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Porsche Boxster S PDK

It’s hard to fault the Porsche, which is cheaper and better to drive than the F-Type. It’s still the top sports car choice.

It’s hard to fault the Porsche, which is cheaper and better to drive than the F-Type. It’s still the top sports car choice.

If the F-Type is going to make an impact as a great-handling sports car, it must rival the Porsche Boxster – so it’ll need to be very good indeed. The regular Boxster was a close runner-up in our Performance Car of the Year 2012 test, while the Boxster S driven here delivers the kind of performance that can make the larger 911 seem excess to requirements.

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The Boxster is smaller than the F-Type in every dimension, and its mid-engined layout means everything is packed in tightly, while the smooth, rounded body is unmistakable. There’s plenty of room behind the wheel, and the classy dash has plenty of silver trim.

Fire up the 3.4-litre flat-six, and there’s a distinctive clatter and thrum from behind you that’s pure Porsche. With 311bhp, that engine is 60bhp down on the F-Type’s supercharged V6, but the Boxster S is over 200kg lighter than the Jaguar, and acceleration is similar – especially with the PDK twin-clutch box and its launch control.

On twisty roads, few cars can make you smile as readily as the Boxster S. The balanced chassis, fluid steering and masses of grip mean this brilliant Porsche just edges the Jaguar for driving thrills. Factor in its lower price and greater practicality, and the Boxster takes a narrow win over the F-Type.

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