Finally it made sense. Winding through some sinuous country roads with the top down with my favourite tunes blasting from the very effective stereo, I finally got' the cabriolet thing. As a purist I am not a fan of cabriolets. To me it's normally a surefire way to add weight and flex to a sports car, which will then dull its responses and turn the driving experience from visceral to remote. With this mindset I have always viewed the Boxster with suspicion Where the mighty 911 is the apex predator, the Boxster is somewhat further down the food chain. My view was that it would never meet the standard set by the 911 and I would therefore be disappointed with the driving experience. I couldn't have been more wrong.
With the roof up the car feels rigid and one is cocooned in the snug, but very comfortable, cockpit. Forget for a minute that the Boxster is not the most powerful Porsche and drive it for what it is - a pure sports car. There may be quicker convertibles on the road, but none of them feel like a Porsche. Despite its diminutive proportions, this Boxster still feels as if it were milled from a billet of unobtanium. Everything works with precision and every action requires firm, positive input from the driver Nothing is overly heavy, in fact it's a very easy car to drive, just correctly weighted for balance. If you enjoy driving then this car will reward you by involving you in the process Performance is strong in the long-geared, hang-on-to-the-revs kind of driving style. You must work the car to get it to go quickly but it's such a rewarding process. Appropriately for sports cars this one is a manual, with six speeds no less Gearshift action is positive with just the right amount of heft and the floor-mounted throttle pedal is perfect for those heel-and-toe downshifts. The chassis feels incredibly taut, helped in this instance by the fact that this unit is fitted with electromagnetic adjustable shock absorbers. Hit the sport button and everything tightens up. Grip levels are impressive and the Boxster clings resolutely to your chosen line even on bumpy roads. Despite the entry level status of the Boxster it feels just like any other Porsche, particularly when braking. No fuss or drama, just eye popping retardation when one stands on the stop pedal.
With the roof down things get even better Unlatch the centre catch mounted in the roof just aft the windscreen, then
toggle the switch between the seats. Up pops the rear cover while the soft top does the origami thing and a few seconds later it is secured neatly behind you Closer inspection of the bulkhead immediately behind the seats gives a clue as to why the Boxster remains so rigid even with the top down Back here there is some beautiful craftsmanship you would not normally notice as the bulkhead behind the seats is beautifully shaped and gusseted. The cabriolet curse of scuttle shake is all but nonexistent in the Boxster. Wind rush is well contained with the passenger windows up and a wind deflector between the two seats There is just enough breeze to allow wind in the hair motoring without it becoming intrusive. Without the roof the glorious sound of the motor fills the cabin and you will hang on to gears for longer than necessary just to revel in the classic Porsche sound.
This model is fitted with seat heating, climate control, sports chrono package and the rather beautiful 18-inch 987 S wheels. It's certainly a looker and no doubt the special GT Silver paintwork adds to the equation. Hard to believe that it's a 2005 model, although the mileage is a very low 44 000km. Condition is superb and it's a measure of the inherent rigidity of the design that five years on there are no squeaks or rattles to be found - just a pure driving experience. At R445 000 one gets a true Porsche that will also double very nicely as a daily driver. Call Porsche Centre on 011 540 5000 for more details. ■
The Porsche Approved Pre-owned Car Programme.
The Official Importers of Porsche Cars.
Balance of Driveplan or minimum one year fully comprehensive
Pre-owned Warranty where applicable.
Porsche Centre Johannesburg
Corner Witkoppen and Wroxham Road, Paulshof Telephone 011 540 5000
2007, 96,000 km, basalt black, black leather, R445 000
2008, 72,800 km, meteor grey, black leather, R545 000
2009, 34,500 km, sand white, black leather, R569 000
2009, 35,900 km, meteor grey, black leather, R645 000
2003, 142,000 km, crystal silver, black leather, R325 000
2006, 93,000 km, titanium, black leather, R469 000
2007, 47,300 km, crystal silver, black leather, R645 000
2009, 18,900 km, basalt black, black leather, R795 000
2008, 30,000 km, meteor grey, black leather, R795 000
2009, 43,000 km, crystal silver, black leather, R895 000
2007, 45,100 km, crystal silver, black all leather, R875 000
Cayenne Turbo S
2009, 21,500 km, basalt black, black/havanna beige all leather, R1 395 000
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