It’s been 25 years since the 1st-generation Boxster was introduced and, to mark the anniversary of the roadster that debuted Porsche’s water-cooled flat-6 motor and made the aspirational brand accessible to a wider clientele, the Zuffenhausen-based firm has launched a limited-edition derivative.
Porsche will produce only 1 250 units of the Boxster 25 Years and, unsurprisingly, it’s powered by the 294 kW/420 Nm naturally aspirated 4.0-litre 6-cylinder boxer engine of the GTS 4.0 (as opposed to the either the turbocharged 2.0- or 2.5-litre 4-cylinder motor, both of which were introduced with the launch of the current 718 Boxster range in 2016).
Designed to reference Porsche's concept car from 1993, the Boxster 25 Years features tasteful Neodyme exterior accents.
It’s available with a 6-speed manual ‘box or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (PDK) and comes standard with, inter alia, the Sport Chrono package, Porsche Active Suspension Management sports suspension, which lowers the ride height by 10 mm, as well as Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical limited-slip diff.
When equipped with a PDK, the Boxster 25 Years is said to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 4 sec, going on to a top speed of 293 kph, but as with other limited-edition Porsche derivatives, such as the 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition, it’s all about the exclusive trims and detailing! In the case of the newcomer, it references the Boxster concept car that debuted at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show.
The Bordeaux leather trim gives the special-edition derivative a characteristic deep-red interior.
The Boxster is now in its 4th generation (the 986 debuted in 1996, the 987 in 2004, the 981 in 2012 and the current 982 – named the 718 Boxster – arrived 5 years ago). But the range (of which more than 350 000 units have been built) owes its existence to the enthusiastic public response to the show car 25 years ago, which debuted the “fried egg” headlamps that also adorned the 996-series 911.
Such was the excitement about the show car that Porsche’s Executive Board intervened in the design development of the production model and issued a directive to “build the concept car just like that”. Well, of course, that isn’t exactly what happened, but the brand’s decision to push the roadster into production – and develop the Cayman coupe variant – have certainly been vindicated since.
The dual-tone 20-inch alloy wheels add significantly to the Boxster 25 Years' on-road presence.
One of the most striking features of the special edition is the reinterpreted colour Neodyme (a copper-like shimmering brown), which contrasted with the GT Silver Metallic finish of the 1993 show car.
On the Boxster 25 Years, the front apron, the spokes and centre of the 20-inch alloy wheels, side air intakes (each adorned with a mono bar) and nomenclature lettering are clad in the eye-catching Neodyme hue. It contrasts tastefully with the GT Silver Metallic (shown here), but Deep Black Metallic and Carrara White Metallic finishes are also available.
The fuel filler cap, which is enhanced by Porsche script from the Exclusive Design range, has a shiny aluminium look, as do the high-gloss tailpipes of the sports exhaust system.
Aluminium inserts feature prominently in the cabin, the rim of the 3-spoke GT sports steering wheel matches the interior.
While the windscreen surround is finished in contrasting black, the limited-edition derivative combines a Bordeaux leather interior with a red fabric convertible top embossed with "Boxster 25" lettering. The interior package includes aluminium trim embellishments, 14-way electrically adjustable sports seats, door sill trims with "Boxster 25" lettering a leather-trimmed and heated sports steering wheel.
The unveiling of the Boxster 25 Years follows the recent introductions of the 718 Boxster Spyder (in mid-2019) and the much-celebrated arrival of the 4.0-litre flat-6 powered GTS 4.0 (during 2020). Late last year, Cars.co.za’s resident track test ace Ashley Oldfield reviewed the range-topping Cayman GT4 – the ultimate expression of the Boxster's tin-topped sibling.
Porsche says the Boxster 25 Years is available to order and will roll into dealerships worldwide from the end of March 2021. According to Porsche South Africa's website, the newcomer costs R1 660 000 (with a 3-year maintenance plan*) and R1 710 000 (with a 5-year maintenance plan*). * Driveplan