In one corner, the Porsche Boxster S. In the other, a Mercedes SLK 200K. Why? Just to see which one is girliest.
Picture the scene. A hot summer’s day, a cool underground car park. The keys to a large Lexus in your hands. Sweat dripping from the brow after vigorously manoeuvring the giant boat into a tight space – then the whir of the motorised gates makes you spin around. A loud and raspy voice bounces of the walls. “Yar, no, that’s what I said Tarquin. Yar, exactly, what a complete poof. HA HA HA HA!”
Enter the elongated bonnet of a Porsche Boxster, roof down, tanned and overly coiffured driver barking into his mobile phone in the driver’s seat. “Are there any spaces in this shitty car park?” he exclaims in my general direction, phone glued to his shoulder. “Sorry, was that aimed at me?” I respond a little bemused. “HA HA HA I know, can’t believe he went home with that monster” came the reply from silver Porsche. A quick flick of the steering wheel, a crunch of cogs as Mr Porsche attempts to put it in reverse with one hand and squeeeeaaaal as he speeds out of the car park in a rubbery puff of smoke, barely missing a huge bollard on the way out. What a c**t!
Every single preconception I have about Porsche Boxster drivers was summed up in that extremely short and massively confusing exchange. It’s also the reason why I regard the model (and those who drive them) with utter disdain. But every time I raise the point with fellow driving fans I get shouted down. Spittle is formed in the corners of mouth, forks are banged on the table and faces become flushed with anger. The vitriolic replies go something like this: “But they’re the complete driver’s car” or “nothing handles like a Porsche” or “name one car that delivers the thrills like a Porker does”. Okay, okay… so a Porsche is a proper driver’s car, I appreciate that. I’ve seen a 911 GT2 outgun a Ferrari, I’ve had the pleasure of winding through the Cote d’Azur with a beautiful 911 aggressively chomping at my rear bumper… I know they’re great cars. But a Boxster? Come on!
The Porsche Boxster (or gay car as I’m going to call it) is reserved for the Tarquins and Quentins of this island. Those foppish saps who reside somewhere in South East London and work in PR or The Media or dare I say it, an estate agency and drink sticky shots in equally sticky carpeted clubs. They adore Frappucino, super skinny strawberry moccachinos, sport year-round tans and have a general disregard for anyone else not in their sordid little social bubble. I said this to one gay car owner recently and he wasn’t very happy.
But because I’m a super open-minded kind of guy I decided to smash all of these misconceptions and get behind the wheel of a gay car – like someone who is scared shitless of snakes jumping into a bathtub full of the slithery buggers I bit my tongue and called one in. Just to make it fair I also called in a Mercedes SLK200 K, an equally hair-dresser type machine that seems to attract all the wrong types of men (I say men because I’ve actually seen quite a few MILFs in these so women are ruled out of this argument).
“I’ve seen a 911 GT2 outgun a Ferrari, had the pleasure of winding through the Cote d’Azur with a beautiful 911 aggressively chomping at my rear bumper, I know they’re great cars. But a Boxster? Come on!”
The gay car was delivered in a rather overly grandiose fashion, reversed out of a spotless white trailer that was parked bang in the middle of the street, holding up central London traffic for around 20 minutes (imagine the other drivers’ disappointment when a Boxster rolled out). The model was obviously far too precious to be driven down from Reading like ALL the other cars I’ve ever had delivered. First impressions were good however. The motor looked great in classic silver and it has to be said that the gay car still sports an admirable shape, even though it’s over 10 years old. The interior is sexy, all leather and carbon trim with very pleasing glowing-white lights everywhere. Pop the key in, give it a twist and she purrs into life. A noise that isn’t exactly impressive but mechanically satisfying.
So what’s the drive like? Begrudgingly, the homo-machine drove like a dream. The chassis was so solid and cornering felt positive and mightily reassuring. Those old bends we have used for so many car shoots had never been taken so fast and with so much confidence. The engine pulled in every gear and the ‘box was magnificent, so smooth and satisfying when you’re pounding through first, second, third and fourth. The engine note certainly won’t turn too many heads but from inside the cabin, it feels like you’re driving a proper sports car, a sports car steeped in racing pedigree. A Porsche.
But before I get too mushy I must remind you that we were testing the Boxster against the Mercedes SLK 200K and I don’t really know why. The Boxster kicked ass in almost every department – it pulled away on straights, carried far more speed into corners and looked a hundred times better in the rear-view mirror. Every time I looked up to see the Mercedes I couldn’t help thinking it looked like a stressed out hairdresser who was late for a cocktail party at Elton John’s mansion was aggressively trying to over take me.
So what’s the point here? There isn’t one really. The SLK is way too expensive and has an even worse stigma attached to it than the Boxster – even though it performs well and is a lot of fun to drive it will still never beat the Porsche in a drive-off (just made that phrase up). Plus it’s so girly, leave it to the MILFs.
The conclusion then? Well, one irritating Porsche fan did come round to my way of thinking after spotting a gay car driver parked in the middle of the street, holding up a whole queue of traffic whilst he fetched some iced coffees. So to cheer him up, I dothed my cap and admitted the Boxster is a great car… then quickly revealed my crossed fingers, stuck my tongue out and called him a bottom botherer.
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