Two Seats. Mid-Engined. Roadster. Perfection.
Current 718 Boxster Lineup / Boxster Generations / Every Boxster Model Ever
The Boxster was initially unveiled as a concept in 1993 at the Detroit Auto Show, before going on sale in the summer of 1996 (as a 1996 model year in the United States). The first 986-generation Boxster had a mid-mounted 2.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-six that was good for 201 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. It had a five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed Tiptronic automatic. The car received a significant update in 1999 for the 2000 model year, with a bigger base engine, tuned intake runners, and a more powerful S model. Following customer feedback, the base 2.5-liter flat-six was enlarged to 2.7 liters, resulting in an increase of 16 horsepower and 11 lb-ft of torque. The S model got a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated flat-six making 250 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque, as well as a six-speed manual gearbox, bigger cross-drilled brakes from the 996, Carrera wheels, upgraded suspension components, a third radiator up front, and a dual-exit exhaust. It has a higher 7200-rpm redline, and was able to sprint to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds when new. The 986 received yet another refresh from Porsche in 2003. Output from the base 2.7-liter car grew to 225 horsepower, while torque remained the same at 192 lb-ft. For the 986’s final model year, 2004, Porsche introduced the 550 Spyder 50th Anniversary edition Boxster, based on the S model, it was the most powerful first-gen Boxster produced, it made 264 horsepower from its 3.2-liter flat-six.
The second generation Porsche Boxster came out in 2004 at the Geneva Motor Show and shared almost the same design with the first version of the car. It also shared a lot of components with its 997 generation 911 sibling which was released the same year. The second generation Boxster was known as the 987. Design wise, the second generation Boxster had distinctive front styling with different triangular headlights and a unique front fascia. The front air intakes got redesigned, as well as the rear bumper and stoplights. The 987 Boxster's base 2.7-liter engine and 3.2 Boxster S were largely carried over from the late 986, but a 12 lb weight savings was realized by eliminating the cast-iron bearing girdle inserts. During the 2006 model year, Porsche incorporated a larger ball bearing for the support of the intermediate shaft at the flywheel end, which mostly mitigated the infamous intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing issues that plagued the M96 series. The 2007 Boxster received engine updates to match those of its hardtop Cayman stablemate. This consisted of the VarioCam Plus two-stage intake valve lift to both the base and S versions. The base five-speed manual was no longer Audi-based but made by Japanese supplier Aisin; the Boxster S six-speed retained the Getrag unit. Porsche introduced the face-lifted 987 for the 2009 model year. The updated Boxster featured a family of all-new engines with new designation and direct fuel injection (DFI) for the 3.4-liter S versions of the 987.2 and for all 997.2s; the base model 2.9-liter 987.2 had port fuel injection. The other major change for the 987.2 was the replacement of the optional torque converter-equipped Tiptronic automatic transaxle with a dual-clutch automated transaxle that Porsche dubbed PDK.
The third generation of Boxster was the 981 generation and frankly it is our favorite here at Stuttcars. Changes includes a body shell that was 17 percent lighter than that of the 987 thanks to an increased usage of aluminum construction, along with strategic use of high-strength steel in key areas. This kept the curb weight to around 3,000 lbs, despite being a larger car than its predecessor. The 981 Boxster was powered by the MA1-series flat-six, with the base engine's displacement reduced by 200cc to 2.7 liters, but this was more than made up for by replacing the base 987.2's port fuel injection system with DFI. The optional "Sport Chrono" package added dynamic transmission mounts, which functioned similarly to the optional magnetorheological mounts used on the engine side of the rear-engined 991. The 981's chassis and suspension were similar to the 991 Porsche 911, with a 60 mm longer wheelbase and increased front track by 36-48 mm depending on front wheel offset. The front suspension geometry was revised to increase its resistance to braking dive, and the rear suspension had much greater resistance to dynamic toe changes than did that of the 987.
Ever-stringent government fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards forced Porsche to downsize and turbocharge its entire range of engines. This meant that the marketing department leaned on the flat-four heritage of the 550 Spyder and 718 race cars, dubbing the internally-designated 982 Boxster and Cayman models as the 718. The MA2-based flat-fours of the base and S versions of the Boxster had more varied specifications than any of their predecessors. The 2.0-liter MA2/20 of the base model had a turbocharger with a conventional internal wastegate for boost control, while the 2.5-liter, 350-hp MA2/22 of the Boxster S had a variable turbine geometry turbocharger in addition to a conventional internal wastegate to reduce exhaust backpressure. Porsche fans who missed the howl of a flat-six in a new mid-engined roadster collectively rejoiced with the introduction of the 2019 Boxster Spyder, which featured an MA2-derived, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six, which generated 414 hp and revved to 8,000 rpm. This drivetrain reverted to the three-point mounting system of previous six-cylinder Boxsters. More recently, Porsche added the 4.0 L flat six to the GTS model, so enthusiasts can have their cake and eat it too.