By the early 90s, Porsche was suffering. While its flagship 911 was doing well, its other models, specifically the 944 and 928 were old and tired, to say the least, and everyone knew it. Sales suffered. In a superbly bone-headed move (at the time) Porsche was considering creating a four-door super-executive vehicle, with the engine in front, to replace both the 911 and all the other models. Cooler heads, and definitely wiser ones, prevailed: the 944 and 928 were scrapped, the 911 was redesigned and the Porsche Boxster was introduced in 1997. It was billed as a mini-911 when it was presented at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show, and despite the fact that it was seriously toned down when it was finally released, it was a smash hit.
The car that was introduced in 1997 had few of the frills of the 1993 concept car, particularly inside, but with a 24-valve flat-six engine producing 205 horsepower, few people cared. The original model could reach 60 mph in 7 seconds or less, climbing up quickly to a top speed of 149 miles per hour.
The 1997 Porsche Boxster really managed to give its buyers the traditional Porsche experience, rear-engine and all, for just over half the price of a 911. Of course, it was still quite a bit more expensive than what it was supposed to be, but what isn’t?