Porsche is celebrating the 25th birthday of one of its most significant models: the original Boxster. Released in 1996, it played a significant role in saving the German company from a grim fate. Porsche is commemorating the anniversary by releasing a GTS-based limited-edition model named "25" inspired by the 1993 Boxster concept.
Some of the design study's defining styling cues appear on the 25, including accents in a copper-colored shade called Neodyme on both ends, on the air intakes, and on the model-specific 20-inch wheels. GT Silver Metallic (the hue the concept was painted in) is available, but buyers can also order the 25 in Jet Black Metallic and Carrara White Metallic. Finally, a 25 emblem below the Boxster script further helps the model stand out.
Buyers who want to stay as close to the 1993 concept (shown below) as possible can order the 25 with a burgundy power-operated soft top and a matching leather interior. Alternatively, the top and the cabin are available in black. Regardless, the commemorative Boxster comes standard with brushed aluminum interior trim, a "Boxster 25" emblem above the glove box, 14-way power-adjustable seats, and a heated sport steering wheel.
Porsche made no major mechanical modifications to the 25, meaning the model shares its naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine with the GTS. Mid-mounted, it develops 394 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and it spins the rear wheels via either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Equipped with two pedals, it takes 3.8 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop.
While there are no chassis modifications, the 25 receives the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PVT) system, which includes a mechanical limited-slip differential, and the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) technology, which reduces the ride height by nearly an inch. The Sport Chrono package is part of the deal, too.
1,250 units of the 2021 Boxster 25 will be available globally, but Porsche hasn't disclosed how many it will send to America; we asked. Pricing starts at $99,950 including a $1,350 destination charge, and deliveries are scheduled to start in the spring. For context, the standard 718 Boxster GTS carries a base price of $90,250.
Right car, right time
Released in Europe in 1996, and in America the following year, the Boxster was positioned as Porsche's entry-level model. It was smaller, nimbler, and more affordable than the 911. At launch, the only engine available was a 2.5-liter, 201-horsepower flat-six. In many ways, it arrived as a modern interpretation of the 914 built from 1969 to 1976. It wasn't the first time Porsche considered putting a roadster at the bottom of its range — the company nearly launched the rear-engined 984 in the 1980s — but it was the right car at the right time. American sales totaled 6,988 units in 1997, meaning it outsold the entire 911 range that year.
Now in its fourth generation, and bundled with the Cayman under the 718 label, the Boxster remains a significant part of the Porsche range: 357,000 units have been sold in the past quarter-century. In that time, it has gotten more refined, quicker, and more powerful.