It's come a long way in 25 years.
When it first arrived on the scene, the Porsche Boxster was criticized for its mid-engine setup and convertible roof. It wasn't "a proper Porsche," said the fanatics, but 25 years later, it's still around. In fact, if it weren't for the Boxster, Porsche may not be around today. In those 25 years, the car has evolved from a so-called hairdresser's car into a proper driver's machine, with tightly sprung variants like the Spyder showing that it's a great car for driving fast in. These days, the 718 Boxster and its hardtop Cayman sibling are quite pricy, but its success shows no sign of slowing. Jay Leno thus got behind one of these for the first time and learned all about what makes the little roadster so much fun.
In the video, Jay drives the latest version, called the 718 Boxster 25 special edition that pays tribute to the original Boxster concept with gold Neodyme accents and 20-inch wheels, as well as a Bordeaux Red leather interior. Finished in GT Silver (black or white are also available), the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated engine powers something that looks stunning, and Jay's first experience of a Boxster is certainly super cool. Interestingly, both the original Boxster concept and this latest version were designed by the same guy, Grant Larson. Arguably the best part of this car is its six-speed manual transmission that helps deliver 394 horsepower, but you do have access to the dual-clutch PDK if you want super quick shifts.
Jay Leno notes that, when he first saw the original concept, the fact that he couldn't see the engine "offended" him so much that he never took an interest in the Boxster, but after getting behind the wheel, he's completely won over. It's smooth, refined, responds to throttle inputs quickly, feels engaging, and is built to perfection, as with all Porsche models. "I'm trying to find some reason to dislike it, but I can't," says Leno. We don't disagree in the slightest, but with pricing for the special edition that Jay drives starting at $98,600, not many of us can own one. Still, it's great to see how brilliant the roadster has become in a quarter of a century.