"I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself"

- Ferdinand Porsche

Porsche 986 Boxster Facts

Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster 987
Manufacturer Porsche
Production 1996–present
Assembly Stuttgart, Germany
Uusikaupunki, Finland
Predecessor Porsche 968
Class Roadster
Body style(s) 2-door convertible
Layout MR layout
Related Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Boxster is a mid-engined roadster built by Porsche. The Boxster is Porsche's first road vehicle since the 550 Spyderthat was originally designed as a roadster.

The first-generation Boxster (the 986) was introduced in late 1996 as a 1997 model; it was powered by a 2.5 litre flat six-cylinderengine. In 2000, the new Boxster S variant was introduced with a larger 3.2 litre motor, and the base model received a more powerful 2.7 litre engine. In 2003, styling and engine output was upgraded on both variants.

In 2005, Porsche unveiled the new generation of Boxsters: the type 987. The 987 is more powerful than its predecessor and featured styling inspired by the Carrera GT. Engine output increased in 2007, when both Boxster models received the engines from their corresponding Porsche Cayman variants. In 2009, the Boxster models received several new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades, further increasing engine output and performance.

Production of the 986 began at the former Porsche 928 facility in Stuttgart, Germany in 1996. Valmet Automotive also manufactures Boxsters under contract to Porsche at a facility in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The Boxster was Porsche's biggest volume seller from its introduction in model year 1997 until the company introduced the Cayenne sport utility vehicle in model year 2003.

The Boxster's name is a portmanteau of the word "boxer", referring to the vehicle's horizontally-opposed or "boxer" engine, and the word "roadster", referring to the vehicle's two seat capacity and convertible top.


Porsche 986
Porsche 986 Boxster
Manufacturer Porsche
Production 1996–2004
Engine(s) 2.5 L H6 (1997–1999)
2.7 L H6 (2000–2004)
3.2 L H6 (2000–2004)
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 1997–2002: 95.2 in (2418 mm)
2003–04: 95.1 in (2416 mm)
Length 1997–2002: 171.0 in (4343 mm)
2003–04: 170.1 in (4321 mm)
Width 70.1 in (1781 mm)
Height 50.8 in (1290 mm)

Harm Lagaay's Boxster design study stimulated a commercial turnaround for Porsche after several difficult years of falling sales.

The visual appearance of the first generation of the Boxster was heavily inspired by the Porsche 356 Spyder and Speedster as well as the Porsche 550 Spyder. The Boxster was released ahead of its big brother, the 996. Through consultation with Toyota, Porsche greatly decreased the cost of manufacture, and introduced large-scale sharing of components between its models. The 986 Boxster had the same bonnet, front wings, and distinctive 'fried-egg' headlight units as the 996. Its original 2.5L M96 engine shared the same architecture with the 3.4L engine used in the 996. Many believe the combination of the new Boxster / 911 styling and the reduced build costs through component sharing saved Porsche from being acquired by another car company.

All 986/987 Boxsters use the M96 water cooled, horizontally opposed ("flat"), six-cylinder engine. The M96 is the first completely water-cooled engine used in a production non-front-engined Porsche. In the Boxster the M96 is placed in a mid-engine configuration as opposed to the rear-engine placement in all 911s. The combination of the M96 and a mid-engine layout provide a low center of gravity, smoothness throughout the rev range, near perfect weight distribution, and neutral handling characteristics. Early production M96 engines had a small but significant number of engine failures due to cracked or slipped cylinder liners, but since a minor redesign in 2000 these problems have been resolved.

Boxster 986 model history

Model year Engine HP Transmission 0–100km/h (60mph) Top speed
1997 2.5L 150 kW (204 PS; 201 hp) Manual 6.9 seconds (6.7) 240 km/h (149 mph)
2.5L 150 kW (204 PS; 201 hp) TipTronic 7.6 seconds (7.4) 235 km/h (146 mph)
2000 2.7L 162 kW (168 PS; 228 hp) Manual 6.4 seconds 253 km/h (157 mph)
2.7L 162 kW (220 PS; 217 hp) Manual 6.6 seconds 249 km/h (155 mph)
3.2L S 186 kW (253 PS; 249 hp) xx 5,9 seconds 2xx km/h (1xx mph)
2002 2.7L 168 kW (229 PS; 225 hp) Manual 6.2 seconds 253 km/h (157 mph)
2.7l 168 kW (229 PS; 225 hp) Tiptronic S 7.0 seconds 248 km/h (154 mph)
3.2L S 191 kW (261 PS; 258 hp) Manual 5.4 seconds 264 km/h (164mph)
3.2L S 191 kW (261 PS; 258 hp) Tiptronic S 6.1 seconds 258 km/h (160mph)
2004 S 550 3.2L 196 kW (264 PS; 266 hp) Manual 5.7 seconds 266 km/h (165 mph)

Boxster S 550 Spyder 50th Anniversary Edition limited to 1953 cars

The model received a minor facelift in 2003. The plastic rear window was replaced by a smaller glass window. The interior received a glove compartment, new electro-mechanical hood and trunk release mechanism (with an electronic emergency release in the fuse box panel) and an updated steering wheel. Porsche installed a reworked exhaust pipe and air intake. In addition, the often disliked amber "fried egg" front indicators were replaced with clear indicators. The rear light cluster was also changed with translucent grey turn signals replacing the amber ones. The side marker lights on the front wings were changed as well from amber to clear, except on American market cars where they remained amber. The bumpers were also changed slightly for a more defined, chiselled appearance, and new wheel designs were made available.

