© 2020 kertong © 2020 kertong

2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder

This is a HELLOFACAR. Wow.

Perhaps I was pushed into this a bit prematurely from the vindaloo-cursed i8 – that I will admit. I was looking for an exit, a way out of that i8, and this car happened to be on the lot. I looked, I leapt. And I loved it.

The boxster itself is a fantastic platform. Don’t listen to the vocal internet armchair experts who will tell you that a boxster is for people who couldn’t afford a 911, or settled with the “cheapest porsche” just for the badge.

These cars are a purebred Porsche sports car, every bit as deserving, if not more, of the badge than the 911. Mid engined balance, light weight, roadster, and a real throwback to the glory days of the Porsche 356 and 550. There’s a reason Porsche uses mid-engined layouts for the Carrera GT, 918, RSR, 917, 904, GT1 supercars. Mid engined is just better.

As if the Boxster platform was lacking (it wasn’t), the last year of this “981” generation got a boosted 3.8 liter motor from the 911, but placed in the middle as it should be; all the cubes and power of the 911S, but placed in the middle of a balanced and lightweight chassis. It got a bespoke, 1-way valved suspension (no PASM), and the steering, despite being electric, was amazingly organic and alive. It had the precision of the earlier electrics with the quick response right off center; but had the delicious palpable weight of the hydraulic racks of yore. Maybe the weight wasn’t as dynamic as the hydraulics, but just the fact there was some meat to the wheel under load was a huge step up.

I remember the first time I got into this car after selling the i8 at a huge loss. I felt stupid, ashamed, and ripped off by the i8. I was worried I’d look at the spyder with a bit of resentment, at being a stop-gap to get me out of the i8. All that worry went out the instant I started the motor. It reaffirmed my belief that the 981 series boxster/caymans have the best sounding flat 6 short of a 991.2 GT3; and I don’t see anything changing that opinion-fact for a long while. While I was really into the gimmicky nature of the i8 (half electric, half sporty turbo ICE motor), this car reminded me of how good it felt to do one thing well, rather than two things with mediocrity. No more compromises. I’ve always found myself drawn to raw and visceral cars, and this was a reminder I should just stay committed to that rather than trying to compromise with half assed electric motors and batteries (11 miles is a lot shorter than you’d think!)

The shifter in this car was second to none. I know people rave about the S2000 shifter, and it is a fantastic one – but take that and add that bolt action, slotting-into-metal-gates feeling, adding noticeable rigidity and mechanical harmony into the mix. Best shifter I’ve ever felt, yes, moreso than the S2000.

I even loved the fussy bikini top. It always reminded you that this was no ordinary boxster.

I wonder how much of my love of this car was due to my second car. Remember the MR2 Spyder? While it was my second car, it was the first that showed me there is more to driving than sheer torque (ahem the z28). This Spyder was like a post-puberty MR2 spyder. It sprouted some cylinders, grew some curves, got stiffer and more aggressive, and underwent quite a nice voice change.

As we all know by now, nothing good lasts forever, especially when it comes to my cars.

I unfortunately didn’t keep this one for long (surprise surprise). I got distracted. I won’t even bother to make excuses this time. While I have zero regrets about the car I bought next, I do regret letting this one go. Well – the color was a bit weird (this “Rhodium Silver” had an unfortunate blue tinge to the silver that showed in certain light), and the interior was an unfortunate garish maroon. But god, did it drive well. The car I replaced this with was much faster, but much larger/heavier, and more oriented to touring. You’ll see my regret of letting such a pure roadster like this go, because I soon bought a 2nd car to complement the powerboat tourer this car was replaced by.