Auto Spies (c)

It is very true to say Porsche are in a turmoil over sales at present, to such an extent that the company is secretly winding down production of the Boxster and 911 due to an unprecedented lack of demand. In fact, things are so bad at Zuffenhausen that board members discussed introducing the replacement 270bhp, 3.4-litre Boxster-S during the 3rd quarter of the 2004 model year - that means September 2003 and with the sole purpose of propping up flagging sales. The reason: Some customers have become tired by Porsche's attitude, especially the needlessly long production times and constant model updates, adding 20bhp to the 911 every two years and calling it a new car is especially irksome for European owners, who lease these cars, and find it impossible to stay in a current model. At last Porsche has realized that what their customers want are very well defined milestones(model introductions).

Sadly this has come too late to change the new Boxster's specification, which was signed-off before the "lets add 8hp and re-launch the Boxster" attitude became frowned upon. If the Germans do rush it into introduction, the "S" will appear with a measly 4% more power from an extra 200cc. Odd, because the 3.4-litre in the 911 produces 300hp. It does get a completely new front-end and better constructed and equipped interior, with more options. Some have argued that the "S" is a fine car anyway, but the competition is so fierce that holding back the Boxster to avoid stepping on the 911's toes may be a fatal mistake - according to a lot of UK owners anyway. The rumors are that world-wide inventories are going to be sold off soon, so if you see a good deal at your Porsche showroom, you know the replacement in coming - great if you want a bargain. In England, the waiting time being quoted for a Boxster is 15-months (to keep up appearances, maybe) but there are stories of customers being mysteriously offered "canceled" orders, coincidentally matching their own specification, after a matter of weeks.