Limited Editions

550 Spyder 50th Anniversary Edition

In 2004 the 550 Spyder 50th Anniversary Edition was released, with a production run of just 1953 cars. These were all painted GT Silver Metallic, the same color as the car-show version of the Carrera GT supercar, and had unique cocoa-brown full-leather interior as standard with grey natural leather as a no-cost option. Each car also had special interior paintwork, a high-end BOSE sound system, two-tone grey and silver 18" Carrera wheels (unpainted as another zero-cost option), 5 mm (0.2 in) wheel spacers, the Boxster S sport exhaust, the M030 option sports suspension, and a plate on the center console piece commonly known as the "batwing" showing the production number. Only on the American market cars were the rear turn signals red rather than clear.

50th Anniversary 550 Nose

50th Anniversary 550 Front 3/4

50th Anniversary 550 Rear 3/4

50th Anniversary 550 Cocoa Interior


Porsche 987
2005 Porsche Boxster S
Manufacturer Porsche
Production 2005–
Assembly Finland
Engine(s) 2.7 L flat-6 (2005–2008)
2.9 L flat-6 (2009–)
3.2 L flat-6 (2005–2006)
3.4 L flat-6 (2007–)
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
7-speed PDK
Wheelbase 95.1 in (2415.5 mm)[1]
Length 2005–08: 171.6 in (4359 mm)[1]
2009–: 172.0 in (4369 mm)
Width 2005–08: 70.9 in (1801 mm)[1]
2009–: 71.5 in (1816 mm)
Height 51.0 in (1295 mm)[1]
Curb weight 3,130 lb (1,420 kg)[1]
Related Porsche Cayman

The second generation of the Boxster (internally known as the 987) made its debut at the 2004 Paris Motor Show alongside the new 911 (997). The car became available for model year 2005.

In appearance the car remains very similar to the previous generation. The most obvious styling change is to the headlights, which now have a profile similar to those of the Carrera GT, Porsche's mid-engined supercar. The intake vents on the sides of the Boxster are now larger, with more pronounced horizontal slats and are coloured metallic silver, irrespective of the paint colour on the rest of the car. The wheel arches have been enlarged to allow wheels up to 19 inches in diameter, a first for the Boxster series. The most significant updates from the 986 series are in the interior, with a more prominent circular theme evident in the instrument cluster and cooling vents. Porsche claims that the 987 Boxster shares only 20% of its components with its predecessor, despite their being almost identical from the outside. The base engine is a 2.7 L 176 kW (240 hp) flat-6, with the Boxster S getting a 3.2 L 206 kW (280 hp) engine. The Cayman series is derived from the 987.

For the 2007 model year the base Boxster received a revised engine featuring VarioCam Plus to provide a 5 hp (3.7 kW) boost (245 hp (183 kW) the same as the Cayman). The Boxster S engine was upgraded from 3.2L to 3.4L, resulting in the production of 15 hp (11 kW) more (295 hp (220 kW) the same as the Cayman S). These upgrades made the Boxster series and the Cayman series equivalent in terms of power.

Boxster 987 model history

MY 2005
  • 2.7L 176.5 kW (240 PS; 237 hp)
  • 3.2L 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) Boxster S
MY 2007
  • 2.7L 180 kW (245 PS; 241 hp)
  • 3.4L 217 kW (295 PS; 291 hp) Boxster S

987 Generation II

Porsche first revealed the face-lifted 2009 Boxster and Boxster S models at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in November 2008. Both models feature greater power due to an increase in engine displacement for the Boxster and the incorporation of Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) for the Boxster S. Both models are now available with Porsche's new 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK)dual clutch gearbox but come standard with a new 6-speed manual gearbox. Displacement in the standard Boxster's flat-six engine increased from 2.7 to 2.9 liters, increasing power from 245 hp (183 kW) to 255 hp (190 kW). Use of DFI in the Boxster S raised the output of the 3.4 liter engine from 295 hp (220 kW) to 310 hp (230 kW). Cosmetic changes to the 2009 Boxster and Boxster S include new head and tail lights, larger front air intakes with incorporated day time running lights, and an altered lower rear end flanked by twin diffusers. The interior includes the redesigned Porsche Communication Management System as an option with a touchscreen interface to reduce button clutter.[2]

Boxster 987 Gen II model history

MY 2009
  • 2.9L 188 kW (256 PS; 252 hp)
  • 3.4L 228 kW (310 PS; 306 hp)

