If you know me or have browsed my website, you’ll already know that my most recent previous car (in addition to my older MINI Cooper) was a MINI John Cooper Works Coupe. While I like the sporty, yet practical, hatchback MINI Cooper, I have always preferred the two-seat sportscar. I don’t have a family or the need to haul many people or large items. This preference is why I bought the MINI Coupe in 2011 and the Porsche Boxster this year (2019). Despite the Porsche being a convertible, the two cars have several similarities.
Both cars are two-seaters and relatively small and lightweight. They are true driver’s cars with excellent steering, handling, and braking. Both cars employ active rear spoilers. Both have excellent six-speed manual transmissions. Although very different, the two cars each produce a distinct, aggressive engine noise; the MINI pops while the Porsche growls. My Porsche 981 has the traditional flat-six engine, but the current Boxster 982 (and its hardtop sibling the Cayman) has a turbocharged four-cylinder like the MINI JCW. The MINI JCW Hardtop and Porsche Cayman used to compete against each other in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST class until 2018.
The biggest difference is in the layout: the MINI JCW Coupe has its longitudinally-mounted engine up front, while the Porsche Boxster has a mid-engine configuration. The MINI is front-wheel drive; the Porsche is rear-wheel drive. Two different philosophies with each having its benefits and drawbacks.
Here are the numbers for comparison.
|MINI JCW Coupe||Porsche Boxster 981|
|Length||148.0″ (3,734 mm)||172.2″ (4,374 mm)|
|Width without mirrors||66.3″ (1,683 mm)||70.9″ (1,801 mm)|
|Width with mirrors||75.3″ (1,913 mm)||77.9″ (1,978 mm)|
|Height||54.5″ (1,384 mm)||50.5″ (1,282 mm)|
|Wheelbase||97.1″ (2,466 mm)||97.4″ (2,475 mm)|
|Weight||2,701 lb (1,225 kg)||2,888 lb (1,310 kg)|
|Engine and Transmission|
|Type and Displacement||Inline 4 Cylinder
|Flat 6 Cylinder
|Power||208 hp @ 6,000 rpm||265 hp @ 6,700 rpm|
|Torque||192 lb-ft @ 1,850-5,600 rpm||207 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm|
|Front||12.4″ Ventilated Disc||12.4″ Ventilated Disc|
|Rear||11.0″ Ventilated Disc||11.8″ Ventilated Disc|
|Wheels and Tires|
|Wheels||17″ x 7″ Alloy – F
17″ x 7″ Alloy – R
|18″ x 8″ Alloy – F
18″ x 9″ Alloy – R
|Tires||205/45-R17 – F
205/45-R17 – R
|235/45-ZR18 – F
265/45-ZR18 – R
|Base Price (MSRP) New (With Destination Charge)||$31,900||$50,450|
|Top Speed||149 mph (240 km/h)||164 mph (264 km/h)|
|6.1 seconds||5.5 seconds|
|Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||25/33/28 mpg||20/30/24 mpg|
[Sources: MINI USA website, MINI USA News, Porsche Boxster Owner’s Manual, Porsche Boxster Window Sticker.]