The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive Porsche Boxster is powered by a 255-horspower, 2.9L horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder engine for 2009, while the S model gets a stronger 3.4L flat-six with 310 horsepower. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, giving the 2009 Boxster the ability to accelerate from 0 to 62 in 5.9 seconds. A new 7-speed automatic transmission is optional.
Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, cruise control, an alarm system, a CD sound system, leather-trimmed upholstery, heated power mirrors and heated washer nozzles. Standard safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system and side airbags. A power-folding soft top is also standard on the Boxster, as is a rear spoiler that automatically deploys at speed for stability. It will re-stow itself automatically upon return to lower speeds.
The Boxster has a long list of optional equipment, and includes special interior trims, accessories, adaptive sport seats, a Bose surround sound audio system and park assist. The Sport Package adds to the base Boxster the 6-speed gearbox, along with Porsche Active Suspension Management, which lets the car ride a half-inch lower and enables more firmness during hard cornering. Porsche's optional Sport Chrono Package includes a sport button, which modifies throttle, traction, and suspension settings to suit high-performance driving.
When fitted with PDK transmission and Launch Control (featured in the optional Sports Chrono Package Plus), acceleration goes from 0 to 62mph in just 5.0 seconds. For the first time in 2009, the Boxster is available with a Lights Package, featuring bi-xenon headlights, dynamic cornering lights and LED day-time driving lights. Replacing the fog lamps, these units combine four LED lights positioned next to one another.
The new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) 3.0 option package comes with hard disk navigation and provides a central control unit for all audio, communication and navigation features. PCM 3.0 is easier to use in 2009, boasting a larger 6.5-inch monitor, voice control, USB port, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.
The 2009 model year for the Boxster is seen as the second generation of the 987-series platform that Porsche introduced in 2005. The base Boxster now features a 2.9L direct-injection flat-6 engine that makes 255 horsepower, up 10 horses from 2008. The Boxster S trim now utilizes a 3.4L direct-injection flat-6 engine producing 310 horsepower, up 15 horses from 2008.
New exterior refinements include halogen headlights with integrated direction indicators, as well as new LED body lights that taper to the outside and are integrated into the restyled bodywork. The rod-shaped side lights are accented by the rectangular fog lamps, now standard. Along with a new wheel design, the front bumper utilizes wider side air intakes while the rear bumper is more curvaceous.
The wheels are half-inch wider on the Boxster S trim in order to accommodate the larger braking system, which is now fitted on the front axle. The base Boxster and Boxster S feature the latest generation of Porsche Stability Management (PSM), now offering two new functions: Brake Pre-Loading and the Brake Assistant. This combination improves brake response significantly and shortens stopping distances. In conjunction with 18- and 19-inch wheels, the new trims are also available with a limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
The biggest news is the availability of Porsche's double-clutch gearbox, which provides better fuel economy and quicker acceleration than the 6-speed manual transmission. Two wet clutches are used in radial arrangement, controlled hydraulically, and use oil for both cooling and lubrication. It replaces the former Tiptronic S torque-converter automatic-transmission and offers seven forward gears. It is an ideal combination of a torque converter-equipped automatic-transmission and the manual gearshift functionality of a sequential racing gearbox.
For 2009, only 50 limited-edition Boxster S Design Edition 2 cars, a follow-up to the all-black design Edition 1, will be available in North America. Available only in white, this Boxster comes with a freer-flowing exhaust, 19-inch wheels, a black and gray interior with white gauges, light gray stripes on the front fascia, hood and side, taillights in monochrome red and a dashboard plaque detailing its production number.