Geneva Motor Show 2012• Third-generation of Porsche Boxster promises to be fastest yet
• New lightweight body saves fuel and improves handling
• 265 and 315bhp for Boxster and Boxster S

Hype around the third generation Porsche Boxster is reaching boiling point in Geneva ahead of its unveiling to the world’s press on March 6.

Porsche Boxster

What is it?

It’s hard to believe there have only been two Porsche Boxster’s, such has its impact been since it first appeared in 1996. It is the great all-round sports car, because not only is it desirable and wonderful to drive, the Boxster has reliability, conservative styling and decent economy.

What’s it like?

Even Porsche describe the all-new Boxster’s styling as “evolutionary”, so don’t expect a big shock – it has just been down to the tailors for a sharp new suit. It does get an integrated rear spoiler which gives a visual nod to the iconic Porsche Carrera GT supercar. In typical Porsche fashion, it’s under that attire where the big changes have been made. A new lightweight body, direct-injection petrol engines with 265 or 315bhp (an increase from 252 and 306bhp) and revised chassis will make the latest model more fleet of foot and cheaper to run. The Boxster is arguably the best-handling Porsche, thank to the mid-mounted position of its engine – for the ultimate weight distribution.

What’s it up against?

Firstly there are its old German rivals, the business-like BMW Z4 and recently-re-invented Mercedes SLK. Then, from Japan, you have the Nissan 370Z Roadster and from – a’hem – Norwich, the Lotus Elise. Each offers its own unique take on the covertible two-seater recipe, so if you are already a Boxster fan, it’s unlikely you’ll switch allegiances now.

When can I buy it?

It’s on sale in the UK from May 5 and will cost from £37,589 for the standard model and from £45,384 for the Boxster S.

By Andy Goodwin, senior web journalist

The cars of Geneva 2012:

Audi A3
Audi RS4 Avant
Ferrari F12berlinetta
Ford B-Max
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Kuga
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Lamborghini Aventador J
Land Rover DC100
Lexus RX 450h
Mercedes A Class
Nissan Invitation
Porsche Boxster
Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet
Volkswagen Polo BlueGT