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First Drive: 2013 Porsche Boxster

More 911 than ever.

by on Jun.14, 2012

Porsche delivers a "more mature" Boxster for 2013.

Hollywood executives aren’t the only ones who seem to come up with similar ideas all at the same time.  When Porsche introduced the original Boxster, back in 1997, it hit market about the same time as several other European roadsters, notably including the Mercedes-Benz SLK and BMW Z3.

The Porsche Boxster was clearly the sportiest of the three – though no one would likely confuse it with the German maker’s classic sports car, the 911.  It didn’t have the style, the body stiffness, the power or the performance.  It was, by comparison, something of a youthful toy.

To its credit, each successive generation of the Boxster has gotten better and better.  And during its unveiling in Geneva, last March, when we asked Porsche chief designer Michael Mauer what the goal was with the all-new model his response was simple: “to make it more mature.”  After spending a couple days with the 2013 Porsche Boxster we’d have to say that nails it.

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If there’s a downside, it’s something Porsche should worry about.  The new model is so solid, so nimble and so attractive that those 911 wannabes who might otherwise have to strain to get into the flagship model might now comfortably enjoy – rather than settle for – the Boxster as an alternative.


First Drive: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera

Evolution of an icon.

by on Nov.09, 2011

Porsche rolls out the seventh generation of its iconic 911 Carrera sports car.

As the styling chief for Porsche, Michael Mauer knew he had one of the biggest assignments of his career when he was told to redesign the maker’s flagship 911 sports car.  Few vehicles are more iconic, so, few projects would be more challenging.

The first thing Mauer recognized were the limits confronting him.  While he was asked to come up with something distinctive for the seventh-generation he knew that a radical redesign simply “wouldn’t be a 911.” That meant maintaining the car’s distinctive shape, starting with the long hood, bulging headlamps, “flyline” roof, and, of course, its rear-engine layout.

A Real Performer!

What Mauer and his design team have come up with is somehow very different and yet surprising familiar – a Porsche 911 that is at once familiar and yet radically different.  There’s not a single panel or part carried over but for the powertrain – which nonetheless undergoes some significant enhancements.  The 2012 Porsche 911 is longer, lower and wider.  It delivers an array of new technologies intended to make it more powerful and more dynamic – while also improving its fuel economy by an estimated 16%.

The 2012 Porsche Carrera S is longer, lower, wider -- and 100 pounds lighter.