The Porsche Boxster has been around for about 15 years and has only seen two generations and a facelift in 2008. Luckily for the guys over at Porsche, the mid-engined roadster is doing fine without the extra renovations. For 2011, the Boxster isn’t coming at us with extra packages or additional bells and whistles, but it is arriving in style with its usual sleek and unique exterior, and its good ol’ faithful 2.9L six cylinder Boxer engine.
The Porsche Boxster doesn’t really scream incredible speed with a power output of 255hp at 6,400rpm and 214 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s 0-60mph sprint of 5.6 seconds isn’t the best time for sports cars in this class and its 163mph isn’t the best either. What is cool about this engine setup is the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) which can minimize these performance numbers and provide a more comfortable ride.
Pricing for the 2011 Porsche Boxster starts off at a reasonable $47,600 for the base model which comes with the standard six-speed transmission. Add the seven-speed PDK gearbox and that price jumps up to $51,020. And then there’s the addition of a few "extras" that could jet propel this price to a not-so-comfortable, underwear up the butt kind of feeling.
Hit the jump to get the good, the bad, and the oooh about the 2011 Porsche Boxster.
The 2011 Porsche Boxster’s design and style for the exterior hasn’t changed from the previous years so there are no surprises there. It will still feature a front apron moulding with integral air intakes, front air intake grilles in black or basalt black, an automatically extending rear spoiler, and a rear lid in a titanium-colored finish. A cool feature for the Porsche Boxster is the electrically operated hood system with heated glass rear screen. Opening and closing the hood is easily accomplished in about 12 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph. The Boxster also comes with an optional hardtop which is made of robust aluminum and adds about 51lbs to the vehicle. A three-piece wind deflector is also available upon request and is installed on the rear roll-over bars to decrease turbulence.
The rear of the Boxster gives way to a stainless steel exhaust system as standard with the option of a sports exhaust system for those wanting to get a deeper sound to match the sports car stereotype.
Lighting for the exterior of the vehicle comes in halogen headlights with LED lights in the sidelights and fog lamps. Rear, brake, and third brake lighting also come with LEDs. Bi-Xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights are available as an option. Dynamic cornering lights are also available and will assist in cornering with the ability to swivel up to 15 degrees to light the way.
Rolling the Boxster down the road are a set of 7Jx 17 Boxster III alloy wheels with 205/55 ZR 17 tires at front and 8.5J x 17 Boxster III alloy wheels with 235/50 ZR 17 tires at rear. These wheels come with an anti-theft wheel protection, tire sealing compound, and electric air compressor. A mechanically locking rear differential is available as an option with 18" and 19" upgraded wheels.
The interior is where the Boxster gets real snazzy. Standard seats for the sports car come upholstered in Alcantara leather, and have manual height and fore/aft adjustment and an electric backrest adjustment. Comfort and Sport seats are available as options. Comfort seats add electric fore/ aft, height, backrest, and lumbar support adjustment while also providing the driver with memory seating. Sport seats come in firmer leather and have higher side bolsters on the seat squab and backrest. Height and fore/aft positions are adjusted manually while the backrest can be shifted electronically. Adaptive sports seats with drover memory and sports bucket seats are also optional, as is the heated seating available for all seats except the sports bucket seats.
Steering the Porsche Boxster will be made easy with the 3-spoke sport leather steering wheel with manual height and reach adjustment. Heat can be added to the wheel as an option.
Other options for the 2011 Porsche Boxster include cruise control, HomeLink garage door opener, automatically dimming interior and exterior mirrors, and Park Assist.
Completing the ambiance for the interior is the standard CDR-30 CD radio with 2 x 25-Watt output and four loudspeakers. If that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy then Porsche offers many other options to wow their customers. As an upgrade, Porsche can provide a BOSE surround sound system with a CD storage box, as well as the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system. This system comes with a 6.5-inch color touchscreen that can store up to 48 presets and is MP3 compatible. An optional GPS navigation system is also available for the PCM system and includes a hard drive containing map data for most areas and a choice of three different alternate routes.
