2005 Porsche Boxster First Drive
Little brother goes big timing
Call it the Little Brother Syndrome.
Porsche launched the Boxster in 1997, and since then, it's spent much of its time in the shadow of its famous big brother, the 911. Bad enough that the Boxster has had to duke it out in the marketplace with the likes of the BMW Z4, Chevy Corvette and Honda S2000, the biggest challenge it faced was not from competition without, but rather from comparisons within.
Weighing the Boxster against the vaunted 911 is probably inevitable, given its lineage, but this has kept some people from seeing the car in its own light, and that's a shame. In many respects, the Boxster is Porsche's most compelling car. For one thing, the forty-something price point is more affordable to more people. More importantly, its driving dynamics are among the most user-friendly in the Porsche lineup. The Boxster's mid-engine balance and spot-on handling make everyone comfortable behind the wheel. Decades ago, the 911 demanded a good driver. Cornering the car with the rear-mounted flat six could flat out spell trouble, unless you knew the 911's nuances. That's history, of course. Generations of electronics and engineering have long ago tamed the twitchiness of the 911's tail, so anyone can drive one quickly. The Boxster, by comparison, has always been invitingly elemental, forgivingly, fundamentally balanced.