Few cars deliver what they were intended to deliver from the get go as well as the Boxster. Intended to be the lighter, smaller, nimbler counterpart (in practice as much as in theory) to the much larger and potentially frightening 911, the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, now in its fourth iteration has gained itself a cult following since its inception into the vastly diverse and ever-growing sportscar segment of the automotive market; having a plethora of automotive journalists dubbing it arguably the greatest sportscar you can buy. Period.
After having driven the car (more on that in a bit), I deduced two very clear conclusions- everyone stares at you (which is not going to be a problem if you are into that; we do not judge here at Wheels), and it is perhaps the most engaging car I have driven so far. Recall everything that any automotive journalist has ever said regarding the 911, shove all that into a washing machine, watch it shrink two sizes, and lo and behold, you have got yourself a Porsche 718. Or a badly-damaged scale-model 911.
This specific 718 is the 718 Boxster, meaning the roof goes down. And up. In 9 seconds. And it also means you can blast down any road with the roof down on a beautiful, cool afternoon while blasting Bewafa through the speakers for everyone around you to enjoy (or relate to). This specific 718 is also the latest one to have been imported to Bangladesh.
Finished in Gentian Blue Metallic, the play in colour between the blue exterior, the Bordeaux Red interior and the contrasting red convertible soft top is as distinctive as the sheer profile of the car from a distance, and despite seemingly being a very bold choice, the colours seem to gel in harmony brilliantly well. The car is fitted with a plethora of optional extras that did not need to be optional extras but were still made optional extras because, well, Porsche.
And consumerism. Options include, but are not limited to, Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus), Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanically locking rear differential, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Sport Chrono Package and the all-important 10-speaker Bose Surround Sound System.
However, after you have driven the car for a good amount of time at varying speeds over undulated roads, you can (almost) forgive Porsche for making exterior folding mirrors an option as well on the 718. Being the 718 Boxster, it is powered by a 2.0l flat-four pushing out 296hp. With everything set to Comfort and the gearbox in automatic, the Boxster feels incredibly tame to drive sans the exhaust note which sounds like a Rottweiler that has been poked and annoyed just enough, not too much, for it to growl softly, which then gradually gets louder as you put your foot down, and is a welcome departure from your usual boxer exhaust note.
Although, it must be noted that regardless of how the car feels like to drive in Comfort mode, the wow factor, or dare I say fear, of driving a car that is nail-bitingly low and then further lowered by 20mm thanks to PASM coupled with the fact that you do not have a roof over your head certainly makes the driving experience in general extremely thrilling. In Comfort Mode, the car is still plenty agile and the steering incredibly direct. However, once you switch over to Sports Plus, the difference in handling is day and night. Gearshifts were already plenty fast in Comfort Mode thanks to PDK but Sports Plus cranks that up a few notches and delivers you with gearshifts that are faster than a lot of people claimed top speed from Jahangir Gate to Airport Road.
The all-aluminium paddle shifters have a very satisfying tactical click to them and make changing gears manually a very special occasion whenever you choose to do so; while each and every downshift is greeted by a burbling exhaust which adds bucketloads of drama into the mix while you manoeuvre around traffic with the precision of a very precise animal and the nimbleness of a very nimble animal, thanks to the magically direct steering.
Despite being so low to the ground, the car had no trouble going over speedbumps and the low ride height certainly helps lower the car's centre of gravity which is reflected in the way it handles. You may scoff at the fact that the car has just 4 horsepower shy of 300hp, but given its poise and the way it is able to manage and put down its power, it certainly feels much faster than it appears on paper.
Me being your average base-spec Corolla Fielder driver who complains about the headlight not being bright enough, being given the chance to drive a car that has been touted as the best sportscar money can buy time and time again by various media personalities has certainly been one heck of an experience. Given the fact that I was not able to spend too much time with the car, whatever the car has shown me in that short period of time was nothing short of orgasmic, for a lack of better words, and is definitely one experience I can tick off my bucket list.
This review was originally published in the March issue of Wheels magazine. Click here to order yours.