“The 911 versus the Boxster, one-on-one. We’ve thrown down the gauntlet Porsche. How keen are you to pick it up?”
Very, as it turns out. And truth be told, that rather caught crankandpiston off guard. Not because the boys and girls at Porsche Middle East aren’t a lovely bunch, but mainly because a scenario in which a manufacturer pits two of its own high-profile models against each other doesn’t happen very often: how, for example, can Porsche promote one car without denting the reputation of the other? And this particular line-up looks a pretty one-sided affair.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts. In the Carrera Red corner we have the new 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, boasting a 299kph top speed, a 0-100kph time of 4.3s (with the Porsche Doppelkupplung gearbox that this model has), a 3.8l boxer engine and a reasonably weighty $117,000 starting price. Now let’s have a look in the Aqua Blue corner, where we find the recently released Boxster S Spyder. Top speed for the 911’s baby brother is 277kph, it has a 5s 0-100kph time (with PDK), a 3.4l six-cylinder and only two seats, but starting price comes in at a comparatively modest $59,000. If we’re going by numbers alone then, this is hardly a fair test. But then, since the two are not industry rivals, this was never going to be the case. So why compare them as such?
So, if we’re not here to competitively compare the 911 Carrera S back-to-back with the Boxster S, other than to show off to the neighbours what are we going to do with them?
Well, drive them, of course.
Following the respective releases of both the new 911 and the new Boxster, the general consensus seemed to linger on two items: exactly how much room for improvement there was left after five decades of honing and perfecting, and – in the Boxster’s case – just how much potential there really was. Indeed, read back through crankandpiston’s features on the 911 and Boxster convertibles, and you’ll notice we didn’t spend much time actually driving them. All that changes today though.
For this drive I’ve enlisted the help of crankandpiston’s dedicated digital team, Moe and John. They’re both big on ‘the perfect setting’ for any shoot they undertake (as their earlier work on the site will ascertain) and have in mind a particular location in Dubai’s neighbouring emirate, Fujairah. Moe in particular is delighted that, for once, the cars I am currently signing on the necessary dotted lines for at Porsche GHQ in Dubai are neither black nor white (colours that are always difficult to photograph properly), and is thus mightily keen to get going.
There’s a brief moment of narcissism on my part when I notice that the letters on the numberplates are ‘J’ and ‘G’, and it’s while I’m contemplating if this is an impressive act of forethought by Porsche that Moe and John make a beeline for the 911. I don’t put up much of a fight though. So far I’m the only member of the crankandpiston team not to have taken a spin in the Boxster, and I’m very keen to see how it fares.