft of extras I went to see the car and, all being well, finalise a deal.

Upon arrival, it was clear the car needed some paint across most of the nosecone. I didn't think it was too bad, but James (the salesman) had picked it up and wanted it right.... On the other hand, I thought the front tyres were badly worn/cracked and although legal, not up to the standard I expected. Some haggling followed, and Jon (the business manager) threw in a years tax and offerred to fit new tyres if I supplied them, as http://www.mytyres.co.uk were cheaper than Porsches own cost price (allegedly) so things were going nicely. All in, it was a pleasure to buy from James/Jon and I am promised they will keep me informed of any early 997 Turbo's which land following the first six months of my Finance deal (when it becomes easier to get out of) so that will be a nice call when it happens!!

The reason I added a 'Dealer' section is because of what followed when the car went wrong. Firstly, the car wouldn't start - turning over, but not firing. Research suggests it is a common fault, and Porsche Assist were all too happy to recover my car to PC Leeds who duly fixed and valeted the car overnight, replacing the battery which wasn't holding charge under warranty.

Excellent I thought. Until the following week when the clutch started to feel spongy and crap. I dropped the car in at Leeds who kindly gave me a lift home. Only a short morning later and they had the car in bits, at which point I was informed 'Well Sir, you were right about the clutch and we're also going to have to change the flywheel, but we can do that under warranty. It's good news really, because it's only going to be £1500 + VAT.'

I was shocked to say the least.... Changing a battery under warranty but not a Clutch (which I am convinced was damaged by the dodgy flywheel) when the customer has only had the car for 6 weeks and a thousand miles!! Anyway, a few calls to Porsche Centre Chester later and they had authorised for Leeds to send them the bill - meaning the car was fixed for free.

I can't really knock anyone for the work done, or the fairly high level of professionalism throughout, but I can say categorically that if I could swap the bricks, mortar and staff that make up the two dealerships across the pennies so that Chester was in Leeds and vice versa, I most certainly would. They were reassuring and solid throughout, seeming to be totally in control and with a clear goal to retain me as a customer, which is a feeling I have never had from Leeds even when I wanted to buy a car on two seperate occasions.

The Car

The most interesting part right? Well nearly, after pics!!

The Porsche Boxster S is a car which I think, grows on you with time. It's certainly nowhere near as lairy or as exciting as the Z4M, but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in sheer capability.

I've never got out of this (or any other) Boxster feeling exhilerated or grinning because I barely survived an insane slide round some forgotten road in the Dales like I used to in the 350Z or when I test drove the Z4. Instead, I smile as I climb into the Boxster, safe in the knowledge that it is quietly confident, rather than overtly brash.

It seems to me that Boxster drivers think they know something noone else does. I used to feel that they were underpowered and a little bit ugly, with very little to attract me aside from the badge, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The Boxster is more than fast enough even despite its relatively modest power (especially with the top down) and the flat, poised handling it displays into corners is more than enough to bring it right up the arse of heavier, less well balanced vehicles as I have often found when out for a blast.

Every component feels designed to facilitate rapid movement. Comparing it to a 911 or similar for pace would be stupid, being as both are outright sportscars, but there is no doubt that the Boxster is far more capable than far more powerful 'compromise' or 'normal' road cars. The 135i and 335d I've had before were capable of intense, eye watering bursts of speed, but both roll and wallow like a drunken hippo in comparison to the Porsche, featuring none of the Boxsters ability to brake for, turn into, balance on the throttle throughout and accelerate out of corners.

Of course, such compromise cars undoubtedly have their place - the Boxster for example is an absolute pig in traffic, with a clutch so heavy it is either 'on' or 'off' and incredibly hard to use in first gear. Porsches 'Porsche Communication Management' (PCM) 2.6 (as fitted between about 2005 - 2009) would probably be better off called 'Porsche lack of communication management' as it features a sim card slot for your phone (mental) and a pretty basic nav system to say the least.

