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2013 Porsche Boxster: A Geneva Show Best-Of

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The 911 is brand-new, and the Cayenne and Panamera still reek of bubble wrap. So what's Porsche to do next? A new Boxster, set for a launch this summer in the U.S., and launched and priced in time for the 2012 Geneva motor show.

Porsche promises a slew of smaller things for its smallest convertible. The Boxster now gets more power from an engine that weighs less, and it uses less fuel than before, too. The base engine's a 2.7-liter flat six with 265 horsepower, up 10 hp from the outgoing base car. Paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch unit, the base Boxster now hits 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, according to Porsche's timers. The Boxster S uprates to a 3.4-liter six with 315 horsepower, and a 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds, again with a choice of transmissions.

Both engines are fitted with direct injection and a stop/start system, and both are up to 15 percent more efficient than before, though Porsche hasn't obtained final EPA certification yet.

A new architecture gives the Boxster a lighter body structure, and a revised independent suspension should generate even better skidpad numbers and handling sensations, Porsche says. One new system that may figure greatly is Porsche Torque Vectoring, which uses a mechanical diff lock to split and vary the torque from rear wheel to rear wheel. Electromechanical steering is new to the Boxster, as it was to the 911 in the 2012 model year.

To the crowds at Geneva, the Boxster's ever more refined shape could be its best asset. The new architecture has given designers room to amp up the nascent cues from the prior version into full-fledged beauty marks--particularly, the dramatic swoop that lifts itself up along the doors, and squared-off headlights inspired by the units on the upcoming 918 Spyder hybrid supercar. A fully power-operated top is standard, and Porsche says there's more interior and storage space.

Without a word on the hard-roofed Cayman to date, Porsche's already laid out the pricing for the 2013 Boxster. The base convertible starts at $49,500, while a Boxster S is priced from $60,900.

For more on the Boxster, see our full preview--and stay in touch with the 2012 Geneva Motor Show by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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