Strengths and weaknesses:
- unforgiving suspension
- interior cargo space
- tiny dead pedal
Special Boxster’s back in Black
Porsche continues its love affair with special edition vehicles by introducing the 2012 Boxster S Black Edition.
The German automaker may have a line-up consisting of a mere five vehicles, but once you factor in special versions, as well as the huge list of options available to personalize your ride, you can pretty much guarantee that no two Porsche cars are the same.
So it is with the Boxster S Black Edition. Only 987 of them will be produced, and while they all come with the same menacing black exterior, there’s still plenty you can do to customize it.
The last time I tested a Boxster was in 2008, and that too was a special edition model based on the Boxster S (the RS60). That week of testing was during the much more Porsche-friendly - and convertible-friendly - summer months though.
I’ll get this out of the way immediately though - while it’s no secret the Boxster is meant for warm weather driving, it does a perfectly fine job in winter. Like with any vehicle, you just need to be a smart driver - throw on a set of snow tires, keep the numerous active safety features on, and if you opt for the Sport Chrono Package Plus, don’t test the launch control immediately following a blizzard.
With the cloth top in the “up” position, Boxster feels virtually as solid as any coupe. Precipitation has no chance of making its way into the cabin, and wind noise is minimal at worst. On particularly chilly days, I did have some annoyingly persistent issues with the cabin fogging up unless I had the defroster on at full blast. Otherwise, visibility was as good as can be expected for a two-seat convertible with a seating position that’s just about at ground level.
With the unseasonably warm January weather, I actually get a chance to put the top down, believe it or not. Even with temperatures hovering near zero degrees Celsius, the Boxster is a blast with the top down. Wearing a trusty (black!) toque to keep my head toasty, I turn the fan on full blast and direct the air to the lower vents, roll the windows up, and let physics take care of the rest.
The aerodynamic shape of the Boxster, along with the wind deflector, help keep wind buffeting to a minimum, and the awesome standard Sound Package Plus will keep your music of choice (AC/DC’s “Back in Black”?) sounding just about as good as it can.
You probably don’t need me to tell you, but don’t rely too much on the music coming from the stereo, because the 3.4-litre, six-cylinder sound system located just behind your head is pretty damn awesome on its own.
Besides the symphony of sound it provides, that engine also happens to do a superb job of getting the vehicle moving in a hurry. Horsepower and torque have both been boosted slightly in the Black Edition compared to the regular Boxster S, while peak horsepower is available at slightly lower rpm.
To be honest, the slight engine tweaking doesn’t make a huge difference for me; simply put, the Boxster is an extremely fast, ridiculously nimble machine. The fact it’s a convertible really doesn’t matter, and I’ve said before this vehicle feels more rigid than a lot of non-convertibles.
That admittedly can cause occupants discomfort when the vehicle is traversing broken city roads, but the excellent seats do their best to make up for the tight suspension.
Considering the amount of fun I have with this roadster in the middle of January, I can only imagine what it’s like when the weather warms up and the roads are a lot drier.