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Uncompromised quickness - 2012 Porsche Boxster roadster

Classy, refined, prestigious and fast – these are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the Porsche Boxster roadster. Following the automaker's usual process of steady and consistent evolution, Porsche designers further refine the well-balanced design language of the model without the need to radically change the design and looks of the car. With roots that trace to the famed Porsche 550 Spyder and Coupe racing cars of a bygone era, but with contemporary designs, fuel-efficient technologies and the inherent dynamic balance of mid-engine vehicle architecture, the 2012 Porsche Boxster continues to set the pace among the more affordable, premium-class, two-seat

sports cars. High performance, lightweight construction, sporting agility, pure driving

pleasure – these values are reflected in every detail.

For the 2012 model year, the open-air roadster is available as the Boxster, Boxster S, Boxster S Black Edition and Boxster Spyder.

Base power for the Boxster is generated by a 2.9L horizontally opposed six-cylinder "boxer" engine coupled to either a six-speed manual transmission or to the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) automatic gearbox. Like all Boxsters, it is equipped with 12.5-inch vented and cross-drilled brake discs at the front with 11.8-inch rotors in the rear. Those brakes are activated by four-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers, which are painted black. The Boxster rides on 17-inch wheels with 205/55-aspect Z-rated tires in front and 235/50s at the rear.

Standard equipment includes Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which can apply braking pressure to help the driver keep the car on its intended path; seats with manual height and fore/aft adjustment, electric seat-back adjustment and Alcantara inserts to help hold the driver and passenger in place even in very aggressive cornering maneuvers; a three gauge instrument cluster with the tachometer centered to keep the driver attuned to engine operation; a sport steering wheel; air conditioning; cruise control; intermittent wipers; water repellent side windows; front and rear cargo areas; an audio system with universal audio interface and Bluetooth telephone connectivity; a top that opens or closes in 12 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph.

With a manual transmission, the 2012 Porsche Boxster can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. This time drops to 5.5 seconds with the PDK gearbox and to 5.3 when the Sport Chrono Package is employed. Top track speed is 163 mph.

The 2012 Porsche Boxster S benefits from the presence of a 3.4L "boxer" six cylinder engine. It rides on 18-inch wheels with 235/40 Z-rated tires in front and 265/40s at the rear and has red-painted brake calipers, wider rear brake rotors direct fuel injection (DFI) and dual tipped exhaust.

With a manual transmission, it sprints to 60 mph in five seconds flat. Times drop to 4.9 seconds with the PDK and to 4.7 with Sport Chrono package. Top speed on the test track is 170 mph.

The 2012 Porsche Boxster S Black Edition is a limited-production vehicle available only in solid black with black top, black supplemental safety bars, black side air intake grilles, black painted 19-inch Boxster Spyder design wheels, and even black twin exhaust pipes. The black color scheme carries into the cockpit as well, with aluminum and stainless steel used as accents.

Standard equipment in the Black Edition also includes BI-XENON headlamps with dynamic cornering, a wind deflector, auto-dimming mirrors inside and out, automatic climate controls, Bose surround-sound system with XM satellite radio and NavTraffic.

The 3.4L "boxer" six-cylinder prime mover in the Black Edition is tuned to enable the car to reach 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds with a manual gearbox, 4.8 seconds with PDK and 4.6 seconds with Sport Chrono and a top speed of 171 mph on the test track.

Inspired by the Porsche 550 Spyder racer and the sensational Porsche Carrera GT supercar, the 2012 Porsche Boxster Spyder is a low and lightweight sports car.

Weighing in at 2,811 pounds, the Boxster Spyder is the lightest of all Porsches. Weight is saved by the exclusion of unneeded equipment -- including an audio system and air

conditioning -- the use of aluminum doors, very light sport bucket seats, straps instead of interior door handles, a two-piece manual top, an aluminum rear lid -- which features twin bulges -- and the lightest 19-inch wheels Porsche offers.

With a windshield header only 48.5 inches above the pavement, the Boxster Spyder also presents the lowest profile of any current Porsche. Due to its lighter weight and lower profile, the 2012 Porsche Boxster Spyder provides a center of gravity nearly a full inch lower than other Boxsters.

Power is provided by the higher output version of the 3.4L "boxer" six-cylinder engine and flows through a standard limited-slip differential. With ten more horsepower and 176 pounds less weight than the Boxster S, the 2012 Porsche Boxster Spyder can reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a manual gearbox, in 4.8 seconds with the PDK and in 4.6 seconds with Sport Chrono and has a top track speed of 166 mph. However, its true capabilities are delivered not in a fast straight line but in its dexterity on a winding road or race track.

Inside the cabin, the seats are designed for lateral support and comfort during "spirited driving". Displays are easy to read while the bulk of essential controls and switchgear are found in the center console.

Dimensions & specifications

Wheelbase: 95.1; overall length: 172.1; width: 76.9; height: 50.9 (48.5 Spyder)

All vehicle measurements are in inches.

Engine: 2.9L six-cylinder – 255 hp at 6,400 rpm and 214 lbs-ft of torque at 4,400-6,000 rpm; 3.4L six-cylinder – 310 hp at 6,400 rpm and 266 lbs-ft of torque at 4,400-5,500 rpm; 3.4L six-cylinder (Spyder/Black Edition) – 320 hp at 7,200 rpm and 273 lbs-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm.

Transmission: six-speed manual, PDK automatic

EPA Fuel Economy: 2.4L – 19 city/27 hwy. (manual), 20 city/29 hwy. (PDK); 3.4L (Black Edition) – 19 city/26 (manual), 20 city/29 hwy. (manual), 20 city/29 hwy. (PDK); 3.4L (Spyder) – 19 city/27 hwy. (manual), 20 city/29 hwy. (PDK).

Cargo capacity: 9.9 cubic feet

Safety features

Dual front airbags, seat mounted side-impact airbags, dual head curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, active brake differential, anti-slip regulation, Porsche stability management, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, fog lights, engine immobilizer, central locking system, remote keyless entry, roll bars, side-impact door beams, tool kit and air compressor. S adds rear driver's side fog light and alarm system.

Optional safety features include: navigation system, Porsche communications management, Bi-Xenon high intensity headlamps and dynamic cornering lights.


Basic: 4-year/50,000 mile


The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2012 Porsche Boxster roadster starts from $48,100 for the base model, $58,600 for the Boxster S, $61,800 for the Boxster Spyder and $62,500 for the Boxster S Black Edition. Destination charges add $950.

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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