Many happy returns to the iconic Porsche Boxster which celebrates its 25th birthday this year. Feeling old? So are we!
Porsche fans were left jumping for joy when it was announced this week that to mark the Boxster’s 25th anniversary, it has produced a limited edition run of roadsters based on the 718 GTS 4.0. Dubbed the ‘Boxster 25 Years’, sports car enthusiasts will need to part with just over £72,000 to get their hands on one when it goes on sale in March.
In honour of the Boxster, we take a look back at its origins, the battle against its siblings the Porsche 911 and Porsche Cayman, and how it has since gone on to hold a place in our hearts…
Where it all began
Inspired by the 365 Cabriolet, Speedster and 550 Spyder, the first generation Boxster was launched by Porsche back in 1996 as a mid-engine two-seater roadster sports car. Initially, the Porsche Boxster was powered by a 2.5 litre engine to give it some welly, but in the years since it has been upgraded to a 2.7 litre engine.
So why the name, Boxster? It’s actually a combination of the words ‘boxer engine’ and ‘roadster’, referring to both its flat-designed engine and its roadster body style. Makes sense.
Boxster through the generations
The arrival of the Boxster signified a commercial turnaround for Porsche, having previously been associated with unattainably priced cars for the rich and famous. However, a friendship and some wise words with Toyota changed all of that.
It was also the first time that Porsche had used a water-cooled non-front engine in one of its vehicles, as the Boxster proudly showcases a mid-engine layout. Why? By doing so it meant the car had a lower centre of gravity, better weight distribution and extra sassy handling on the roads.
The second generation Boxster (the 987) made its debut at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, revealing a number of modifications to the vehicle. These changes included larger side air intake vents and enlarged wheel arches.
The Boxster’s third generation design (known as the 981) went on sale in the summer of 2012. It featured a new engine and transmission specifications, plus further alterations to the body of the car and an ever larger wheelbase than before. The bigger the better eh!
Four years later and the fourth generation design was unveiled under the guise of the Porsche 718. It was edgier, sexier, and paid tribute to Porsche’s racing roots. The new Boxster also had a brand new turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Stereotypes and controversy
Despite the success of the Porsche Boxster, it hasn’t come without its flaws. During the early 2000’s, the Boxster had big problems under the bonnet with some owners experiencing complete engine failure. This cost the company dear and resulted in Porsche settling numerous lawsuits.
The brand has also been subject to harsh criticism from many luxury car fans, citing it as a ‘poor man’s Porsche’. But Boxster fans stuck by the brand, showing loyalty and heralding it as one of the best handling sports cars money can buy. And 25 years later, we think they may have had the last laugh.
A brand new Boxster
Porsche knows how to create a mic-drop moment when it comes to anniversary announcements; their special silver jubilee 4.0 litre flat-six engine model has got everyone talking. The 2021 Boxster 25 Years incorporates many design features of the original 1994 concept car.
The colour is simply stunning thanks to the use of Neodyme – a copper-like hue which enriches the Boxster with gold accents. This paired with a Bordeaux red leather interior and embossed ‘Boxster 25’ lettering will have even the harshest of critics enthused. As for speed, it’ll do a cool 60mph in just four seconds and can top speeds of 182mph.
If you’re in the market for one, you’d best get in quick as just 1,250 are being made. Our verdict? Bravo Boxster, bravo.