Aluminium is used for the bonnet, bootlid and doors, and high strength steel for the basic structure

Aluminium is used for the bonnet, bootlid and doors, and high strength steel for the basic structure

At last, Glenn Brooks finds he has an answer to that question, "If you could only have one car?" Well, maybe.

I feared I might just fall for this car. The first clue was when the test vehicle's spec was emailed to me in advance. Guards Red, the decades old Porsche name for its take on what colour fire engines are, has been my favourite since I saw my first whale-tail 911 Turbo as a kid. The test car had a contrasting black soft top, with black leather interior.

The price of love is GBP37,589, or it would be, if Porsche GB's press fleet model hadn't been loaded with selected extras. The leather upgrade, which extended to the dashboard, costs GBP2,093, while 19-inch wheels added a further GBP971. Is the sports exhaust worth GBP1,473? Silly question - it's summer, this is a convertible supercar - but I'm slightly shocked to see that something more sensible, rear parking sensors, are an extra (GBP348). Heated seats? They're GBP283, Bi-xenon headlights are GBP1,060, a phone connectivity pack that syncs to Porsche Communication Management (SatNav plus iPod/USB slots) is GBP526, while PCM itself is GBP2,141. We're almost done: the Sound Package Plus is GBP397 and finally, to have a mesh wind deflector, you'll need to pay GBP182.

For GBP47,045 you have all of the above, as well as three years of Porsche Assistance and a warranty that lasts the same length of time. Does it seem too much? I don't know - when a Jaguar F-TYPE starts at fifty eight grand, a Boxster with all this gear begins to look like decent value. Plus you have to take into account the usual rock solid resale values and the fact that you do see a fair few of the old shape models in pristine condition. And you don't HAVE to order any of those options, do you? Until Volkswagen realised the madness of what it had done and lopped several thousand off the price of the new Golf R Cabrio a few weeks back, the standard Boxster was a cheaper car. Truly.

Pricing and value for money mean different things to different people so instead how about a discussion of what defines a supercar? I touched on this subject when reviewing the Audi A6 allroad last year, a supercar in all but name. The new Boxster, which is the cheapest and slowest Porsche money can buy, reaches 62mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 164mph. Just pause and take that in. Why buy a 911? Well, yes, because it's a 911 but you see the point - the Boxster is all the supercar many people could want, or need.

Consider these figures too: the worst fuel economy number, the Urban cycle average, is still 25.0mpg (11.4l/100km), while Combined is 34.4mpg (8.2) and Extra Urban is 45.0 (6.3). Obviously, if you're regularly getting 40mpg you should have this car taken away from you, but I saw high twenties so the EC averages - not always accurate indicators of what an owner can expect - in this case can be believed. Even the CO2 average, at 192g/km, is good, given the performance of the car.

How does Porsche deliver such a relatively economical model when the car's 2,706cc H6 engine produces 265hp (at a delicious 6,700rpm) and 280Nm of torque? The six-speed manual gearbox certainly helps in a big way but the main ingredient is simple: weight, or lack thereof.

The old model wasn't exactly lardy but the company's 9X1 platform as used by this car, the Cayman and in modified form by the 911 too, was developed with particular attention to designed-in lightness. The Boxster's DIN unladen weight is just 1,310kg, whereas an F-TYPE or Z4 with the same sort of performance and spec will bring with it an extra 300 kilos. I don't want to beat up the Jaguar but it does seem curious that its alloy platform doesn't give it the advantage you might rightly expect it to. There are details about the Porsche's construction here, if you missed just-auto's recent Cayman review.

Other details I want to pass on include a number of surprise and delight features in this car. Once you touch the interior door handles of the Boxster, other car makers' pretend-chrome plastic suddenly feels second class. In the Porsche, the shiny and beautifully shaped handles just feel so, well, 'premium' and perfectly sprung.

This car also had a simply terrific SatNav system, though for what it costs, it should have. There are the traditional three big Porsche circular gauges but one of them is a multi-function dial. This can be programmed to be a secondary navi screen (as we normally view maps in landscape or portrait form, it looks strangely cool by being round), or else switched to display all manner of other information such as remaining range, average fuel economy and so on. The centre console screen also displays your overall whereabouts but it's great to have the circular image right in front of your eyes.

The stop-start system is entirely shudder-free, even if it does feel strange to hear a Porsche go silent at the traffic lights. It fires up in an instant but if your commute involves lots of this sort of driving, pay up for the seven-speed PDK twin clutch automatic option. It's not that the six-speed manual isn't beautifully smooth, it's just that the clutch can get heavy as you sit so low making those 1-2-1 changes over and over in city traffic.

I was going to moan about the fact that for forty seven thousand pounds you have to make do with manual seat adjusters and no electric reach or rake for the steering wheel. There again, do any of us really need these things, especially when the electric motors and wiring loom just add weight? If you share the car, you'll tire of the lack of memory seats/mirrors but otherwise, it's OK. I wouldn't have minded seeing the mirrors fold when I blip-locked the car - instead you have to remember to manually push in the exposed one.

Returning to the list of things to love, the front boot will take a surprising number of soft bags as it's quite deep, plus you have the extra space behind the engine. The decision to make this a two-seater was easy, given that the car is mid-engined but even those six feet tall and above will find there is lots of legroom and that isn't the case with all of the Boxster's rivals.

There are multiple places to store things in the cabin including a centre console box for your phone and flip-out bins in the doors. Then there are the swing-out upholders hidden behind a silver plastic panel above the glovebox. This is a really clever piece of design. The cover folds down with a gentle push, and does an amazing job of looking just like the metal that the door handles are made from.

The best thing about the Boxster? Apart from its incredible handling, this has to be the noise it will make if you wind it out to 7,500rpm. Even 4,000 sounds fantastic. If I could have just one car, money no object? Maybe the 560hp 911 Turbo S, which I am just slightly excited about seeing when it's revealed at the Frankfurt IAA in September. But for little more than a third of that car's price I might just be content with a Boxster. As long as it's red.

Expert analysis

just-auto PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)

just-auto PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)

PLDB from is a cost effective, vehicle cycle plan database, showing the production life of all major current and future vehicle models produced (or to be produced) globally by all more

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more