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Old 05-13-2004, 10:08 AM   #1
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Boxster Or Boxster S?

Hi Folks,

How did you make up your mind if you wanted a regular Boxster or the Boxster S? Was it the price difference? Was it the performance?

And for those who have the regular Boxster, do you miss the extra power and larger brakes etc on the S?

I'm looking for a 2 seater convertible as a weekend fun/track car and really like the Boxster handling due to the mid engine configuration. As it is now, my E46 M3 is just way too front heavy, and it chews through front tires like crazy.

Thanks!
Jimmy
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Old 05-13-2004, 05:17 PM   #2
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From an E46 M3 to a Boxster - I'm going to say you want the S.
333 to 250HP is enough of a step down that you would miss it if you went much lower.

I have had brake fade once in my S in 4 track days. This was during session 3 in 100 degree Sun, my first time moving up from the rookie group to a combined intermediate/expert group where passing happened everywhere. I was suddenly NOT SMOOTH on the brakes and it only felt a little spongy. I also had 16 months on the original fluid without a flush.

I tried lots of late braking during my latest track day but my instructor and I were totally unable to get the newly flushed ATE fluid to show any fade.

Despite my horsepower crack at the beginning, I think you will enjoy the switch from M3 to Boxster on the track. The E46 M3 is pleasingly fast but the sensation of speed is pretty subtle. The Boxster yields more awareness of speed, much more direct steering feel and pleasant 'buttometer' feedback. The first few days you will be pleased how the nose points a new direction with minimal hesitation. Once you get used to it, you will be demanding more power again.

Since power upgrades are about as ridiculously expensive in the Boxster as power upgrades to an M3, you might also consider a low priced 2.5L (97-98) Boxster and plan on spending $15K more to add a 3.4L carrera engine and big brakes.

The body is the same in all boxsters and things like unlined top, alarm, keyless remote, etc probably don't mattter so much in a weekend fun/track car as a daily driver. The older Boxsters are experiencing about the same problems (outside of convertible top cables) compared to the newer Boxsters, so they seem to be holding up fairly well.


How did I make up my mind to buy an S? HP and brakes. Since I was buying new, after adding in the options I wanted, the price difference was fairly small.
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:18 PM   #3
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Performance #'s in porsche manual.


0-62mph 258 Box S---5.7sec


0-62mph 228hp Box-----6.4sec


Some people say porsche beefed up the S's #'s to sell more of the S version but I think it's malarky. Nearly all the magzines pulled similar #'s.
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:06 PM   #4
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I would pick the S which is what bought for the following reasons:
1- More power.
2- Outstanding brakes from the 911
3- More options as standard equipment. 18" tires, stiffer suspension, etc.
My previous car was 2001 Audi S-4 which was fast. I considered buying the new S-4 with V-8 334hp and that was faster but at 4000 lbs felt like a pig. I can say that the way the Boxster S feels quicker that even the big V-8 334hp S-4 and the steering of the Boxster S is beyond adjectives. There is nothing I have driven before can compare.
I strongly suggest the S selection over the plain Boxster, also a formidable driver and roadster, if money is no object. Both models are outstanding roadster but the S is just a tad better.
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Old 05-14-2004, 11:32 AM   #5
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Ad Sach,

Thanks for the response.

I'm new to this board and this board doesn't have a very high traffic, but the responses are all quality responses!

You said... "The older Boxsters are experiencing about the same problems (outside of convertible top cables) compared to the newer Boxsters, so they seem to be holding up fairly well."

Are the 2002 and earlier Boxsters prone to convertible cable problems? My other concern was about the plastic rear window, is it easy to see them crack? I read some other posts here and also on roadfly.com Boxster forum and there seems to be some posts recently on their top not working properly or the rear plastic window cracking and separating from the top and dealer charging and arm and a leg to replace the entire top, like they do not fix just the plastic window portion.

Thanks,
Jimmy
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Old 05-14-2004, 11:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adam
Performance #'s in porsche manual.


