Facelifted Boxster & Cayman

The news of the face-lifted Porsche Boxster & Cayman has started trickling in after images appeared on Porsche's online car configurator.

These new models that go on sale next year get subtly tweaked exteriors with restyled headlights, new air intakes and LED tail lights.

According to AutoExpress, the cars will also get new, more powerful engines, which is good for them... a complaint everyone seems to have, myself included after a few test drives over the years, is that these cars could definitely handle more power.


Apparently they will also receive Porsche's PDK twin-clutch gearbox. This is mixed news. The gearbox is apparently to die for... but why must Porsche buck the rest of the industry and mount the silly gear shift buttons on the inside of the steering wheel, rather than the flappy paddle set-up that is favoured?

When I test drove the outgoing Cayman about a year ago, I was looking for a reason not to buy another Merc. I was disappointed on a number of fronts:
  1. The gearshift: back then, the 5-speed tiptronic was on offer. Okay, I know purists will yell that you must buy Porsche's as manuals. To them I say "drive your Porsche daily in Sydney traffic and tell me you still enjoy it". End of conversation. The old gearbox would be fine if you wanted an auto car, but I don't. I want an all-rounder that can deal with peak hour commuting and be rewarding to drive on a fast back-road on weekends. Whilst the new PDK sounds like it addresses the deficiencies of the old gearbox, the stupid setup of the shift buttons neutralises this gain;

  2. The seat: I'm reasonably tall and the Cayman's seat was about 1 inch too short for me. After a 15 minute test drive, my lower back was sore; and

  3. The options list: one word - Extortion. Let me compare the AMG pricing for you with the Porsche pricing model. Everything you want as part of the standard price i.e. the wheels, the sat nav, suspension, gearbox, etc. Versus $15k for the wheels you want, $5k for the sat nav, etc. Total scope creep that took the price of the 'cheaper' car (the Cayman S) a good $15k over the price of the SLK55 AMG once on-roads had been calculated.
It was such a pity - I wanted to buy that car... but the product just wasn't for me. That and it isn't a 911.

Check out the updated 911 with PDK review by TopGear Australia below:

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posted by Lee Gale @ 4:38 PM,

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