The Porsche landscape looked much different in the 1990s – something of a contrast to the innovation, technical revolution and legendary historic roots seen within the brand today.
Faced with the challenges of declining sales figures caused by an economic downturn and high production costs to four of Porsche's independent product lines – the 911, 944, 968 and 928 – Porsche AG was in a difficult situation early into the decade. Faced with serious trouble, the crisis became a backdrop for the manufacturer's reimagined model strategy. This response paved the way for a newly developed sports car, one that opened the door to a new market segment for Porsche, attracting a younger customer group and marking a turning point for the company's crisis. Twenty-five years later, the Porsche Boxster is remembered for its innovation and spirit of hope.
"The idea was to create an additional product line from the vehicle concept and components of a new 911. It was to be a two-seater with a front end close to that of the 911 to guarantee clear identification of the car as a Porsche," said Horst Marchart, recalling a presentation to shareholders in 1991.
Marchart's concept for a two-seater, mid-engine roadster that utilized common or carry-over parts was embraced and the first 986 generation Boxster was launched, sharing the front end, doors and other components with the 996 generation 911. The results were drastically lower inventory and production costs for both product lines along with meticulous cost management.
"We wanted to reduce the production costs for new cars by 30 per cent," continued Marchart. "Which was possible among others through a carry-over part concept for the assemblies. In order to realize this, we created development teams that were simultaneously responsible for both vehicles. Fictitious price targets were defined for the components in the Development and Purchasing departments in order to ensure that we would achieve the desired manufacturing costs."
Since 1996, more than 357,000 units of the Boxster have been produced, with the model now in its fourth generation, hardly with any alteration. A quarter century after the innovative conception of the Boxster, Porsche is celebrating the milestone anniversary with the release of a limited-edition model, the Boxster 25 Years. 1,250 units of the anniversary model are set to be produced.
The Boxster 25 Years is based on the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, paying homage to the numerous design features of the open-top two-seater concept car displayed at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show. Staying true to the historic design of the original, the special edition model combines a Bordeaux leather interior with a red fabric convertible top, embossed with Boxster 25 lettering.
The exterior features the reinterpreted colour Neodyme, a copper-like shimmering brown, paying homage to the basic GT Silver Metallic colour on the pioneering 1993 showpiece. Deep Black Metallic and Carrara White Metallic are also available. Numerous anniversary details feature on the model, from the door sill trims with “Boxster 25" lettering to the aluminum fuel filler cap, enhanced by Porsche script from the Exclusive Design range. Aluminum high-gloss tailpipes, an interior package in aluminum, 14-way electrically adjustable sports seats and the heated GT multifunction sports leather steering wheel are just some of the features on the Boxster's extended standard equipment list.
On the road, the Boxster 25 Years offers an effortless response, rich sound and extraordinary power with the 4.0-litre flat-six engine of the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0. It reaches a top speed of 293 km/h and sprints from zero to 100 km/h in four seconds with the Porsche dual-clutch transmission gearbox (PDK) and standard Sport Chrono package. Porsche also offers the Boxster 25 years with a manual six-speed transmission. Other standard features include the Porsche Torque Vectoring with mechanical limited-slip differential and the Porsche Active Suspension Management sports suspension, which is 10 millimeters lower, combined for remarkable ride comfort and sporty, dynamic handling.
The new Boxster 25 Years is available to order now and will roll into dealerships from the end of March 2021.
Date Posted: February 28, 2021