My car features Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as part of the 'Sports Chrono' package. As always, this is the kind of option people want (though they don't know why) and which causes disagreement between journalists the world over. PASM itself means the car is 10mm lower than standard, but also features electronic damping by Bilstein (similar to E92Fan's PSS10 setup) which automatically adjusts between 6 stiffness settings depending on how hard the driver is making progress. Many say it makes progress to jittery for UK roads, which I can agree with, but on a smooth Yorkshire A road, it most certainly makes a wonderful handling experience even better, especially when manually overridden to its hardest setting. This can be achieved either via the PASM - Sport button, or by the cars outright Sport mode.

Like in the E46 M3, the Sport mode sharpens up throttle response, but in the Porsche it does a number of other things which include engaging PASM to its hardest setting, limiting stability management interference, removing the soft rev limiter and also enabling a handy lap timing gizmo which even works out how many 'laps' remain in the car before refuelling... Could be handy at the Ring I think!!!

Another option worth noting on the Boxster S (as already mentioned) is the £5500 Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB.) At around 5kg per corner lighter than standard and with huge 6 piston calipers, these things really help the car feel surefooted and by god, can they stop. Someone on here mentioned that they find Porsche brakes woolly and I think I understand that, but I think now I am used to them it's certainly not the case with the PCCB setup at all. Instead, to the contrary I have recently had a couple of emergency stops to make after which I felt physically sick due to the insane rate at which the car came to a standstill.... I often brake for red lights and wind up 50 or 60 yards short, such is the capacity for stopping. In fact, the only problem with the PCCB kit is the constant squealing, which once warm, is relentless and annoying with the top down - embarassing even!!

All in all, despite some minor flaws, I love how the Porsche feels like every component is designed to work in unison towards a single goal. There is no body roll whatsoever and scuttle shake only really appears due to poor roads rather than because the car is being twisted by the driver. The engine is so lively and feels much larger than it is, with what feels like a lot more torque than the quoted figure and an exhaust note which, with the top up, is so, so sweet and when down, is carried away nicely so that conversation is still possible.

For me, I can sum the Boxster S up nicely by an experience I had only the other day, with Ant as a passenger just before he took the photos you see below. We were pressing on near Otley Chevin when we came upon a beautiful white Nissan GT-R behind a queue of traffic. The noise it made was intense and ominous, especially when he dropped a cog and moved out to overtake. I did the same, and as we both passed three cars on the left side of the road, he was moving away at a good car length per second easily - as I had no doubt he would.

The road opened up into a long downhill straight which dips over a bridge at the bottom and then back up before a series of turns. The GT-R driver, clearly new to his semi-supercar was firstly unable to follow up his ambition on the downhill straight, then afraid of the dip at the bottom, and lastly very afraid of carrying any speed whatsoever into the corners. My Porsche, two up and half as powerful was stuck to his arse like a tiny ladybird throughout the whole sequence before finally, the road opened up going into Harrogate and he was able to flex his muscles.

I'm not saying the Boxster is anywhere near as all conquering as the GT-R, in fact I loved following the big Nissan and the sound - omg the sound - but I am pleased and proud to say that the Porsche does carry enough confidence, enough capability that it CAN hang with the big boys if driven properly.

I think what all Boxster S drivers know that noone else realises, is that the car they drive will always be underestimated. That people will always ask 'couldn't you afford a 911' and that there will always be a £10k hot hatch with a hundred horsepower more, but they don't care.... Probably because when it really comes down to it, as the sun is setting over beautiful countryside on a warm evening, there are few cars which offer such pure, uncluttered driver focussed enjoyment as the Boxster S.

Matt

The Pics

Yes, I do go on and on... check out these pics courtesy as I said before of my mate Ant, who by the way, is a cracking wedding photographer and also good for occasional photoshoots of just about anything!!

http://www.antpearson.co.uk/Porsche%20Boxster%20S/#1

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
nicebiscuit
Enthusiastic Member
Enthusiastic Member
Posts: 809
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:02 pm

Re: Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

Post by nicebiscuit » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:50 pm

Well OK. I'll be the first to say that's a lovely looking Boxster... :)

Red suits it and it's nicely understated on those wheels. Looks very much like an enthusiast's car, rather than a poseurs!
120d Sport Coupe. Abarth 500. Saab 900 Convertible. Practical family cars all...