Limited editions

2008 Porsche Design Edition 2 (North America)


RS60 Spyder

In November 2007, Porsche announced a commemorative RS60 Spyder edition of the Boxster to celebrate Porsche's 1960 win in the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida.[3] Only 1960 units in this series are to be produced worldwide, with approximately 800 slated for the U.S. with each model bearing a numbered production badge on the dash. The RS60 Spyder comes in only GT Silver Metallic while the standard interior is Carrera Red leather, with dark gray leather as an option. The RS60 comes standard with 19 inch SportDesign alloy wheels, Porsche's Active Suspension Management System, and a sports exhaust that boosts the engine output to 303 PS (223 kW; 299 hp) . The base price for the RS60 Spyder is US$64,900.

Porsche Design Edition 2

Porsche also announced the production of limited Boxster S Porsche Design Edition 2, to be available on October 2008 as 2009 model.[4] It features freer-flowing exhaust, which raises power from 295 PS (217 kW; 291 hp) at 6250 rpm to 303 PS (223 kW; 299 hp) at an identical 6250 rpm. It came in a unified Carrara White paint scheme with matching white 19-inch wheels, a black and grey interior with white gauges, red taillights and light grey stripes along the entire body. 500 are to be made for worldwide market, with 100 for the U.S. and Canada. The base price for the PDE2 Boxster is US$66,900.

Boxster Spyder

Boxster Spyder


On November 5, 2009, Porsche officially announced the creation of a new production Boxster which was officially unveiled at the 2009 Los Angeles Motor Show. To be positioned above the Boxster S, the Boxster Spyder will be the lightest Porsche on the market, weighing 2,811 pounds (1,275 kg), a full 176 pounds (80 kg) lighter than a Boxster S. This has been achieved through the elimination of the conventional soft top's operating mechanism, the radio/PCM unit, air conditioning, storage compartments, door handles, cupholders and large LED light modules on the front fascia, although some of these can be re-added to the car in the form of options. The vehicle will ride on a firmer suspension than the other Boxster models, and will also be almost one inch lower in order to have firmer handling. A manually-operated canvas top, sports bucket seats and two signature humps running along the back of the vehicle provide characteristic design elements. It will offer a six-cylinder boxer engine with 320 horsepower (239 kW; 324 PS) and 273 lb·ft (370 N·m) of torque (a 10 hp (7.5 kW) increase over the engine in the Boxster S and the same engine used in the related Cayman S), with manual transmission as standard and Porsche's PDK dual-clutch gearbox as an option. The vehicle will be released worldwide in February 2010 as a 2011 model with a base price of US$61,200. [5]


  • Three Boxsters are currently used in the Continental Challenge Street Tuner class.[6]
  • A Boxster Spec racing series based on the early 1997-1999 2.5-liter models has become very popular in both the Porsche Owners Club [1] and Porsche Club of America [2]. There are currently two classes: BSX and BSR. The Boxster BSX models are street-legal, with modified suspensions and additional safety equipment. The Boxster BSR models have gutted interiors, further suspension upgrades to improve performance, safety roll cages, and open exhaust.


Within a year of marketplace acceptance in the United States the original Boxster received many awards, including:

  • Car and Driver: One of the 10 Best Cars of 1997
  • AutomobileAutomobile of the Year
  • Motor: 1997 Performance Car of the Year
  • AutocarBest Roadster in the World
  • Motorweek: 1997 Drivers Choice for Best Sports Car
  • The Philadelphia InquirerBest Sports Car of the Decade
  • Newsweek: One of the Best New Products of 1997
  • BusinessWeek: One of the Best New Products of 1997
  • American Marketing Association: Best New Product of 1997
  • Automobile Journalists of Canada: 1997 Car of the Year
  • Automobile Journalists of Canada: Best Design of 1997

The Boxster has been on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list eleven times, from 1998 through 2003 and 2006 through 2010.

The Boxster S (986s) was rated one of the top ten Porsches of all time by Excellence magazine.

The Boxster (both 986 and 987 generations) is evo magazine's recommended buy in the "Sports Car" category and has been since the model's introduction.


  1. "Best All-Around Sports Car" (PDF). Road & Track. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc.. March 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  2. "Official Porsche Boxster Microsite". Porsche.com. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  3. "Boxster RS 60 Spyder in Limited Edition". Porsche.com. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  4. "2009 Porsche Boxster S Porsche Design Edition 2 and Cayman S Sport - Car News". Caranddriver.com. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  5. "2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder unveiled". Leftlanenews.com. 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  6. "Event Information - Entry List". Grand-am.com. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  • "Into the Sunshine: 2005 Porsche Boxster Revealed", an article in the "News" section on page four of the 10 May 2004 issue of AutoWeek
  • "Cover featuring the 2010 Porsche Boxster. November 2007 issue of Road & Track
  • "2003 Porsche Boxster Owners Manual 5/02"

External links


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