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Porsche Boxster 986/987

Porsche Boxster 986/987 Published: 17th Sep 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Porsche Boxster 986/987
Porsche Boxster 986/987
Porsche Boxster 986/987
Porsche Boxster 986/987
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Another entry level Porsche that’s unfairly had its share of stick, though not because of defi ciencies. It’s a image thing for some as it’s been often said, half in jest, that owning a Boxster shows all the world that you can’t quite afford a 911. Well, only you know this if is true – but there’s no denying that Boxster is a great sports car as well as a real Porsche yet at affordable prices that can make a typical MGB or MX-5 look expensive…


With strong connections to the 996, perhaps the biggest compliment the Boxster has enjoyed, since its launch more than 20 years ago, is that it feels rather like a classic 911! With a mid-mounted fl at-six, the Boxster provides truly sublime handling that tops the 911 coupled with searing performance; even the base 204bhp 2.5-litre model that some say is sluggish isn’t…. Performance junkies should look to the Boxster S with its 3.2-litre powerplant and better chassis however or later 2.7-litre cars.

For such a serious supercar, the ride is supple, while the pin sharp steering is every bit as engaging as the handling providing more grip and traction than you’ll ever need.


Early Boxsters are now changing hands from just a paltry £3000 but be careful in this price bracket, more so if the mileages are high and service history short. It’s wiser and saner to up the budget to £6000 minimum and preferably £8-£10,000 for a top 2.7 or an early but well kept S model from a Porsche specialist offering a worthy warranty. Later 2.9s go for around £14,000 on mainstream forecourts but a top 3.4 Gen2 can go for ten grand more from a specialist with nearly new 981 busting 40K. Happily 15 grand provides a lot of spending power for a really good 987 with the right spec and warranty.


1996 Launched, mid-engine sports car relying on virtual front end of the (911) 996; six-cylinder 2.5-litre with fi ve speeds or tiptronic auto transmission. A Sport package is released shortly after with 17inch wheels and a stiffer suspension set up

1999 Reshuffle sees base model spec and pace upped care of bigger 2.5-litre engine, joined by the S; 3.2-litres 246bhp with six speeds and a sportier chassis

2001 This year sees throttle by wire ECU and PSM traction control plus variety of colour and trim packs

2003 Facelift sees revised look, power hikes – normal car has 228bhp, S enjoys 260bhp – and an improved interior

2005 New 987 range with different, smoother styling even more power and kits plus 19inch wheels; Porsche says new Boxster shares only 20 per cent of the original model. Spin off Cayman coupé is also introduced to the family

Best models

Boxster S

Apart from more power (250+bhp) S owners gain an added gear. After ’01 there’s another six bhp and 17-inch alloys so 996 Carrera brakes fit


Original 2.5s are unfairly mocked but post ’88 2.7 has practically S pace, newer Boxsters enjoy a 2.9-litre engine. Prices all cheaper than the S model

987 & 981

Second gen benefits from sleeker styling and added power with normal version just shy of 250bhp, current 2012 range has up to 321bhp

Top buying tips



Early ones can be notoriously unreliable and render some cars scrap. Porsche replaced many under warranty although while certain faults make them ticking time bombs, experts say that if the unit was going to fail it would have done so by now!

Engine (2)


Biggest problems with pre-2000 cars were engine block issues which includes porous blocks (2.5) and slipped cylinder sleeves that will lunch the unit, the later fault worsened if the engine isn’t allowed to warm up properly. Failed Intermediate shafts (IMS) and bearings are real worry and usually with terminal results – the fi rst signs are noises and/or traces of swarf in the oil. Better designs are around, ditto plenty of used engines if a £5000+ rebuild are more than you can stomach

Running gear


Road springs break regularly. CV joints aren’t problematic but splitting boots are, more so on six-speed models (which can jump out of second). A precise geometry check and reset by Boxster experts is said to transform most cars


Power hood repairs dear, early manual types can stick half way. Blocked drain holes allow water to soak trim and worse still electronics

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