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2012 Porsche Boxster S Black Edition - Ebony ecstasy

For the second time in as many weeks, Porsche has journeyed to the dark side to create a limited-production variation on an existing theme. Offering a mid-engined alternative to the recently announced 911 Black Edition, the decidedly monochrome 2012 Porsche Boxster S Black Edition taps into that same sinister vein, matching a solid black exterior with a black top, black-painted 19-inch Boxster Spyder-design alloy wheels in place of the standard 18-inch rims, and black-finished safety bars, side air intake grilles and twin exhaust tips. Even the model designation on the rear decklid is done in black. As a finishing touch, "Black Edition" is embossed on the side of the car's fabric roof.

Inside, the back-to-black motif continues, with appropriately hued instrument faces and dash/console trim set off with a few bits of aluminum and stainless steel accenting plus Porsche crests embossed on the headrests and a limited-edition badge on the glove compartment. Functionally, the 3.4-liter flat-six engine in the Boxster S Black Edition will make 320 horsepower -- 10 more than a standard Boxster S -- whether paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic.

Like its pricier 911 counterpart, only a select group of buyers -- in this case 987, Porsche's internal code for the Gen II Boxster variant -- will be able to order one of the 2012 Boxster S Black Edition variants. About one-third are expected to make it to America. All will come equipped with a selection of popular upgrades, including the Boxster Design Package which provides much of its black trim elements as well as the Convenience Package (bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering function, wind deflector, auto-dimming interior/ exterior mirrors, rain sensor and automatic climate control) and Infotainment Package (touch-screen Porsche Communication Management system with navigation, BOSE surround-sound audio system and XM Satellite Radio with XM NavTraffic).

Pricing on the 2012 Boxster S Black Edition starts at $65,200 -- or $68,620 when fitted with the PKD automated manual -- which represents a $3,200 savings over a similarly-equipped Boxster S model. Deliveries of the first Boxster S Black Editions will commence in the spring.

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