Cranked up the red devil and headed for the seaside. I soon discovered a clear separation between the Boxster S and big brother 911. While there's nothing wrong with the way the S punches its way through the ether, the roadster lacks the rolling snap of its larger engined sibling. If you're looking for autobahn uberholprestige, the Boxster ain't it. Well, duh. But here's the deal: the Boxster is so good in the corners— any corner at any speed— that in-gear grunt seems to be the only thing it gives away. Click through and I'll put a finer point on it.
Obviously, the Boxster S? mid-engined layout gives it an inherent advantage over the rear-engined 911? not in terms of achieveable speeds, but in terms of fun. When pushing the S through a corner, the car comes alive beneath you, shifting its weight from front to back, offering a choice of oversteer or understeer, telling you exactly what?s happening with the chassis and tires. To get that kind of involvement from a 911, you have drive at far higher speeds; maybe even twice as fast. But why would you? The sensible thing (on a public road at least) is to dial in the optimal grip / speed ratio and just go ?round. Awesome, but less enjoyable. Yes, that?s right: the 911 is less fun to drive than a Boxster S.
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Of course, the top speed factor prevents the Boxster from receiving its fair due against the 911 and other more powerful machines. Which could be cured by nothing more complex than a larger engine. In fact, I reckon if you put a 911 engine into a Boxster tin top and sold it for the same price as a C2, Porsche?s current ?entry level? model would doom the ?basic? 911. Which is why Porsche doesn?t do it. Ah, but RUF does. I can?t wait to drive their conversion of the new Boxster. Actually, with the red devil around, maybe I can?