Porsche's mid-engine roadster, the two-seat Boxster, and its coupe counterpart, the Cayman, serve as the German brand's entry-level sports cars. The Cayman is covered in a separate report in the Cars.com Research section. The Boxster competes with the Audi TT roadster, BMW Z4, Chevrolet Corvette convertible and Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.
The Boxster is available in lightweight, more powerful Spyder form. The Spyder comes with a manually operated soft-top, sport seats, aluminum doors, and interior door release straps rather than handles. Air conditioning and a stereo are not standard, though they are no-cost options. With a curb weight of 2,811 pounds, the Spyder weighs 176 pounds less than a Boxster S, but its 3.4-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder is rated at 320 horsepower — 10 hp more than a Boxster S.
New for 2012
A Porsche SportDesign steering wheel is newly available.
The most evident styling difference between the Boxster and its Cayman cousin is that the Boxster is a soft-top convertible whereas the Cayman is a hardtop. The Boxster's projector-beam halogen headlight clusters incorporate the turn signals. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch wheels; 18- or 19-inch wheels available
- Standard LED taillights
- Optional hardtop and wind blocker
- Aluminum doors and lightweight manual top for Spyder
An available 6.5-inch touch-screen controls the audio, communication and navigation systems in this two-seat roadster. Interior features include:
- Standard CD stereo; six-CD changer optional
- Optional carbon fiber trim
- Optional heated/ventilated seats
- Optional Bose surround sound system
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
The base engine is a 255-hp, 2.9-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder. The 3.4-liter six-cylinder makes 310 hp in the Boxster S and 320 hp in the Boxster Spyder. Both engines can team with a manual or PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mechanical features include:
- Rear-wheel drive
- 3.4-liter engine has direct fuel injection for better performance, gas mileage
- Optional adaptive suspension
- Spyder's suspension lowers the car by nearly an inch
- Spyder comes with a limited-slip differential
Standard safety features include:
- Antilock disc brakes
- Side-impact airbags
- Head-protection airbags
- Electronic stability system
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