A Porsche Boxster and me
MANILA, Philippines - I will never forget one of my first assignments at The STAR — it was a trip to Germany where I got to drive the Porsche Boxster on the Autobahn.
There is something exciting about driving a Porsche: the feel of the steering wheel, the leather on the low sports-car seats, the sound of the engine revving, and then some.
I got that driver’s high again recently when I was given a few days with the Porsche Boxster 718.
Two decades after the first Boxster made its debut, Porsche has restructured its mid-engine roadsters. The designation for the new generation of models is 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S. The two-seat convertibles are now more powerful yet more fuel-efficient.
I really had so much fun because with the newer Porsche models, the brand continues the tradition of the four-cylinder flat engines that were used in the Porsche 718 mid-engine sports cars that won numerous races back in the 1950s and 1960s, among them being the legendary Targa Florio and Le Mans.
There is some adjustment required in driving a Porsche; it is not an elegant sedan. This means that the ride might be a little “rough” but that is to be expected of a sports car, right?
Cool: The cockpit of the Boxster
Driving a Boxster is not about feeling the comfort of a sedan. For me it is about feeling the high that a racecar driver gets when on a track, yet being able to get that high while traversing through the traffic-filled EDSA, or on the less crowded roads of Tagaytay on a weekday.
This is exactly what I did. I drove the Porsche Boxster to Tagaytay; I was in one of my more Zen moods that day, so I took the spin by my lonesome.
The drive down SLEX went smoothly with the newly developed four-cylinder flat engine with turbocharging.
And — although I could hear the engine rev as I drove down SLEX (careful to keep the speed at 100 kph max) — I was also well aware that the new 718 Boxster models have fuel economy improvements of up to 13 percent.
I drove with the windows down to feel the wind on my face as the Porsche smoothly drove through the long and winding road of Sta. Rosa to Tagaytay.
The completely new chassis tuning and stronger brakes provide for passionate and sporty driving pleasure. The design of the new model line is also comprehensively advanced.
There were no hard curves to turn as the Boxster held close to the ground as I continued to drive up to Tagaytay — inside it was all smooth and fun.Looking inwards
Although there are times when I drive out of town to see more greenery and clear my mind, this time it was a bit different as I had my eyes focused on the newly designed dash panel that frames the cockpit. In addition, the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a state-of-the-art touchscreen is included as standard.
Before the drive I read up on the new 718 Boxster generation and discovered that it represents the first time since the late 1960s that Porsche is again implementing sports cars with four-cylinder flat engines. Turbocharging significantly boosts torque. Thus, the new 718 Boxster models sprint even faster.
Yes, the top speed of the 718 Boxster is 275 km/h — but, sadly, there were no roads that I could have tried that speed out on.
As I approached a place where I could take a break in Tagaytay I slowed down and parked the Porsche.
There were quite a few people having breakfast by the time I arrived and they also were taking loving glances at the Porsche.
As I got off the Boxster I took one good look at it as it was parked. I noticed that the 718 model line is a beauty at first glance. The front end of the new roadster exhibits a much more sculptural form. The front has a wider and more masculine appearance. The much larger cooling air intakes at the front are a distinct exterior expression of the new turbo engine concept. The front end of the 718 Boxster is rounded out by the new design of the bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available as a new option. From a side view, identifying features of the new model line include new, independently styled wings and side sills. Larger air inlet panels with two fins emphasize the car’s dynamic look.
I also really like the redesigned rear body of the 718 Boxster that has a much wider look — especially due to the accent strip with integrated Porsche badge between the tail lights. The entirely redeveloped tail lights are distinguished by their three-dimensional LED technology and four-point brake lights.
Actually, I like everything about the Porsche Boxster — from its looks to its performance. It is one of those cars that are truly cool to drive… and drive… and drive.