It shows just how far Porsche has come that the predecessor to the Boxster was the 968, itself a facelifted 944 which, in turn, was a beefed up 924, a car that first appeared in 1975. Therefore the 1996 Boxster was replacing some very creaky architecture. To understand the Mk2 Boxster, a quick primer on the Mk1 is probably in order. This model started out as a 2.5-litre car, the big change coming in 1999 when the base engine grew to 2.7-litres and a punchy 3.2-litre S model was introduced. Not a lot changed for the following five years. It didn't need to. The Boxster ruled supreme.
When the changes did come, Porsche was clearly wary of killing the goose that was laying golden eggs quicker than it could shovel them into a basket. The second generation car appeared in dealers in November 2004 and the basic recipe was much the same. The silhouette was almost identical: again there was a 2.7-litre entry-level car and a 3.2-litre S, but the detailing had cleaned up considerably. The side vents grew shaper, the headlamps rounder and interior quality was much improved.
Summer 2006 saw some more detail changes, the most substantive being a power upgrade to correspond with that of the newly-introduced Cayman coupe - effectively a Boxster coupe that Porsche somehow had the chutzpah to charge a premium for. Whereas the models once made 240bhp and 280bhp respectively, power was eased up to 245bhp for the 2.7-litre car and a 295bhp for the Boxster S, a car which also saw its capacity rise from 3.2-litres to 3.4.
In early 2009, Porsche was at it again. The 2.7-litre engine was replaced by a 2.9-lkitre unit while the 3.4-litre in the Boxster S received 310bhp and Porsche Direct Fuel Injection technology. The PDK double clutch gearbox was introduced as was a launch control function. A year later, the Boxster Spyder arrived with a 320bhp version of the 3.4-litre engine, weight saving measures and extreme styling modifications that included doing away with the electric roof.