Sometimes it's more about what is going on outside than inside the car. For example it seems everyone loves a Porsche and they're not backward in coming forward.
Take the middle-aged European man trying desperately to attract my attention on the way back from picking up our bright red Porsche Boxster. Finally, reluctantly, I acknowledged his presence and wound down the window to find out what he wanted.
"Beautiful car," he said. "I dream of one day owning a car like that one. "How much is it worth?" Duh. "I don't know," I had to admit. "It's not mine, it belongs to a friend (a white lie but it saves long explanations).
Tick, tick, tick..."About $140,000!" I guessed (I thought it was in the S. I hadn't checked). "It's a beauty," he confirmed once more before the lights went green and we parted.
Later, I was surprised to find the Boxster was in fact $20,000 less than I had anticipated, even with a swag of accessories fitted. Priced from $107,000 the two-seat sportster is arguably the most desirable of the Porsches, a fun drop top that sits on rock solid engineering idiot proof almost.
The price of our test car was almost $120,000, by the time you added the matching red seatbelts and a set of fearsome, black 20 inch rims. The belts are $600 alone while the 20 inch Carrera rims finished in black bump the figure up another 10 grand a lot but they look hot.
Even at this price, it's still well short the $133K Boxster S. If price is no object, you'd be silly not to pick the more powerful S let's face it. But remember those wheels are still going to be another 10 grand on top of that again.
For my mind, the smart money is on the standard model with the big wheels and maybe a Bose sound system thrown in another $1500. At the end of the day, it's still $15,000 less than the S and you'll be grinning from ear to ear, because either way the Boxster is not going to disappoint.
The big difference between the two models is in the size of the engines. The Boxster is powered by a 2.7-litre 195kW six while the S gets a larger, 3.4-litre version that develops 232kW. It's quicker off the line, but uses more premium at the same time. Both engines are naturally aspirated. Our car was fitted with a six-speed manual or the option of the 7-speed PDK auto.
You can cruise the beaches with the top down or cut loose on some challenging mountain switchbacks, either way the Boxster is happy to oblige. Back at the office word spread quickly that we had a Porsche in the carpark. The girls all gushed and the guys became silent and envious, but they all wanted a ride.
Closer to home my mate Johnno who lives down the road was just as quick off the mark, wanting to know if he could get a test drive. Not likely I drove. "What's so special about these cars?" he wanted to know. "What does a Porsche have that other cars don't?" "Where do I begin my friend?" I replied.
Last but not least in our sudden fan club was the bogan in the Falcon, who tracked us as we tried to slip quietly down the motorway. Ogling both the car and my wife he mouthed the words "noice, noice" through the window. "Looks like you've got an admirer," I said. "Hardly. It's the car he's interested in." Thanks all for the vote of confidence.
It looks fantastic, goes hard, makes all the right noises and simply refuses to become unsettled no matter how hard you push and how bad the bitumen is under wheel. What's not to like?
Porsche Boxster S
Engine: 3.4-litre 6-cylinder, 232kW/360Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK, RWD
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb mass: 1355 kg
0-100 km/h acceleration: 5.1 secs
Fuel consumption: 8.8L/100km
Warranty: two years/unlimited km
Price: from $118,900
Engine: 3.5-litre V6, 225kW/370Nm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Thirst: 8.3L/100km, CO2 194g/km
Price: from $76,900
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, 135kW/270Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Thirst: 6.8L/100km, CO2 159g/km
Price: from $149,990
Engine: 3.5-litre V6, 200kW/350Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Thirst: 8.7litres/100km, CO2 205g/km