2013 Porsche Boxster: First Look

  • Competes with: BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT
  • Looks like: Porsche has a new design language 
  • Drivetrain: 265-hp, 2.7-liter flat-six engine or 315-hp, 3.4-liter flat six; six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission 
  • Hits dealerships: Summer 2012

First, Porsche came for the Cayenne and then the 911. Now it's Boxster's turn — the venerable soul of the brand — to morph into a sleeker, more fuel-efficient form.

For the 2013 model year, the Boxster is all-new. Along with fresh exterior and interior styling, it rides a new longer, wider chassis and also gets a lightweight body and new engines and drivetrain components.

Unlike the Porsche 911, which looks unchanged from the previous generation, the 2013 Porsche Boxster gets a thoroughly new look. The oval headlights have been replaced with tall, vertical ones. The rear spoiler is now seamlessly integrated beneath the rear deck lid. It even continues into the rear LED taillight lenses, which form the backup light; it looks sharp. The whole spoiler deploys automatically at speeds of 75 mph or higher to reduce lift.

Compared to the outgoing model, Porsche says the front and rear overhangs have been reduced and the windscreen shifted forward.

Overall styling, at least in photos, make the Boxster's stern look much wider than its bow; some of which will be borne out in actual specifications we're sure. There's nearly a 2-inch difference in the front and rear tracks on the current model. Final specifications haven't been made available yet. Wider rear air vents, sculpted door panels and large, exaggerated wheel fenders give the new Boxster a much more animated and elegant profile than the outgoing model.

It's not like the last Boxster was heavy — it's got the current BMW Z4 and Audi TT beat by 250 pounds or more — but the new Boxster will be even lighter and more fuel efficient, says the automaker. The new model features a wider wheelbase and track, though Porsche didn't divulge actual details. The new body is composed of an aluminum and steel composite. The base Boxster gets a new 2.7-liter flat-six that produces 265 horsepower. The 3.4-liter is on the Boxster S and now produces 315 hp. Each sprints from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and 4.7 seconds, respectively. Both engines are equipped with direct injection and an automatic start/stop function, which should increase the Boxster's (already good) fuel-economy figures. Other new chassis components include an optional active electronic damping system and torque-vectoring controls, which supposedly make handling easier at high speeds. The soft-top has also improved; it can now open or close in nine seconds (the old model did it in 12 seconds) and can be operated at speeds of up 31 mph. It can also be engaged remotely with the key fob.

In the cabin, the model adopts the elevated center console design found on the Panamera and 911. All Boxsters now come with a 4.6-inch display.

The new Boxsters are expected to hit dealerships over the summer. Pricing hasn't changed much from the outgoing model; the 2013 Boxster will start at $49,500, and it's $60,900 for the Boxster S. Neither price includes a $950 destination fee.

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