From £38,810
Optional Sports Chassis turns the standard Porsche Boxster S into a focussed track day blaster

Our Verdict

Porsche Boxster

Does bigger mean better for Porsche’s third-generation Boxster?

20 August 2012

What is it?

On first glance this is just another Porsche Boxster S with a set of fancy wheels. Certainly, it’s only the Porsche purists that will notice that it sits 20mm lower than the standard S.

You see, what makes this particular Boxster S stand out is what happens under the skin. Along with suspension 20mm lower than standard, or 10mm lower than PASM-equipped models, the Sports Chassis option introduces springs that are 20 per cent stiffer at the front and 25 per cent stiffer at the rear. The biggest difference is the roll bars though – 10 per cent stronger up front and a 36 per cent at the rear. 

Unlike its PASM-equipped brother the damping isn’t adaptive though, the Sports Chassis retaining a fixed damper setting. Final details haven’t been confirmed, but the £1,000 (estimated) option will likely be part of a more comprehensive (and expensive) pack - available on both standard and S models.

What's it like?

On track? Pretty amazing to be honest. The standard Boxster S is already adept at showing up some serious supercars when it comes to circuit work, blending sharp responses, serious speed and excellent balance, but this Sports Chassis adds another dimension to its list of talents.

Understeer seems to be a thing of the past, the nose of the Boxster tucking in neatly and hunting hard for the nearest apex. In fact the turn-in is so sharp that, having just jumped out of a regular model, we found ourselves occasionally winding off a bit of lock mid-corner to compensate. Spend some time behind the wheel and that ‘problem’ soon dissipates though.

There’s little body roll to be detected either, the beefed-up anti-roll bars clearly doing their job. And with the rear so much stiffer the once rather neutral balance of the Boxster has undergone a subtle shift in priorities; where it once resolutely gripped, now - with provocation - the tail can be brought into play. Of course it’s still no drift machine, the mid-engined layout dictating that as much as anything, but its line is certainly more adjustable on the throttle than ever before.

The compromise comes on the road, or specifically our pothole strewn tarmac; on a typical B-road a PASM-equipped Boxster S may in fact be a little quicker. Those stiffer springs mean the Sports Chassis-equipped car has a tendency to get knocked off line earlier and you need to take a firmer grip of the steering wheel. It’s not particularly uncomfortable, but if you’ve already experienced a regular Boxster the difference is noticeable.

Should I buy one?

The answer to this lies wholeheartedly in your priorities. The standard Boxster S (preferably with the PASM adaptive dampers) is so good an all-rounder, with a chassis already offering sharp reactions, that this car requires some real commitment.

Venture towards a track and you’ll find it entirely worth it, where the sharper reactions will not only widen the performance envelope but bring lap times down as well. Try it once and we’re convinced that you’ll be hooked. For road use only it’s a different story, the addition of the Sports Chassis only any good for pub-bragging rights; the setup offers no real benefits on our roads over other Boxsters. Make the right decision for you though, and we’re sure you’ll never regret it.

Porsche Boxster S Sport Chassis

Price £46,400 (estimated); 0-62mph 5.1sec; Top speed 176mph; Economy 32.1mpg (combined); CO2 206g/km; Kerb weight 1350kg; Engine 6 cyls, 1339cc, petrol; Power 311bhp at 6700rpm; Torque 265lb ft at 4500rpm; Gearbox 7-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
3

20 August 2012

Is it 20mm lower or 30mm? the article mentions both figures.

I notice in the Specs list at the bottom the engine is 1339cc... they've done well to get 311bhp out of that.

 

20 August 2012

20mm lower than a PASM equipped S, 30mm lower than a standard (non-PASM equipped) Boxter S, is my interpretation.

21 August 2012

I do like this one.

They did a good job with the new design.

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