Porsche Boxster Cabriolet
A visitor sits in a Porsche Boxter Cabriolet. Reuters

Porsche trotted out all the thoroughbreds at the New York Auto Show 2012, including the new 2013 Porsche Boxster, and Michael Bartsch, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Porsche Cars North America, had some interesting insight into how the company thinks about and market its cars.

Porsche doesn't see the 2013 Boxster as an intro sports car, Bartsch said, despite the common misconception, but as a lifestyle choice for consumers. The company approaches sales from the perspective that its vehicles are competing against houses, boats and, yes, other sports cars, but it is the experience of owning a Porsche that the company counts on to sell cars, including the Boxster.

All of the cars in Porsche's lineup are meant to fill a particular lifestyle need, whether it be more space, track driving or better performance in tough conditions, Bartsch said. One of the benefits of working for Porsche, he said, is that he has access to a car for whatever his driving needs happened to be at any given time. But he did not explicitly exclude price as a consideration for consumers as well.

The new 2013 Porsche Boxster packs 315 horsepower, 266 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 173 mph. It's 0-60 speed is just 4.8 seconds. It costs $49,500.