B is for Boxster
I’ve loved Porsche for as long as I’ve loved cars. One of my earliest childhood memories is playing with a black die-cast Porsche 930 toy. I still remember liking the round headlights and the wide wheel arches. Since then, I’ve always dreamed of owning a Porsche.
I was never a huge fan of the Boxster but when Porsche announced the 981, I completely fell in love. I had wanted one since the day it was announced. When Porsche announced its successor, the 718, I rushed over to my local Porsche dealership. I disliked the busy looking facelift and I also felt it could be the last chance I’ll be able to enjoy a naturally-aspirated roadster.
The Boxster I ended up getting last year is the Black Edition model. It features the standard 261bhp 2.7L flat-6 engine and comes exclusively in black with 20” wheels. All Black Edition cars come with standard black paint, but mine came painted in Jet Black Metallic. The color is best described as a very dark metallic navy. I usually don’t drive black cars because they’re hard to maintain, but liked this paint so much that I made an exception.
As you may know, Porsche is famous for their extensive options list. My car is equipped quite sparsely, but has the options I consider must-haves. Some of the highlights include the SportDesign steering wheel that has solid aluminum paddle shifters, an excellent BOSE sound system and Sport Suspension which lowers the car by 20mm. Oddly, my car also came optioned with a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat, which I think completes the interior.
The entire purpose of the Boxster is, of course, the driving pleasure. It is the quintessential roadster; a perfect blend of adequate power and natural handling. My favorite part of the driving experience is how you can feel exactly what the car is doing. It’s a cliché, but the Boxster is really a car that feels like an extension of your body. Small cues are sent through the steering wheel and the seat, helping you understand what the car is doing. This builds great confidence in the vehicle. It’s when I drive any other car that I realize how special the Boxster is to drive.
These days, however, I’m having a harder time enjoying the car. I recently joined Tesla, and after I joined, I spent a bunch of time driving the Model S. The effortless sense of power that an electric car provides is something I had never felt before. The push of an electric powertrain feels unlimited. It’s God-like. And after driving the S, I get back into the Boxster feeling like it’s from a different century. The power delivery feels super unrefined, and the sharp handling isn’t enough to compensate. The Boxster is still a ton of fun, but my eyes have been opened to realizing how archaic the internal combustion engine really is. It’s slow, inefficient, loud—and it smells terrible. It was a bittersweet realization for me. I feel like I met my childhood hero too late in life, but it has also made me extremely optimistic for the future of automobiles.