New Porsche Boxster revealed

5 Oct, 2011 6:43pm Dan Strong

Our spies catch the new Porsche Boxster on test ahead of its 2012 launch

The new Porsche Boxster has hit the road, and autoexpress.co.uk has the clearest pictures yet.

As our images show, every body panel is new and it now has a bolder, more dramatic profile. At the rear, there are new LED equipped brake lights that wrap around the tail.

According to sources close to the project, the cabin gets inspiration from the new 911 - meaning clearer instruments and a boost in quality.

There are also bigger roll over hoops, and a more steeply raked windscreen - helping exaggerate this car's "roadster" status.

Codenamed 981, the model we have spied is a sporty Boxster 'S', which gets huge 18-inch alloy wheels as standard - plus flared wheel arches, a more shapely body and deeper intakes to feed cool air to the rear mounted engine.

Under the skin, there's an all new platform, which is derived from the forthcoming 911 - codenamed 991 and due for launch in November. Drivers can also expect new suspension, a wider track and a longer wheelbase. 

Insiders have told Auto Express the Boxster S’ direct injection 3.4-litre flat six will be carried over to the new line-up but gets stop and start technology and new tuning to meet tougher emissions regulations.

However, time is being called on the old, 255bhp 2.9-litre six-cylinder engine. It will be replaced by a smaller turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine which produces around 270bhp but, crucially, less emissions.

Porsche is working hard to cut its carbon dioxide emissions so the Boxster will be lighter than the car it replaces thanks to the use of more aluminium. But the biggest change is likely to come with the engines.

Emphasis will also be placed on the firm’s seven-speed PDK gearbox which allows faster shifts than a manual, but also contributes to better fuel economy because of the better spread of ratios.

Originally tipped to appear at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, it's thought the car will now make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2012, before going on sale in spring.

The new Cayman coupe follows in 2013.

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Very boring to look at now, reminds me of a bar of soap! Porsche, how about some Design progression and creativity?

Loving it, looks like a Mini Carrera GT Cab!

They've stuck the lights from a Toyota MR2 Mk3 on the front and a blade-like spoiler on the back. Hope they've done something to address the reliability problems!

This model line won't get the power or I suspect an LSD option.
A real pity, in reality it is a better platform than the 911.
I have to agree this does share the Carrera GT look.

What a boring car - anyone but a Porsche anorak would think it's a 10 year old car. Why don't they have any imagination at Porsche?

I never see any difference between new models and old.

Is it any wonder we Brits have issues competing in the automotive world when 4 of the 5 first posts 'put-down' an iconic and massively successful car.
Porsche would never come up with a radical new design, it would alienate their existing customer base by devaluing their current current cars residual values. Porsche manage their development from an evolutionary perspective, they build on success rather than start again, hence Porsche owners enjoy strong second hand values and Porsche enjoy ongoing support from their customers. Ford and others should look at this strategy.
I think the 981 looks really pretty and is great step forward. I'll be sad to see the 2.9 lump disappear in favour of a smaller turbo, harged thing but times are changing. not sure why one poster refers to the lack of an LSD as the previous car has always had this option?
I'd wager that the naysayers above have not driven a Porsche else they would understand the Stuttgart logic. these days every single car Porsche produce, develops into a success story, 911, Cayman, Boxster, Cayenne, Panamera.... with VW now in charge, continuing that winning formula remains to be seen but I for one hope they do.

I agree with ius101,if it ain't broke don't fix it

I agree with ius101. If any of the above had driven a Boxster, 911 I'm certain they wouldn't be here gas-ing about design evo of Porsche. You only have to sit in one, turn the key and punt it off down the road to understand. I've always like'd the look of the 911 anyway(some more than others). And if Porsche were to change it, they'd best make damn sure they were careful about it, in exactly they was they have been over the years.

Understatement of the year.
Spaceshift you are correct in saying its one hell of a car to drive. These cars have the poise the turn into corners with confidence.
It would be nice for Porsche to have a head-turning design that differs from the norm, but that would be too much to ask?

I think what lets a bit of air out of this argument is that Porsche HAVE done it before and quite successfully. 928, 944, Carrera GT, all great cars from Porsche that don't look like 911's. They did it then so why can't they do it now? And please don't point to the Cayenne or Panamera, I'd be too embarrassed to be seen in either of them they are that ugly.

Let's see a modern derivative of the 944 from Porsche. They did it great first time around and with advancements in technology the company could produce a real winner.

improved certainly and an attractive coupe..but why do they persist with an indicator in the line of the wheelarch? looks like an extra doorhandle now. it is a ludicrous zone to place the instrument.. put it in the mirror where it belongs and improve the look of the car. same on the 911. spoils the car for me. They got it right on the carrera gt...

Looks like a MR2 Roadster of 00-05...

But obviously being a Porsche, does the same thing at a far greater price and in real day to day terms not as good...

OK if you like paying over the odds...

I think the Carrera GT scoops make the car a lot more aggressive looking, which isn't a bad thing for cars like this that unfairly get tagged 'hairdressers cars' despite their engineering pedigree. Agree that there's a hint of MR2 in there too, but I was never keen of the front end of that car - and I couldn't fit in one!

Porsche is one of those manufacturers that even people who don't know much about cars will recognise them as being a Porsche.

For Porsche, I think that's a good thing. Now other manufacturers have done the same thing by slapping ugly corporate grills on the front of all their cars, that's a bad thing for them.

Interesting the comment made by gherkins123 above about poor reliability of the Boxster - I had a similar experience with an MX5 which was the worst car I'd owned in 20 years of driving. Shows that you can read these driver satisfaction surveys but not really get a true picture of what people are really experiencing - I've contributed to the Autoexpress Driver Power survey about my awful MX5 experience but you'd never think anyone thought bad of the car by reading the magazine results. I might be in the minority, but it still happened!

No contest... Mazda better built!

@gavsmit, by the time you tot up what it costs to run, service and repair a Porsche after its five year old, your eyes would be watering...

MX5's are just tougher cars...

Your so right 'Legio' - I am on my fifth Mazda and I would reckon they are much more reliable (and cheaper to run) than any premium German brand especially when I hear of friends complaints with Audi and BMW.

I had so many problems with my brand new MX5 cabriolet coupe I had to sell it less than a year later for a massive loss, so in my experience, it was a very costly mistake buying the MX5 and I will not be buying another Mazda ever again after the way they treated me.

And anyway, the point I was making above is that even cars that seem to have a good reputation for reliabilty still have the odd bad one now and then - you can read all the customer satisfaction surveys in the world (like I did) then still buy a dud like my MX5.

I wasn't comparing the Boxster to the MX5.

Well having owned a mint S for around three years, i sold mine as while they drive very well, problems are lack of cabin space and charactor as tney drive clinically well, however for me for me its too impractical , seats were inferior to my 944t storage space just about manageble, cabin too small and especially legroom and tunnel,anyone got a mint 944turbo ? Soory porsche as good as the boxster is amd tnat is ery good,owners have to put up with a weekend car for shorties.

Just another 911. The old 924, 928 & 944 were much better shapes I think.

AEX 1334
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