Porsche Boxster 981 (3rd Generation) Research Hub (2013 - 2016)
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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. It was just as slippery as the 987, with the 98l's Cd at a remarkable 0.30. The 981 Boxster had a fully automatic top; the driver no longer had to manually latch or unlatch the convertible top from the windshield header as in the 986 and 987. The lightweight top was composed of magnesium panels, aluminum and steel frame bows, and plastic covers.
The 981 Boxster was powered by the MA1-series flat-six, which were quite similar to those used in the 987.2. The base engine's displacement was actually 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, which allowed a higher compression ratio of 12.5:1, which was the same as the 3.4-liter engine of the Boxster S. Otherwise, the 981 powerplants had the same features as the big brother 991.1 generation 911, with assembled camshafts, a thermal management system of vacuum-operated switches and valves to help optimize engine warmup and cooling system management. The engine management system was used in concert with the electrical gateway system control unit to orchestrate the operation of the oft-maligned auto stop/start system.
A six-speed manual was standard on both the base car and the Boxster S, with slightly different gear ratios and an improved torque capacity for the latter. 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 mounts automatically stiffened as necessary by varying electrical current through a fluid containing magnetic particles. The optional PDK gearbox continued on similar internals as its predecessor, but some new features such as a fuel-saving "coasting" mode and the ability to select neutral by engaging both shift paddles.
The 981's chassis and suspension were similar to the 991, 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. Chassis control electronics also evolved, with the ninth generation of Porsche Stability Management offering enhanced functions such as holding the vehicle on a steep incline to aid hill starts, improved Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), and optional Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV). PTV actively braked the inside rear wheel during cornering, which enhanced turn-in and agility. The steering itself was the same as the 991, with an electronically assisted power steering rack featuring revised steering geometry to allow a tighter turning radius of 10.36 meters.