The 981 Boxster and Cayman are gaining new model lines almost as quickly as the 991 is. The defining characteristic of the different models is horsepower. The standard 'base' car has 265 horses (275 in the Cayman), there's the S we all know and love with 315 (325 in the Cayman), and the new 330 horsepower GTS (340 in the Cayman), which continues to have praise heaped upon it. In certain markets, however, Porsche is introducing the "211", which is a sub-base model with, you guessed it, 211 horsepower in both the Boxster and Cayman.
Both cars have already appeared on Porsche's regional websites for Norway and Belgium. The specs for both cars state that they retain the same 2.7 liter displacement of the base car, but with a more demure power rating. The loss in power increases the Boxster 211's 0-60 times to just a tick over 6 seconds, while the base car hits 60 in as low as 5.5 seconds when equipped with PDK.
Based on the pictures Porsche is using to promote the cars, they are visually indistinguishable from a base Cayman or Boxster, and appear to offer the same wheel and tire packages, and make use of the same brakes as the base cars. Surprisingly, the 211 is the same price as a base car in Belgium, but in Norway the cars are about ten-thousand dollars less expensive.
While the change is primarily for improved fuel consumption and reduced emissions, I think this could be a great move for Porsche from a sporting dynamics perspective. In the beginning, Porsche wasn't really about big power and zero-to-sixty sprint numbers, this is a relatively recent development in the company's history. In the past, their cars were about the driving experience, and ultimate balance. For a nimble and agile sports car, it is my humble opinion that around 200 horsepower is "enough". Sure, more is a lot of fun, but with fewer horses, the onus is really on the driver to get the maximum out of the car. A quick car can make anyone look like a star, but a real champion can make a slow car fast.
What do you think? If Porsche were to offer a de-contented de-tuned Boxster or Cayman over here for about eight or nine thousand dollars less, would you be willing to order one? Honestly, I think I might. Make mine a Boxster 211 with a 6-speed, please!
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