0-62mph 258 Box S---5.7sec


0-62mph 228hp Box-----6.4sec


Some people say porsche beefed up the S's #'s to sell more of the S version but I think it's malarky. Nearly all the magzines pulled similar #'s.
Adam,

Do you mean the magazines pulled similar numbers to Porsche manual spec times? (0-60) Or do you mean the Boxster and Boxster S pull similar times?

Thanks,
Jimmy
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Old 05-14-2004, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pilot2519j
I would pick the S which is what bought for the following reasons:
1- More power.
2- Outstanding brakes from the 911
3- More options as standard equipment. 18" tires, stiffer suspension, etc.
My previous car was 2001 Audi S-4 which was fast. I considered buying the new S-4 with V-8 334hp and that was faster but at 4000 lbs felt like a pig. I can say that the way the Boxster S feels quicker that even the big V-8 334hp S-4 and the steering of the Boxster S is beyond adjectives. There is nothing I have driven before can compare.
I strongly suggest the S selection over the plain Boxster, also a formidable driver and roadster, if money is no object. Both models are outstanding roadster but the S is just a tad better.
Pilot,

The S now comes standard with 18's?

Also, do you guys own just a Boxster, or do you have a second car for hauling people and stuff around?

Thanks,
Jimmy
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Old 05-14-2004, 11:54 AM   #8
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Jimmy,
My wife has an Audi Allroad. I use my Boxster as a daily driver all over NYC. Funny remark from the dealer to me was the other day was " Good you actually drive the car" not like many of the garage queens here.
Driving this auto is fun and it is the main reason why anyone would buy it in the first place. Comfortable it isn't, roomy it isn't,
quiet it isn't. Remember that the main raison d'etre for the car is PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE & PERFORMANCE. You want it to drive like a bat out of hell, stick to the road like glue and sound like a formula one racer. Sure there are other cars out there but for the money and the performance and handling it delivers there is no substitute for the Boxster S.
The 18" carrera lightweight alloys are part of the S package as is the traction control system.
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Old 05-14-2004, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pilot2519j
Jimmy,
My wife has an Audi Allroad. I use my Boxster as a daily driver all over NYC. Funny remark from the dealer to me was the other day was " Good you actually drive the car" not like many of the garage queens here.
Driving this auto is fun and it is the main reason why anyone would buy it in the first place. Comfortable it isn't, roomy it isn't,
quiet it isn't. Remember that the main raison d'etre for the car is PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE & PERFORMANCE. You want it to drive like a bat out of hell, stick to the road like glue and sound like a formula one racer. Sure there are other cars out there but for the money and the performance and handling it delivers there is no substitute for the Boxster S.
The 18" carrera lightweight alloys are part of the S package as is the traction control system.
Pilot,

Cool! Good to see you drive the car!

How many miles do you log on the car per year?
I got my M3 in March 2003, and to this day, 1 year and 2 and a half months later, I have 23k on the odo. At the rate I'm driving, if I get a Boxster, will the value DROP fast if I put a lot of miles on it?

I test drove the Boxster S about a month ago and was VERY impressed with the engineering of the Boxster. I stepped back into the M3, and although it has more HP and is blindingly fast, it felt too civilized... maybe I just havent found my soulmatecar yet.

Tks,
Jimmy
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:58 PM   #10
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Jimmy,

I guess since this weekend splits my Lime Rock DE day with my NHIS DE weekend, I may have answered too much in terms of a dedicated track car. It sounds like you want this car as a daily driver.

The Boxster is a great daily driver. I currently have 34K in 27 months since delivery. The number would have been higher, but I spent 14 of those months as an unemployed IT professional which drastically reduced my commute mileage. If you drive 20K a year in your current car , you will probably choose to do virtually all those 20K in your new Boxster.

My wife has a BMW 530i for her car, so on those times we are carrying more than the two of us, we go in her car. For furniture, lumber, large Boxes, we take the Boxster since I have a roof rack. I drive top down around town at any temperature between 28-105 degrees(I might be a fanatic!) For long freeway drives, the comfort zone (with A/C help) is more like 40-95 degrees top down.

