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Motoring: Porsche Boxster - 1997

Designed and developed by Porsche engineers in just three and one half years, the Boxster is a thoroughbred two seat roadster. The basic philosophy in developing the Boxster was to make the car a genuine Porsche in every respect. And the company's designers have fulfilled their task perfectly. In its styling and design, the body is a modern interpretation of Porsche's classic models from the past. It proudly boasts styling features carried forward from the immortal Porsche No. 1 built in 1948 and the 1953 Porsche 550 Spyder.

When it debuted in 1997, the Porsche Boxster ushered in an era of the more affordable Porsche convertible. At the time, it was considered to be a key release for the brand. Porsche had been struggling financially through the early and mid '90s and the Boxster's affordability, classic styling and simplicity made it a huge hit with consumers. Featuring a finely balanced midengine layout, sublime handling and steering, and the performance of a proven, sophisticated flat-6 engine, the Boxster quickly became part of the Porsche legend and one of the best-selling cars in the luxury roadster class. Today there are several big-name competitors with equivalent cachet, but one drive in a Boxster is often all it takes to end a sports car shopping trip. Several evolutionary updates and detail changes through the years have kept the Boxster generally competitive in the face of faster and newer rivals. The latest version is the most powerful ever, with almost 300 horsepower available.

Inside, the quality of materials used has improved over the years and late-model Boxsters certainly project the aura of a premium sports car. With two ample cargo holds front and rear, the Boxster is a mostly practical daily driver, too. Though its competitive breeding can manifest an edgy nature that's sometimes a bit much around town or during lengthy commutes, our editors believe the Porsche Boxster is the quintessential top-down, high-speed weekend getaway device for two. After a decade in production, the classically styled Porsche Boxster also remains a serious, purpose-built midengine sports car designed to travel hard and fast - sometimes demanding a driver's undivided attention but rewarding the skilled pilot with razor-sharp feedback and unmatched thrills and satisfaction behind the wheel.

The first-generation Porsche Boxster came with a power-operated soft top and a 201-hp, 2.5-litre flat-6 engine. In 2000, the big news was the addition of a second, even more focused S model. The Boxster S featured 250 hp, larger wheels and brakes and a more stiffly tuned suspension. In 2001, the tweaks mostly involved interior refinements in layout and materials quality. But underneath, the sophisticated Porsche Stability Management system was made available for both models. For 2004, Porsche increased the power output of both engines slightly. The second-generation Boxster arrived for 2005. Porsche applied evolutionary changes to much of the car. The styling was subtly tweaked for a sleeker look and improved the quality and look of the interior. The base 2.7-litre six-cylinder gained a horsepower boost from 228 to 240, and the 3.2-litre six in the S increased from 258 to 280 hp.

2010 Porsche Boxster spyder

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