Pup of the Porsche fleet oozles Style and substance

Peter Atkinson |

The time-honoured Porsche Boxster is the smallest car in the German maker’s range.
The time-honoured Porsche Boxster is the smallest car in the German maker’s range.

Is there any car you can think of that is less in need of a “style” makeover than the Porsche Boxster?

It’s a bit like giving singing lessons to Taylor Swift or perhaps, more accurately, driving lessons to Max Verstappen.

And it’s fair to say this delightful little two-seater, the smallest model in German giant Porsche’s range, is in many ways the most fetching.

That’s quite a statement when talking about a company that has produced the iconic 911 for seven decades, not to mention the robust Cayenne SUV and the electrifying Taycan.

But even in that company the little rag-top Boxster hardly needs a “Style Edition” facelift – it’s really just a clever marketing exercise, brilliantly pulled off by the folk in Stuttgart.

The Boxster and its hardtop twin, the Cayman, have been around in the same basic form since 2016 – so perhaps it won’t be all that long before these models start heading for that Nurburgring in the sky.

So, why the “style” treatment at all?

Well, brands such as Porsche don’t come with a use-by date. But its loyal band of followers are cutting-edge consumers.

Interior of the Porsche Boxster
Inside the Boxster, the Porsche badge sits proudly in the centre of the steering wheel. (Supplied by Porsche/AAP PHOTOS)

This is the fourth-generation Boxster – the first unveiled in 1996. The arrival of the second-generation rag-top in 2005 coincided with the debut of the first Cayman – using an identical chassis, transmission and mid-mounted engines for these twin terriers.

The advent of the still-current 718 designation included a switch away from normally-aspirated, flat-six engines that have been a Porsche staple for decades.

The four-cylinder power might represent a step away from the Porsche recipe, but it’s still easy to see the family resemblance between the Cayman and Boxster, as with the DNA they share with the legendary 911.

The Boxster is surprisingly and substantially smaller than the 911 and considerably less expensive. You’ll pay more than $300,000 for any 911 with a retractable roof, while the Boxster tested is about $125,000 plus on-roads.

The Cayman, despite being almost identical to the Boxster beneath the skin, is $5000 cheaper and the Macan baby SUV tips the scales at about $85,000 – a hefty $20,000 less expensive than the smaller two-seaters.

The Style Edition tested is based on the entry-level Boxster and Cayman – each oozing style and excitement.

The Style package adds all manner of little trinkets – from Porsche crests on the hub covers, seat headrests, door panels and floor mats.

The test machine came in the dazzling “shark blue” paint, contrasting with the black cloth roof, white bonnet strip and embossed “Porsche” decals across the bottom of the doors.

There’s also a spunky little spoiler on the rear boot lid which can be raised manually or which will deploy when the car hits 100km/h (which normally takes 5.1 seconds from standstill).

So, let’s tick a few boxes.

The Boxster looks every bit a Porsche – from beautiful sculpted front quarter-panels to the muscular hips and the giant air intakes just behind the driver’s door which gulp up as much oxygen as possible to fire up that punchy little four-cylinder.

What doesn’t change is the pulse-raising way both models deliver such a stellar driving experience.

Both models get the same two-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged powerplant delivering 220kW, a throaty 360Nm of torque and a choice of the standard six-speed transmission or seven-speed Porsche PDK (Porsche Doppelkuonplung) dual clutch self-shifter.

The force-fed four cylinder isn’t the most powerful in the Porsche fleet, nor is it the most explosive – but with a light weight (just over 1300kg) it’s one of the lightest models.

And it’s amazing the difference a few kilos can make.

Its nimble, turn-on-a-dime light weight makes it feel quite different from the much bigger, more powerful and more imposing 911.

Having the engine just in front of the rear axle means the car’s modest weight is distributed precisely between the four wheels. Nett result is a car that not only sits just a few inches above the road, but one that delivers prodigious mechanical and aerodynamic grip.

The proximity of engine to cockpit also allows just the right amount of happy sounds as the flat four goes about its business.

There are two boots – the first sitting quite deep in a little tub in the front and a slightly wider and shallower affair beneath the boot lid.

This car was never designed to be a load-lugger but it’s better than you imagine. Golf clubs will definitely be off the menu (unless you’re travelling solo).

Otherwise, the Boxster celebrates all that’s good about drivers’ cars – everything cleverly presented and placed easily within reach of the driver without the need to leave your that curvy little leather sports seat.

If the weather turns nasty the cloth roof is back in place in just a few seconds and the seats and steering wheel are heated.

The rear end is equally pert – from the retractable spoiler to the vivid LED brake lights and, of course, that name across the rear hatch.

Likewise inside – from the Porsche badge in the centre of the slightly skinny steering wheel, the beautiful engineered alloy gearshift paddles and, of course, the very Porsche chronometer perched at the top-centre of the centre stack.

Style, if ever we’ve seen it.



It looks imposing from the outside but it’s actually quite small. The cockpit is a snug fit for any drover over 188cm.


It will snarl its way to the speed limit in 5.1 seconds – no match for Porsche’s high performance models but this has just enough power and handling to make it a joyous drive


A fairly modest 8L/100km/


At $125,000 the Boxster is hard to go past for a European drop-top.