I don't know when they upgraded the cables for the convertible top - I think around 2000 - On a forum like this you will see an unusually large amount of problems reported. DIY repairing the top mechanism doesn't sound all that difficult or expensive. The plastic rear window cracks, almost exclusively when someone tries to operate the top at temperatures below 40 degrees- the window does not seem to fail from age.

I'm not sure the Boxster S comes stock with the Carrera 18" lightweight wheels - in 2002 my S came with 17" wheels. 18" wheels are great in the west, around New England potholes they can be a little rough sometimes. I love my 18"s. Everyone who tracks a boxster for very long seems to choose 18" wheels unless they are competing in a class that mandates 17" wheels.

If you are thinking of a daily driver car, I'll change my earlier advice. - Buy the 'S'

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Old 05-14-2004, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lartymarf
Pilot,

Cool! Good to see you drive the car!

How many miles do you log on the car per year?
I got my M3 in March 2003, and to this day, 1 year and 2 and a half months later, I have 23k on the odo. At the rate I'm driving, if I get a Boxster, will the value DROP fast if I put a lot of miles on it?

I test drove the Boxster S about a month ago and was VERY impressed with the engineering of the Boxster. I stepped back into the M3, and although it has more HP and is blindingly fast, it felt too civilized... maybe I just havent found my soulmatecar yet.

Tks,
Jimmy
I'm positive that the 18" carrera wheels are standard in the 2003 Boxster S. I drive about 12K- 15K a year. In regards to depreciation well enough said that all expensive cars take a hit. Porsche marc is a deterrent to rapid depreciation but not immune to it with that being said I think we will take a hit but not as significant as with other luxury brands. After buying Audis for over 20 years depreciation was always a factor. With Porsche I expect different. Essentially Im driving this for the long run. I believe the Boxster S has long legs, styling is comtemporary which won't get dated any time soon. I can see myself driving this car for the foreseeable future.
The car is all about driving and enjoying the handling.
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Old 05-14-2004, 07:20 PM   #12
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For me it was between the S and the 996. The standard was never even an option. I went with an S because whatever I picked was my third car so I barely use it anyways and the difference was close to $20K fully loaded between the 996. The standard is way underpowered in my opinion. As it is I would love it if the S had another 50HP.
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:47 PM   #13
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Larty, the best 0-60 i've seen for the standard(228hp) boxster in the mags is 6.0 sec flat. C&D ripped a 5.2 sec run in a 2000 box S when it first came out...thats the best magazine number I've seen. Motor Trend tested a 03 box S last year and got a 5.3 0-60 and a 13.7 sec 1/4 mile time. Just FYI a good base boxster pass is in the mid 14's.

Pilot, the boxster S still comes standard with 17" alloys. The carrera wheels are an option. I've seen 03 and 04's on ebay that have the standard 17" wheel. The carrera wheel is a popular option though so I can see why you would think that.
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Old 05-17-2004, 12:28 PM   #14
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Hi All,

Thanks for the responses.

So, I decided to do myself a favor and go test drive the Boxster to find out what the differences are between S and non S. I have driven a 2004 S about a month back, and just yesterday, test drove the regular Boxster and the Boxster S back to back. On regular highway roads, as well as twisty mountain roads.

The S is definitely more torquey down low in the rev range, were as the regular Boxster is no slouch once you get the motor reving a little. Both versions are just as much fun to drive as the other version with the regular Boxster feeling like it is more willing at turn in. I think it's due to the 100lb weight difference.

I am very impressed with the engineering of the Boxster. The car is so balanced, and holds the road so well. The steering communication is also very sharp and verrrrry communicative.

I am a true Porsche convert now. I will love my E46 M3 with SMG, but I'd have to say the Porsche offered me a more pure and true driving experience.

Btw, with the top down, you don't have to go that fast to experience the sensation of speed! =-D

I think I'll be looking at the next gen Boxster S and keep that car for a long time coming.

Jimmy
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