Driven: Porsche 981 Boxster S w/ Akrapovic titanium exhaust!


PBS (20)There really isn’t very much to say when it comes to the Porsche – by now known to many as the sportscar manufacturer that makes dynamic driving, good looking cars. As an aficionado like myself, it meant purism, heritage and pure driving experience that rewards the best drivers. One of the brand’s biggest selling point is the transfer of technical experience and know-how from their racing programs to their productions cars ever since the early years of Porsche, where today there are an exceptionally handful of manufacturers who emulate the Porsche way, but only as of recent.

At the turn of the millennium, Porsche has expanded their model range that sits below the 911, cars like the Cayenne, Macan, and the Panamera had opened a new door for customers who wish to have a car that is not only practical for the daily grind, but can also perform like no other. Being the ‘baby’ in Porsche’s product line up, the Boxster was first introduced in 1992 as a concept where it was extremely well received by the public. A production version came soon surfaced in 1996. Now, twenty years and two generations later, we have come to this, the 981 model Porsche Boxster.

The Boxster reflects the new design language from the 911 (991) and the 918 hypercar and features new engines and transmission specifications. The Boxster to the untrained eye may look familiar to the Boxsters that came before, where Porsche tends to evolve their cars rather than making something that betrays its heritage; just like the 911, its silhouette is easily recognisable, where its low slung body and canvas roof upright instantly suggests that this is a mid-engine sports car. The styling is subtle, clean and functional, where every single detail serves a purpose.

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There have been many aesthetic revisions to the current model Boxster, and I’d say that they have made a car that is much more desirable, albeit one that has clearly grown in size compared to its predecessor. The front wheelbase is now 16 inches longer, the front track is wider, likewise with the rear track, the overall length is now up by 32mm, with the front overhang 26mm shorter and riding some 13mm lower. Put simply, this Boxster has swagger – especially with its wider shoulders and huge 19-inch wheels, and represents a massive step forward when compared to its predecessor.

As with all every other car in the line-up, the Boxster has the standard template interior, ergonomically sane and driver focused. The rev counter is located sensibly in the middle and both looks and feels of higher quality than in the 986. There’s acres of quality leather which helps to make it look and feel like being in car that is worthy of the price tag. The car’s electrically adjustable seats fits a smaller frame person like myself perfectly, although larger framed individuals may need to put up with some discomfort. The seats can be adjusted to suit height, length of your legs, and even the length of your thighs.

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Done with the little details, it’s better to take it out for a spin to feel what the Boxster is like to be driven on the streets of KL. I didn’t have much time with the Boxster; certainly not enough to drive her up the twisty bits of Ulu Yam. Nevertheless, my short stint with the car was enough to reveal the brilliance of the Boxster.

Thanks to its wider front track, the front end has so much turn in with so much precision – not only can you can drive it fast, you can also place the car to millimeter accuracy. The optional PASM suspension is composed, soaking up bumps and pliant through patchy surfaces on KL roads (no thanks in part to the wet monsoon season), yet stiff and rigid in just the right places.

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On the centre console are the two buttons that read “Sport” and “Sport Plus” where the former makes the suspension stiffer, reduces the shift times of the 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission and opens the valves in the exhaust pipes to let the exhaust flow out easier with the positive side effect of being to enjoy the angry and sonorous flat-six soundtrack accompanied by crackles and pops in the downshifts. This effect is intensified thanks to an aftermarket Akrapovic titanium exhaust system that has been fitted on our test car.

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Press the “Sport Plus” button and everything becomes sharper, the suspension at its stiffest, and shift times at its quickest. I’ll be honest – this is a button that puts a silly smile on my face, especially when I am able to shift down the gears without any slack or delay, and is especially useful for track driving where accuracy is the only thing you need to shave off seconds from a lap. In “Sport” and “Sport Plus”, the traction and stability control allows a little more slip angle when exiting a corner, useful if you know what you’re actually up to.

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The standard steel brakes are superb and it’s one of Porsche’s main strengths; the pedal feels stiff, but allows a great spectrum of modulation, where applying pressure on the pedal allows you to control the rate of decreasing velocity with accuracy. Makes me question if there really is a need for Porsche’s (even more awesome) PCCB option.

What car do I need more than this? It has 315hp and 360Nm of torque from its 3.4-litre direct-injection flat-six engine is adequate for a car that has a dry weight of just 1.3 tonnes. The car’s Akrapovic system has no doubt liberated several more ponies; although exactly how much, we do not know as the car has not been dyno’d since.

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With its top down, there is minor wind noise and you don’t get buffeted too much. But you have heated seats (unnecessary for our region, sure), dual climate control and you sit in an interior with superb build quality that is free of the dreaded creaks and rattles. When you need it to go a little quicker, you will get the response that you need, and the chassis communicates well through your bum and palms, which is why the Boxster is a sports car that rewards experienced and sensitive drivers.

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In a nutshell, the Porsche Boxster is the sort of sportscar that won’t faze even the most timid of drivers. It’s uncomplicated to drive, comfortable, and carries reasonable pace – not just good for traffic light drags, but also up twisty hill roads. And, just like every other Porsche ever conceived, this is one sportscar that you can use on a daily basis. Win, win, and then #MTHRFKNWIN some more. Enjoy our full gallery below:


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