EvoGlynn
Too Much Time To Waste Member
Too Much Time To Waste Member
Posts: 2245
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:55 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Contact:

Re: Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

Post by EvoGlynn » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:13 pm

Thanks for writing this Matt and your car is stunning. Now go get those wheels powder coated black :-)
Think it will look even better then, especially with those massive yellow callipers (my opinion of course)

Was an interesting read as I am a massive fan of Porsche as my dad has had them ever since I was born.
Also as I am a fan of fast BMWs, good too read your views.

What's also funny, is today I have popped over to my dads on the way back from the Cotswolds (awesome roads) and he has recently bought a 997 C4S Cab - so took it out for a good trash today. Now I'm not comparing my 130 to a 997 but the handling is in a whole different league. Fast - yes but the braking and turn in was unreal.

So I can fully understand your comments on the speed v capability. Joy in driving isn't straight line speed in my eyes, but tackling corners, braking late, turning in and feeling the confidence to push on.

Though I guess its a shame you couldn't afford a 911 and just the poor mans version.........hahaha joking of course

Enjoy.
STEALTH BOMBER130i Evolve | Brembo | KW | BMW Performance with a touch of Alcantara and Carbon - GONE AND HUGELY MISSED - but E90 M3 on the cards :-(

RagingKileak
Knowledgeable Member
Knowledgeable Member
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

Post by RagingKileak » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:50 pm

EvoGlynn wrote:Thanks for writing this Matt and your car is stunning. Now go get those wheels powder coated black :-)
Think it will look even better then, especially with those massive yellow callipers (my opinion of course)

Was an interesting read as I am a massive fan of Porsche as my dad has had them ever since I was born.
Also as I am a fan of fast BMWs, good too read your views.

What's also funny, is today I have popped over to my dads on the way back from the Cotswolds (awesome roads) and he has recently bought a 997 C4S Cab - so took it out for a good trash today. Now I'm not comparing my 130 to a 997 but the handling is in a whole different league. Fast - yes but the braking and turn in was unreal.

So I can fully understand your comments on the speed v capability. Joy in driving isn't straight line speed in my eyes, but tackling corners, braking late, turning in and feeling the confidence to push on.

Though I guess its a shame you couldn't afford a 911 and just the poor mans version.........hahaha joking of course

Enjoy.
Thanks for the comments gents.

Funnily enough, I have done a photoshop of the car with black wheels and side vents.... It looks good... CF vents also might do the trick with the black wheels...

Not sure if I will do it though. The wheels really are ABSOLUTELY divine and perhaps, should be left as they are!!

Matt

User avatar
THETYRANT
Too Much Time To Waste Member
Too Much Time To Waste Member
Posts: 2191
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:02 pm
Location: Cumbria UK

Re: Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

Post by THETYRANT » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:55 pm

Nice write up and car looks very nice :)

Ive just recently traded my mint 2001 Boxster-S in for a 130i, found the Boxster a very capable machine which surprised most that came in it or up against it expecting it to be a weak hairdressers car :lol: ....most fun was on track though where you are able to really push the limits, on the early 3.2s like I had it just doesn't have enough power to exploit the tremendous handling and balance, which makes it kinda boring to drive after awhile as its just too capable for amount of grunt it has, Im sure yours with the extra horse's will be much more entertaining though :D

Enjoy :D

Cheers
Ian
--
Now on my 3rd 130i, this time a nice E81 in Graphite, Previously 2 x 130i and 2 x 135i

Camber plate project - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=96465

Suspension Quest thread - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=80208

User avatar
niuniu
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Porsche Boxster S Review and Picture Porn!!

Post by niuniu » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:22 pm

That is a cracking looking Boxster. Are those the Carrera S wheels? They look amazing on the Boxster. The red is tasty too, very sporty, very cool. I'd enjoy that car a lot if I had it :twisted:
Image

Post Reply

Return to “Members reviews”