Description: Exceprt from Winding Road article by Tom Martin, click link below for full article.

Update: 2013 Porsche BoxsterBy Tom Martin

February 04, 2013
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In our initial review of the Porsche Boxster, the press car we tested had the base 2.7-liter engine, and yet was loaded with both performance and comfort options. Porsche offers one of the richest arrays of options among all manufacturers, so Porsche PR had plenty to choose from in decking out our $49,500 base Boxster with $28,625 in options. Fans of this system, among which you can count your humble servants, point out that Porsche allows you to get your car configured pretty much exactly the way you want. And if you've ever said something like, "Gee, I wish you could get the Mark Levinson sound system and heated rear seats with the diesel engine," you'll understand the benefits of the Porsche system. It is impressively flexible. It isn't perfect, in part because it can be costly, and also because it can be confusing.

The most impressive but potentially confusing part of the Porsche option system, circa 2013, is the variety of performance options on offer. With the sports cars, generally there are choices of:

. Two engines
. Base, adjustable (PASM) and sport suspensions
. Sport Chrono, which offers drivetrain mass damping and launch control (on PDK)
. Torque vectoring
. Two transmissions: traditional manual and PDK dual-clutch paddle-shift
. Two exhaust systems
. Two steering assist levels
. Two steering wheels with different shift mechanisms for PDK
. Two or three wheel diameters, sometimes with different tire widths
. On some 911s you can also get active roll control and either AWD or RWD

You can't exactly choose each item separately, but the arrangement is pretty close to a la carte. Realistically there are double-digit numbers of configurations here, at least.

That wouldn't matter to prospective buyers if a) Porsche buyers didn't care about driving subtleties, and b) if all these choices were gimmickery. But Porsche buyers do care and Porsche is a real engineering company, so the technology does things that are readily perceivable. Because of all the permutations, it is also unlikely that your dealer has the various permutations available so that you can do the testing.

We aren't going to solve this problem, because Porsche PR doesn't have all the permutations either. But we did opine, while testing the Boxster with PDK, PASM, Torque Vectoring and Sport Chrono on 20-inch wheels, that the base car might be preferable. Not just "better for the money," but outright more fun to drive.

Keywords: Tom Martin

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