Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

Despite being a two seat, mid-engined Porsche, not even the Boxster S, let alone the standard Boxster, sets its stall out based on flat out performance. Even the fastest accelerating of the lot – an S with PDK and launch control – won’t crack 5sec to 62mph. There’s an Audi TT RS Roadster that’ll do it in 4.2sec.

But unless you’re one of those types with an unusual penchant for bar room banter, this should not affect your feelings towards the car. For Boxster drivers, the thrill comes in the way that performance is delivered.

The S is notably more flexible than the standard model

Both the Boxster and Boxster S engines are among the smoothest of any kind in any car in the world and your enjoyment can begin in any gear at any speed.

But where the standard engine is sweet throughout the rev range, it’s only really strong past its 4000rpm torque peak, whereafter it’ll run for its red line like a starving man after a meat pie.

By contrast the S does that almost regardless of revs, so you notice the additional flexibility in performance even more than the performance itself. That old adage about there being no replacement for displacement is alive, well and living under the Boxster’s engine cover.

Your choice of transmission is easy. We like and admire the PDK auto, enough for it to be the gearbox au choix were this a test of the Porsche 911. But the manual option in the 911 is a seven speed manual which is actually too much of a good thing.

The six speed manual Boxster gearbox, is by contrast a complete peach with perfectly judged ratios and the best change quality in the business. It also happens to suit the roadster’s more recreational character.

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