For more than a decade the Boxster has been the default choice for anyone looking for a high quality, fine handling, reasonably quick soft-top sports car. Yes, a Caterham or Elise is the drivers’ choice in pure dynamic terms, and a TVR is quicker and more thrillsome. But if you want 90 per cent of the fun and you want to be able to access it 100 per cent of the time, then it’s hard to argue against a Boxster.
This one’s the more powerful ‘S’, first registered in June 2002, so it has the 260bhp 3.2-litre flat-six. It’s an absolutely typical Boxster in terms of spec. Arctic Silver with Metropole (dark blue) hood and matching interior in full leather with the Porsche crest embossed into the headrests. Other factory-fit options include xenons, 18in Sport Design alloys, electrically adjustable and heated seats, sound package and Porsche Stability Management (PSM). It also has a Tracker.
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It’s had four owners and comes with a full Porsche service history, mostly from the local dealership. It’s well-known to the guys at the Cambridge Car Company because they sold it to the last owner, who has averaged only 2000 miles a year for the last few years, hence the low mileage. All this is backed up by a sheaf of old MOTs and service bills, the last major service having been carried out in June. Brakes and tyres look like they’ve plenty of miles in them, and the flat-six burbles smoothly at tickover. In short it’s an immaculate and very fit looking S in a very saleable spec.
Electric hood stowed, a brief test drive reveals nothing amiss. The ride is stiffer than I was expecting – probably largely down to the low-profile 265/35 ZR18 Bridgestone S02s - and over rough surfaces there’s a little body-wobble to remind you why a stiffer coupe will always be the purist driver’s choice. But it handles sweetly, with a lovely natural balance and light, precise steering, and the drivetrain feels as taut as you’d expect from a Porsche with this mileage. It’s not especially quick, but quick enough for most.
With thanks to vendor Cambridge Car Company, Sawston, Cambs (www.camcar.co.uk)
• ExteriorUnblemished, including the fancy alloys. Cloth hood looks like new• InteriorVirtually as new, with no obvious wear or tear. Well-specced too, with full leather• MechanicalsFeel as bombproof as they probably are. Just don’t expect it to set your pants on fire• Should I buy it?Your head will certainly say yes… The colour and the spec tick all the right boxesFOR: The sensible soft-top choiceAGAINST: Just a little too sensible?
|Engine||Flat 6-cyl, 3179cc|
|Max power||260bhp @ 6200rpm|
|Max torque||228lb ft @ 4700rpm|