I’ve discovered how Porsche builds its cars. It takes enthusiastic drivers, plonks them in driver’s seats and then simply puts the car together around them on the assembly line. That’s the only rational description I can offer, because nothing else explains how Porsche has managed, time and again, for over 50 years, to produce cars that wrap themselves around you, like a second skin – they’re intuitive, they’re fundamental and they feel right. Of course, the company has built a few relative clunkers over the years, but even those cars would likely have run rings around their peers; the Boxster S, however, is no clunker – to feel more ‘at one’ with the road than in this Porsche, you would have to be a tyre.
Fifty years ago, William Lyon and Malcolm Sayer were thinking along similar lines, and when they emerged from their huddle, the result was the Jaguar E-Type – Enzo Ferrari’s pick for the most beautiful car ever made, a car so revolutionary, so outrageously lovely, so appealing to basic human emotions that it changed the sportscar game at a stroke. Offering stonking performance and amazing road presence at a price that left the competition scratching their collective heads, the E-Type was a priapic triumph, literally thrusting its way into the book of legends. It’s only fitting, then, that it features in this story – a roadster from the past that was made to be the ultimate driving machine, paired with a car that answers to that description today.
Line these two cars up side by side and you have an eyeball-searing sight – the E-Type grabs most of the attention, naturally, but the Boxster is no Quasimodo. The first Boxster, although a certified hit in terms of driving pleasure, drew some criticism for its somewhat ‘hairdresser’ styling, but with this car, there can be no such cribbing – look at it from the front three-quarters and the first thing that springs to mind is ‘Carrera GT’. It looks satisfyingly aggressive now, and its clean, classic lines are timeless, harking back to the Porsche Spyders of yesteryear.
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