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Fixed roof Boxster nears

Getting close: GoAuto Graphic Artist Chris Harris' impression of the Porsche Boxster coupe.

Porsche purists should relish the Boxster-based C7 Coupe that’s said to be sportier than the 911

21 Feb 2005

MORE details of the fixed-roof version of Porsche’s Boxster convertible, reported in GoAuto last November, are emerging.

Dubbed C7, the two-seater coupe is expected to debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, with Australian sales likely sometime in the middle of next year.

It is believed that Porsche will pitch the C7 between the $107,400 987 and $195,225 997 911.

Much of the underpinnings will be Boxster-based, so the C7 has a mid-engine and rear-wheel drive layout.

It will also share variations of the Boxster’s McPherson strut suspension and variable-ratio steering, as well as its front guards, bonnet, doors and cabin architecture.

However from the windscreen back the body of the C7 will be new, as well as the front bumpers. Nevertheless there will still be a strong family resemblance to the Boxster.

The curvy roof will feature deep side windows and sleek rear pillars, giving the C7 a slight three-box silhouette.

Interestingly the rear glass open hatchback-style, making it the first such Porsche sports car since the demise of the 924-based 986 in 1996.

These will ensure there’s enough visual differentiation between the C7 and its siblings for Porsche to establish it as a sperate model in its own right.

Overseas reports suggest that several versions of the C7 are in the pipeline.

The base C7 is expected to use the 206kW 3.2-litre flat-six cylinder engine from the Boxster S, followed by a high-performance C7S variant powered by a new 224kW 3.4-litre flat-six.

Speculation is rife that the C7 will be a much-more hard-edged sports car than either its donor or the 911.

To this end rumours persist that a lightweight CS – for Clubsport – model will also follow, probably powered by the 3.4 unit. This should be a stripped-out C7 in the style of 1993’s 968 CS.

The C7 project may also be the first Porsche to introduce the company’s answer to Audi’s DSG double-clutch automatic gearbox.

This transmission is also expected to eventually replace the aging five-speed Tiptronic auto in the Boxster and 911.

The C7 will probably weigh significantly less yet be even stronger than the already-stiff Boxster, as much of the convertible's necessary body-beefing understructure isn’t needed now that there is a fixed roof to take much of the support duties.

It is unclear whether the C7 will be built at Porsche’s German Zuffenhausen plant, or the Uusikaupunki site in Finland. It may even be built – like the Boxster is currently – at both.

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