I showed her the same stunts I showed all the folks I drove around — its snap-your-head-back acceleration, growling exhaust (complete with a button on the console that makes it louder), stick-to-the-road cornering, tight turning radius, and snap-your-head-forward braking power. She was quiet but had a huge grin on her face. Her friends were more vocal, squealing away on the sidewalk. One of them called it “the Porsche that changed my life.”
The bottom line, though, is that it’s a silly car. Yes, it is a convertible, which is one of the key attributes I dream of in a car. It shows you on the dashboard your real-time miles-per-gallon performance (which I think every car should have), what the tire pressure is, and how many miles before you’ll need to stop for fuel. It has heated seats, which extends the top-down time period by a few weeks in the spring and fall. There’s a button to extend the rear spoiler if you think the silver car with red-leather interior doesn’t look cool enough as it is.
For all of those things — and for a week — I could overlook the biggest frustration, which was that I couldn’t get the racing timer to work. Mounted very prominently atop the dashboard, in a car that is in its entirety a tribute to racing, and there was no way to get it to start. I also could ignore its 19-26 miles-per-gallon fuel “economy,” those ultra-bright halogen headlights (I hate being blinded by them in oncoming vehicles, and I hate even more being that oncoming vehicle to other drivers), and slick tires that I wouldn’t trust at high speeds in the rain.
It’s entertaining to drive, though. If you’re on vacation somewhere sunny and have some extra cash to blow, rent the Porsche instead of the economy mini-compact you might otherwise choose. And if someone offers to loan it to you for a week, say yes.
If you’d like to lend him another car, Jeff Inglis can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the car nuts
Designed to honor the Porsche RS 60 Spyder’s victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1960, the Boxster Limited Edition has 303 horsepower, which generates 251 foot-pounds of torque. It has a horizontally opposed 3.4-liter V-6 mid-engine. The rated top speed is 170 mph, but the speedometer goes up to 190.
Technical reviews and commentary