Although full specifications have yet to surface, the first official images of the all-new 2013 Porsche Boxster and Boxster S models along with preliminary details have just been released. What they show is a generational change that brings more style, better performance, an enhanced feature set and a new level of  desirability to this mid-engine two-seat roadster lineup.

Following in the tire tracks of its all-new 911 Carrera kin, the third-generation Boxster is slightly larger than its predecessor, with a longer wheelbase, wider track dimensions and shorter front/rear overhangs. It also boasts 20-inch alloy wheels in place of the current 19-inch rims and a new, more responsive electromechanical power steering system. Like the 911, the new Boxster makes far greater use of lightweight aluminum in place of steel, a change that's expected to reduce curb weight by 100-200 pounds - and one that should significantly enhance the car's already absolutely superb dynamic characteristics. 

While still clearly recognizable as a Boxster, the bold new bodywork on this high-profile roadster was reportedly inspired by the Carrera GT. Edgier character lines more upright headlamps and prominent side scallops are the most obvious changes, but the entry-level Porsche also sports its first-ever power-activated soft top that, like the new 911 Carrera Cabriolet, retracts to form its own integral tonneau cover. The Boxster's roomier cabin also shares a good bit of the style and character of its larger and more expensive stablemate.

Both the 2013 Porsche Boxster and the new Boxster S are fitted with traditional flat-six engines that feature direct fuel injection. The Boxster's 2.7-liter motivator is rated at 265 horsepower, up 10 from the current model while the 3.4-liter alternative in the Boxster S cranks out 315 ponies, five more than the present "S" variant. Either engine can be paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed "Doppelkupplungsgetriebe" (PDK) dual-clutch automated manual. The latter cog changer delivers both the quickest acceleration - 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds for the Boxster and 4.7 ticks for the Boxster S -- as well as the best fuel consumption figures.

Both Boxster variants also will be fitted with new Start/Stop technology as well as thermal energy management systems. Those features coupled with the mass reductions and more efficient power steering are expected to generate up to 15 percent better fuel economy. On the performance front, the Boxster/Boxster S will be available with Porsche's Sport Chrono Package that features dynamic transmission mounts for the first time as well as the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) systems with a mechanical rear axle differential lock.

The new Porsche Boxster and Boxster S models are due in showrooms here by early summer. Pricing for the new 2013 Boxster will start at $50,450 and the 2013 Boxster S will open at $61,850.

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