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Thoroughly updated for 2003 and enhanced each year since that time, the Porsche Boxster is little changed for 2006. Updates include the availability of a tire pressure monitoring system, two-stage front air bags, and new options such as an electronic logbook to record mileage, journey length, date and time, and an extended-navigation module so the driver can trace a return route, even when the road traveled does not appear in the navigation system's internal map. (Note to enthusiasts: the electronic logbook can also be used as a lap timer.)
The Boxster and higher-performance Boxster S are mid-engine roadsters. This means that they have two seats, convertible tops, and engines mounted in front of the rear axle, directly behind the passenger compartment. This chassis architecture provides a dynamic balance that makes for improved handling and a "fun to drive" feel. The architecture also means that the Boxster has two trunks, one in front of the passenger compartment and one at the rear of the car, behind the engine.
The Boxster is available in two versions, the standard Boxster and the Boxster S. The Boxster draws power from a 2.7L, horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine that pumps out 240 hp. The Boxster S has a 3.2L engine that generates 280 hp. It also rides on larger 18-inch wheels and accelerates to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed (on test track or Autobahn) of 167 mph. Both versions come with either manual or Tiptronic automatic transmissions. Whether it's the Boxster or the S version, this vehicle has been praised for its agile and dynamic handling capabilities. Porsche says that power without control can be foolhardy, so all Boxster and Boxster S models have variable-ratio steering gear, specially-tuned suspension, large wheels/tires/brakes, and Porsche Stability Management, an electronic technology designed to help the driver keep the vehicle on its intended course.
The options list includes Porsche Active Suspension Management and Sports Chrono Package, both designed to enhance dynamic capabilities, as well as composite ceramic brakes, a technology originally developed to support Porsche's participation in major international racing events. The power convertible top can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 30 mph. And although these are convertibles, they have side-curtain airbags as part of their standard safety system. The bags are mounted not in the roof rails, but in the window sills of the doors.
The Boxster competes in the Compact Premium Sporty segment, a small but prestigious, and very competitive, category of cars with cutting-edge design and aggressive performance capabilities.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the sales leader for calendar-year 2005 was the Nissan 350Z (27,278 sales), followed by the Acura RSX (20,809), Mercedes-Benz CLK (18,227), Chrysler Crossfire (14,665), Mercedes-Benz SLK (11,278), BMW Z4 (10,045), and the Porsche Boxster (7,879). Others in the segment are the Honda S2000, Saab 9-2X, Audi TT and Volvo C70. Joining the field in 2006 are the Porsche Cayman and Volvo C50.
|Base (M5)||5 speed manual||$45,000||240-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||20/29|
|S (M6)||6 speed manual||$54,700||280-hp / 3.2L 6-cyl||19/27|