Last year, TTAC named the Boxster S Car of the Year. I found the award ludicrous. A decade old, under-endowed Porsche-lite trumping the best and the brightest from the US, Italy, Britain, Japan and the rest of Deutschland? It's like arguing that the "S" in "SUV" stands for "sport." With the possible exception of my misplaced belief in the longevity of love with a certain young, deceitful woman, I have never been more wrong about anything in my life. Last week a "regular" Boxster painted in "take my license, please" red showed up at my house. I have lost my ability to not smile.
Clocking the new Boxster is like checking out the teenage daughter of your old high school crush. Everything that attracted you to the roadster is still there, only fresher, perkier and more… streamlined. From most angles, the Boxster resembles Ye Olde 996 Turbo, chopped and dropped. From the rear though, and especially with the beefier haunches, the Boxster still appears as if someone is bent over and spreading 'em. If you think this is a coincidence, you haven't watched enough German porn.
Anyone dissing the Boxster as a "chick's car" mistakes form for function. From the controls' perfect positioning to the gauges' layout and legibility, to the thick carpets—everything lets you know you are in a gentlemen's lounge. Sure the buttons are tiny, but 80% of them are for the radio. The wheel, stick and pedals might as well have been designed by you, for you. The lone misstep: Porsche's handling nanny button sits below the passenger heat-seat switch. (NB: do not try to reheat your passenger in a tight right-hander.) Returning to the cockpit is like slipping on your favorite pajama bottoms.
Yes, yes; never mind all that. Once you get the 2.7-liter motor screaming, the seats might as well be made of nails, snakes and glass. Special, endless props go to Porsche's acoustic boffins for getting the soundtrack exactly right. Take the rpms above 4,000 and the Battle of Midway is being waged behind your head. Screw that; the bombing of Dresden. I have never heard such monumental, merciless violence.
The Boxster feels great going straight, stopping, turning left, right and just sitting still. To put it bluntly, the Boxster's a blowjob with wheels. Sure, it's a bit of a power-bottom, totally content to submit to whatever punishment you decide to mete out. No matter what the torture, the Boxster is up for it. Into a turn at full speed? Love it! Mad, second gear acceleration attack out of the apex? More please. Your automotive perversion simply doesn't matter; this ride goes both ways.
Since I'm being a complete pig, the red Boxster produces more cargasms per mile than any other whip in existence. It is so stupidly simple to rotate the rear tires past the plant of the fronts that even a hack driver like me can do it, and do it again. While stomping on the laws of physics during a pistonhead-perfect two-lane canyon romp, my passenger shouted above the cacophony of the exhaust, 'How does it do that?' Dunno. I mean, I'm sure there is a logical, engineering-type explanation for the new Boxster's handling improvements– modified suspension geometry, recalibrated springs, shocks and anti-roll bars– but I chalk it up to magic. The Boxster has the ability to twist the world in front of you; all you need do is tug at some leather.
The only problem with Porsche's Boxster is that other cars exist. I never realized the Boxster was gutless until some vapid, bleached-blond skank in a BMW 650ci beat me in a drag. I had her till 70, but then the Porsche ran out of legs. Point is, I never would have guessed. I suppose the S model solves that deficiency, though you could just give up stoplight shenanigans and pocket the 10 large. Furthermore, no matter how awesome your power slide, no matter how heroic your heal and toe, there always seems to be a mid-80s Dodge Caravan going ten miles under the limit as you round the corner. But that's simply not Porsche's fault.
As the years roll by, one racks up a lot of lovers. Many are duds. Some are fantastically fantastic. But there is always that one: the ugly little secret you cherish in your heart, the truth that you can't stand, hidden from your current partner at all costs. Yes, you convince yourself, I am happy. But then, from across a parking lot, out of the corner of your eye, there she is. I will be testing a lot of extreme metal on your behalf, dear reader, but I have a hard time convincing myself that I will ever get over the new Porsche Boxster. Car of the Year? And then some.
[Porsche provided the vehicle reviewed, taxes, insurance and a tank of gas.]