Tag Archive | "Boxster"

Captivating Cayman

Pardon our undignified drooling but here at Motor Blogger we think the new Porsche Cayman is very tasty indeed. If you want a suitable analogy, think of a chocolate coated Juliette Binoche (Ladies can add the hunk of their choice at this point – Daniel Craig, Ken Livingstone; whoever) serving you chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream in the upstairs room of La Chocolaterie Maya. Yes, it’s that tasty.

Shown at the recent Los Angeles show, we remarked in an earlier bulletin that the line between the Cayman and the more expensive 911 is becoming increasingly blurred and so it has proved. The top of the range Cayman S with the PDK gearbox and the Sports Chrono Pack can now achieve the same 0-60mph time as the entry level Carrera.

In the UK at least, with our rules, regulations and speed limits, the sporting driver might as well save a bundle of cash and opt for the smaller car. It is relatively inexpensive, has improved mpg and emissions figures and seats two in luxurious comfort. Which ever model you buy, always make sure you get the full leather interior – it’s gorgeous.

As is usual the car comes in two versions. – the standard Cayman and the faster ‘S’ model. The engines are a 271bhp, 2.7L flat six and a 321bhp, 3.4L in the latter car. Despite the reduction in engine displacement (the old Cayman had a 2.9L motor) the car is more powerful thanks to a thirty kilo weight loss. The body has yet more rigidity than its predecessor and overall the car is 15% more efficient.

There are some styling changes as you can see from the pic. It’s very similar to its Boxster sibling but with a few extra styling cues. Arguably, the coupé is better looking. The new car is longer, wider and lower than before and Porsche have even found an extra fifteen litres of usable luggage space for those long weekend’s away.

Amongst the admittedly expensive options there’s the choice of active dampers, torque vectoring and ceramic composite brakes for optimum handling, although the car in basic form is no slouch in that department. Also, as usual, buyers can specify the (probably indispensable) Sports Chrono Pack and top-of-the-range sounds from a Burmester system. All the usual toys are there too as you‘d expect.

All this is yours for a measly £40,000 at entry level rising up to £49k for the top spec. Sure, it’s a lot of money but when you consider what you’re getting it’s pretty much the sports car bargain of the year. Sadly Juliette is nowhere to be seen on the options list. Wonder what Ken Livingstone is doing these days?

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Porsche Appreciation

One of the joys of buying a new car is when the time comes to pick up your prize purchase. A good dealer will make you feel just a bit special when the time comes to hand over the keys and this agreeable experience doesn’t often get much better than at a Porsche Centre.

In a recent survey with comments from nearly forty thousand respondents, Porsche was rated number one for their peerless customer service.  Anyone who has bought either a new or used Porsche will know this to be true. Your car is not just there, it is presented. The sales person remains attentive and describes your car in great and careful detail which is great, but slightly frustrating as all you really want to do is get in and drive! Nevertheless, those surveyed rated the Porsche dealer network to be the best in the UK.

There is no doubt that the German company make special cars. In the survey the mid-engined Cayman was voted a best buy. This comes as no surprise. Although it has to be said that Porsche’s are expensive to buy there can be no question that the Cayman is value for money. If ever a car could be described as scintillating, it is this one. Owners will talk of its legendary handling and poise at almost any speed. Couple that with great looks and a bomb-proof build quality and the discerning buyer can’t really go wrong. The old saying that ‘ people only buy a Cayman because they can’t afford a Carrera’ is arrogant nonsense.

The survey goes on to rather pointlessly suggest that anyone intending to buy a sports car should ‘choose one with good reliability’. You don’t say. Meanwhile, in the good old US of A, the mighty J.D.Power organisation rated Porsche to be the most popular brand.

In the used car market the Cayman’s sibling, the convertible Boxster, was judged to be the tops for driving enjoyment and warranted an almost perfect score from satisfied owners. The satisfaction quotient for the Porsche Centres wasn’t much less, coming in at 85%. Not entirely perfect then, but still streets ahead of most of the competition.

Given all the above, it will come as no surprise to find out that in the American survey customers voted the 911 to be the best of the premium sports cars. Similarly, the Cayenne – the new shape being a great improvement on the original vehicle – was also lauded in its sector.

Despite their prestige image and indeed their prestige prices it is good to know that one day a Porsche may come within reach and when that day comes it is going to be special.

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Boxster's Baby Brother?

The soon to be released Toyota GT-86 / Subaru BRZ sports cars might just be the start of a new trend in affordable roadsters for the masses. And why not? These two new cars are not about massive power and speed or luxury trimmings but rather about the lost art of proper driving. Where in the UK can you really unleash the might of an Aventador? In these small two-seaters you can concern yourself with the pleasures of the road at more normal speeds.

Anyone who has ever driven a Cayman or a Boxster knows just how good these cars are but they remain a little on the pricey side. Sure, you can pick up good examples in the used car market but they still have the expensive costs associated with the brand. The Toyota/Subaru alliance has shown that engaging cars can be offered with mass-market servicing and tyre costs to suit the average pocket. Now, it appears, Porsche have been keeping a beady eye on this trend.

Concept images are beginning to appear of the Porsche 9X1, a baby brother to the mighty Boxster which, if it comes to pass, could bring the company’s legendary thrills to a new generation of customers – and all for less than £30k. The Boxster is getting bigger, more powerful and more expensive so Porsche may well decide, with the might of the Volkswagen/Audi brand behind them, to push ahead with a back to basics car.

In recent years the clues have been there. In 2009 VW introduced it’s BlueSport concept and it has been reported that a production BlueSport model is under development, based on a platform – codenamed Mimo (for Mittelmotor, or mid-engine) or 9X1 – to be shared between the Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche. The Audi version, related to the Audi e-Tron Detroit concept, may be named Audi R4 or R5. The Porsche variant is speculated to be the “spiritual successor” to the now legendary 356 roadster and will be positioned well below the current Boxster as the company”s entry-level model.

The rumour machine speculates that the 9X1 will be powered by a new 2.4L flat four engine offering up around 200bhp, not enough to challenge its big brother. Like the Japanese competition the handling is expected to be sharp and entertaining thanks to the lightweight chassis yet the car won’t have most the electronic wizardry offered elsewhere in the Porsche range, which should add to its back-to-basics appeal. If the car is built – and don’t we all already want one – it will be as a convertible, although a coupé is mooted. Go on Porsche – make our day!

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