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2000 Porsche Boxster roadster -



In 1948, a man and his son introduced the fulfillment of a dream to the world: an open two-seat roadster known as the Porsche 356. Designed from the beginning to both race and serve as reliable everyday transportation, the roadster featured an engine mounted just ahead of the rear axle with a body, hand hammered from lightweight aluminum.

In fact, every feature of the first Porsche was functionally justified, dedicated to one end -- enhancing the overall driving experience. This first roadster from the father and son began to win races, modified with little more than aerodynamic fender skirts -- launching a string of 356 victories across virtually every category of motor sport -- validating the genius of Porsche's original roadster concept.

Fast forward to the 1993 North American Auto Show in Detroit. The automaker unveiled the stunning Boxster, a mid-engine concept car with a design that reflected all the knowledge gained in all forms of racing, from Formula 1 to desert ralleys. The overwhelming positive public reaction resulted in Porsche bringing the roadster to market in 1997.

The Boxster gets its name from the classic Porsche horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine -- nicknamed "boxer" for the way its rod and piston movement resembles boxers throwing punches. The first production model shared much of the earlier concept car's mid-engine design and introduced the first liquid-cooled horizontally opposed engine from Porsche.

Porsche continues the tradition of evolution for the 2000 model year. A new 2.7L version of the boxer engine with the E-Gas electronic "drive-by-wire" throttle replaces the original 2.5L six-cylinder. Interior materials and content have been upgraded as well, including new soft-touch grain for the dashboard and interior trim.

The automaker introduced a more powerful version of the Boxster, making the Boxster S roadster available to American drivers earlier this year.

Considered a "step up" from the improved Boxster, the S badge signifies a truly special model, not just a trim upgrade. A lethal 3.2L version of the standard Boxster prime mover coupled with a third radiator and six-speed manual gearbox borrowed from the 911 Carrera or Tiptrontic S five-speed automatic transmission are the major hardware upgrades.

The result on the asphalt is that the Boxster S goes from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds versus 6.4 seconds for the regular Boxster.

On the road, the race car-inspired mid-engine layout concentrates much of the car's 2,800 to 3,000 pound mass near its center, providing quick response to steering inputs. Four-wheel independent suspension features an optimized MacPherson-strut design for rigidity and aluminum components for low unsprung weight. Front and rear stabilizer bars and dual-tube gas-charged shock absorbers provide flat cornering.

A "staggered" whee/tire array (wider wheels and wider, lower-profile tires on the rear) contributes to neutral handling in the Boxster. Front tires are 205/55ZR16 with the rear 225/50ZR16 for Boxster and 255/40ZR17 front/255/40ZR17 rear for Boxster S.

Inside the cabin, Porsche has upgraded materials throughout. The interior of a Boxster continues to be a very personal statement -- with an extensive list of trim, material and coverings for discriminating motorist. Displays and controls continue to be directly in front of the driver and easy to use. The power ragtop requires one latch, one button and 12 seconds to go from top up to stored -- sliding smoothly beneath the rear deck without affecting trunk capacity.

Another advantage of the mid-engine Porsche design is the ability to transport plenty of cargo in a small package -- since both the Boxster features front and rear storage areas with a total of nine cubic feet of cargo space.

By the numbers

Engine performance statistics are as follow: 2.7L -- 217 hp at 6,500 rpm and 192 lb/ft of torque at 4,500 rpm; 3.2L -- 250 hp at 6,250 rpm and 225 lb/ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. EPA fuel economy ranges from 20 city/28 highway for the 2.7L/five-speed manual to 17 city/24 highway for the 3.2L/five-speed automatic. Both engines require the use of premium unleaded gasoline.

Standard safety/security equipment includes: power assisted four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, roll bar, speed dependent rear spoiler, front and rear fog lights, dual front airbags, side impact protection, electronic immobilizer system and central locking system. Boxster S adds transponder key anti-theft system with immobilizer, remote keyless entry and infrared interior monitor.

Optional safety/security features include: alarm system -- Base ($600), traction control with automatic brake differential ($870) and front windshield rain sensor ($585).

The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2000 Porsche Boxster roadster starts at $41,430 for the base manual up to $53,140 for the S model with Tiptronic. Destination charges add $765. Work with your local dealer to secure one.

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About the Author

Ken Chester, Jr.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.


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