Other options include an electronic logbook for PCM, a telephone module for PCM, a six-disc CD autochanger, and Sound Package Plus with CD storage box.
Safety for the Porsche Boxster is easily attained with the deformable front and rear aprons with integral alloy bumpers mounted on impact absorbers. A two part roll-over protection system consisting of a tube-reinforced windscreen frame and roll-over bars assist the Boxster in making sure the passengers are kept in one piece. Full-size airbags and three-point inertia-reel steel belts are the more basic protection offered by Porsche, along with the brand’s Side Impact Protection. These features will keep the driver and passengers protected against any physical damage, but the optional alarm system will keep your Boxster from getting into the wrong hands.
The 2011 Porsche Boxtser is powered by a 2.9L six cylinder, horizontally opposed aluminum alloy Boxer engine that produces 255hp at 6,400rpm and 214 lb.-ft. of torque. The rear wheel drive model can get from 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds and can hit a top speed of 163mph. With a curb weight of 2,943lbs, this leaves the Boxster with a power-to-weight ratio of 1 : 11.5.
The Boxer engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, but a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) is available as an option. This transmission will allow the driver to shave 0.1 seconds off the 0-60mph time and 0.3 seconds if Sport Plus is added to the PDK. Stopping power comes in the form of four-piston monobloc aluminum fixed caliper brakes in the front and the rear.
Fuel economy for the Boxster is rated at 19mpg/city and 27mpg/highway for the manual and 20mpg/city and 29mpg/highway for the PDK-equipped sports car.
Other technical features in the engine setup are Vario Cam Plus variable valve timing and lift for more torque at lower speeds, integrated dry sump lubrication for a more reliable oil supply, and the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. The PASM comes with two different modes - Normal and Sport - that can lower the suspension by up to 10mm.
Speaking of suspension, the 2011 Porsche Boxster features lightweight coilover McPherson struts with anti-roll bars in the front and rear. This suspension system keeps the lightweight theme of the Boxster with the use of aluminum in all of its movable parts.
For a sportier tuning of the engine and chassis, a Sport Chrono package can be added bringing a more immediate throttle response, a higher setting for the rev-limiter, and activation of the sports exhaust with just a touch of the Sport button on the center console. The Sports Chrono package and the PDK gearbox offers two additional functions for an optimal driving experience. The Launch Control does exactly what it says by providing the fastest possible rate of acceleration from a standing start and gets to optimum speed by 6,500pm. The second function is the motorsport-derived gearshift strategy provides maximum shift speed, shorter shift times, and optimum shift points for maximum acceleration. All of this can be monitored with the addition of the Sport Chrono Plus package which contains a swivel-mounted timer with analog and digital display located in the center of the dash.
Sales Date and Pricing
The 2011 Porsche Boxster is currently on sale with prices starting at $47,600 for the manual and $51,020 for the model equipped with the PDK.
Obviously, it would be smart to compare the 2011 Porsche Boxster to other roadsters on the market. The most comparable model for the Boxster is the BMW Z4. The BMW Z4 fairs better in the power department when compared to the Boxster because of its top of the line model producing 335hp and 332lb.-ft. of torque. This leaves it with about 25 more horsepower than the Porsche model, but that range topper will leave the customer spending $61,550. The base Z4 starts off at about the same price as the Boxster, and comes packing the same 255hp as the Stuttgart pony. The iDrive system gives the BMW half a notch up on the Porsche, but our personal taste throws a few points to Germany’s corner and leads us straight to the Beamer.
Plenty of options to satisfy any engine need
Unique look may have some turning up their noses
Adding cool options tacks on plenty of dough
With the top up, entry is rather difficult
What Others Have to Say about the 2011 Porsche Boxster
Automobile.com: "This is not a car to be driven if one wishes to have no attachment to one’s surroundings; this is the car for those drivers who delight in feeling alive."
Edmunds.com: "The 2010 Porsche Boxster is one of the most desirable roadsters on the market. It’s wise to be conservative with the options list, though, or you may find yourself missing an arm or a leg."