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25 years of Porsche Boxster – and its new special edition

25 years of Porsche Boxster – and its new special edition

28 years ago in 1993, Porsche embarked on a bold mission to capture the roadster market in the US from Mazda and BMW. What emerged as was the Boxster Concept in 1993. And in 1996, 25 years ago it launched and changed Porsche’s fortunes forever.

The Boxster and its hard-topped coupe sibling, the Cayman, has since become a staple in the lineup for Porsche. Initially criticised by some fans for not being a ‘real’ Porsche due to its mid-engined, roadster layout, it became the perfect entry into the marque for many new owners.   

Criticism aside, the Boxster was not the first mid-engined rear-wheel-drive car for Porsche, but it has been the most significant.  It was Porsche’s first road vehicle to be originally designed as a roadster since the svelte 914. It featured a 2.5l mid-mounted flat-six boxer engine providing a low centre of gravity, near-perfect weight distribution and neutral handling, which was a far cry from the ‘widow-making’ rear-engined 911s and nose-heavy 964s of the time.   

And it was pure in other ways too. Long before advanced computer modelling was available to car designers like Grant Larson from Porsche, concepts were drawn by hand and modelled out of clay. But concepts unveiled at the international auto shows rarely resembled the final product. The Boxster was one of the exceptions.     

Please build the concept exactly like that’

Having been so well received by the public and experts at the Detroit Auto Show in 1993 Larson was given an encouraging instruction: “We were instructed to stop series design development for the Boxster immediately. The instruction instead was: ‘Please build the concept exactly like that’.”

Recognizing the past, for the new generation.

Now in its fourth generation since its launch, Porsche has released an anniversary model – limited to 1250 units worldwide.

The Boxster 25 Years is based on the GTS 4.0, powered by a four-litre six-cylinder engine with 290kW and design features that hark back to the original concept like the two-tone alloy wheels, red leather interior and red convertible top.  It will be available with either a manual six-speed for the purists or Porsche’s renowned seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) gearbox.  0-100 is dispatched in a hair-blowing 4-seconds onwards to a 293km/h top speed.  

It’s hard to believe that the first Boxsters are a quarter of a century-old. They carry their age well when compared with Mazda MX5 and BMW Z3 of that era.

Is it destined to become a future collectable? A 20-year-old Boxster might still be the best entry into the Porsche family.