Who’s the Daddy?
Porsche 718 Boxster: You’d think this machine Daddy enough without the need to big-up engine downsizing through genuflection to the flat-four racing 718s of the mid-20th century. Begs the question: has the Boxster gained a pedigree but lost a soul?
Audi TT Roadster: Designed to be first a roadster, then a coupe. Successive facelifts may have chiselled away at the Rubenesque purity of the original motorised builder’s bicep, but its popularity remains undiminished. Easy to see why.
Wind in the Hair or Wig in the Willows?
Porsche 718 Boxster: Lift or lower superb hood at up to 40mph in under 10 seconds; weather will never pee on your popsy’s firework. Nor will airflow incite her bangs to lash the Ray-Bans clean off her face.
Audi TT Roadster: Snug, triple-layer roof removed in 10 seconds at up to 31 mph. Hair removed considerably more rapidly unless you opt for £425 retractable wind deflector aft. Roof stowage requirements make rear seats valid only for taking cat to vet.
Shoehorn Squeeze or Horn of Plenty?
Porsche 718 Boxster: Alluring, tauter carapace a far cry from the original pushmi-pullyu houses classic Porsche interior with lightly breathed-on dash and 911 touchscreen. Superb driving position. Shift paddles untouchably hot after sunbathing.
Audi TT Roadster: Audi interior quality undiminished as the decades canter by. Location of HVAC controls within air vents the finest interior design step forward in eons, Virtual Cockpit less so, with HMI control now annoyingly less intuitive.
Kitchen Sink or Kitsch Missing Link?
Porsche 718 Boxster: The former, but it would be good to see a base spec car one day… This specimen notches up over £11,000 in options, of which only £1922 is the PDK transmission, and £1025 the sat-nav.
Audi TT Roadster: All the gear, and astonishing attention to detail. Where else will you find an auto-dimming driver’s door mirror and a microphone sewn into the seat belt to abet legible phone conversation with the lid off?
Time is a jet Plane; it Moves too Fast…
Porsche 718 Boxster: Alas, gone is the lure of the lycanthrope lurking at peak revs, but four cylinders a mysteriously better fit here than in the Cayman. PDK a joy in manual override, especially with self-blipping change-downs in Sport mode.
Audi TT Roadster: Feels quicker than the Mercedes despite bald statistics, and gruff engine note sounds far better to boot. Extraordinarily smooth gearshift – the belch of a well-fed hippo the only indication of cog swapping.
Seat of the Pant or Pants with a Seat?
Porsche 718 Boxster: Still a sublime drive; outstanding agility and grip combined with monstrous brakes and the most fluid, comfortable ride here. Entertainment shackled by soundtrack unless you ignore noises off and properly nail it at all times.
Audi TT Roadster: Over-firm ride courtesy of S Line set-up, but steers, and sticks, better than SLC. Pleasingly sharp handling, and so tenacious it’s hard to believe it’s front-wheel drive. The odd body shiver doesn’t detract from enthralling drive.
Porsche 718 Boxster
Engine: 1988cc turbo flat-four
Power: 296bhp @ 6500rpm
Torque: 280lb ft @ 1950-4500rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic with manual override, rear-wheel drive
Top speed: 170mph
On sale: Now
Audi TT Roadster
Engine: 1984cc turbo 4-cyl
Power: 227bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque: 273lb ft @ 1600-4300rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic with manual override, front-wheel drive
Top speed: 155mph
On sale: Now