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Well it was worth the wait.

As like the cars, Porsche’s organisational machinery were hard at work on Thursday 12th March when 180 people descended upon their facility within the grounds of the Silverstone F1 track. When we arrived in Silverstone we were greeted and seated for a meal which was excellent, albeit the sugar wasn’t branded like in Belgard. I’m sure Tom can help them out with a contact!! While seated for the meal our licenses were taken and about 5 mins later we received our personalised lanyard with our trackday scheduled time on it. This gave a bit of time to kill and discuss options on the car and admire the facility through its panoramic windows.

Gill from Porsche Experience then came and collected us and gave us a tour of the facility, from where you can spec and order your new Porsche (ask for Naz), and then passed us over for the driver briefing. Following this, we went with our own personal instructor for 1.5 hours in the new Boxster and Boxster S onto the different tracks. The facility has a handling circuit, an ice hill, a kick plate (great fun), a low friction track and an off-road track.

The new Boxster may not look any different to the previous model at first glance, but they have revised the front headlights, the running lights, wing mirrors, engine, exhaust and rear bumper. The modifications are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but make the difference especially in the Boxster S.

The Boxster has now got a 2.9 litre, 255bhp engine, good up to 163mph, while the Boxster S has a 3.4 litre, 310bhp engine, good up to 172mph. On the day we could try with and without the PDK. While I realise it is much much better than the previous triptonic, I think Porsche missed improving it by using buttons instead of paddles like on the BMW M3, which rotate with the steering wheel, as it is quite tricky changing up gear while turning the wheel at speed. However, it is amazing driving around at 25mph in 4th / 5th gear how quick this box changes up or down and how it adapts to your driving style, especially on the handling circuit.

The Boxster S has a new exhaust sound that is far sportier and more suitable to the car. We also tried out the cooling seats, these were good, but given the nature of the Boxster, the compressor to pump out the air is quite loud and sounds like it is coming from behind the drivers firewall.

Overall it was a great launch event and everyone going home were discussing options and the relative affordability of buying new given the weak sterling price at the moment.

I would like to thank Gill in Porsche Driving Experience Silverstone and Tom Whelan in Porsche Dublin for their time and attention. If anyone wants to add their name to the Boxster mailing list can they contact me on pciboxster@gmail.com or call me with any questions on 087 2373527.

Yours in Porsche

Gareth Loughran

PCI Boxster Register


27/03/2009

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