Porsche Boxster

Porsche's flagship S now features the same 3.4-litre flat-six engine as in the Cayman coupé

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The 3.2-litre Boxster S never lacked power, but the Cayman’s bigger flat-six adds vigour to its drop-top stablemate. Better still, the price has increased by only £690, despite the performance hike. Still £4,000 less than the Cayman and with a fine soft-top, the flagship Boxster is actually a bit of a bargain!

The days are short and the weather foul, but Porsche is doing its best to banish the winter blues. The German company has tweaked its Boxster line-up, and the flagship S now features the same 3.4-litre flat-six engine as in the Cayman coupé.

It boasts an extra 15bhp compared to the outgoing model, and a modest 4Nm torque increase to 340Nm. While these figures aren’t earth-shattering, they do make a difference to the lightweight two-seater. They shave a tenth of a second from the 0-62mph sprint, which now takes only 5.4 seconds, and give a top speed of 169mph.

Add the charismatic exhaust note, which transforms from a muted growl to a loud bark at full throttle, and you have a great package. The old car’s slick six-speed box and communicative steer-ing are retained, while the torquey engine and pliant suspension ensure that even urban gridlock isn’t a grind.

Away from traffic, the Boxster S is in its element on flowing roads, with its excellent handling and strong brakes. The finely tuned suspension gives superb traction and resistance to body roll, while the ride is remarkably supple.

However, the firmer sport setting of the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, activated by a button on the centre console, is strictly for committed enthusiasts and track-day fiends. While the fresh engine is the major news, aficionados will also spot a few additional revisions to make life with a Boxster easier. For instance, the engine coolant and oil top-ups in the rear load space are now housed beneath a solitary flap.

Just about everything else is unchanged, though, so the cabin is still sensibly laid out and expertly finished. The trademark styling hasn’t been messed with, and nor has the superb roof. This rivals a solid hard-top for refinement, and makes long trips surprisingly comfortable. It’s so good it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing outside – which is just as well, really!

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