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Old 03-11-2014, 05:29 AM   #1
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Who's driving a 987 or Cayman?

Just wanted some candid comments from anyone who went from a 986 to 987/Cayman. As some of you may know, I've recently purchased a 996 and I'm just ho-hum with that decision. At the end of the day, it wasn't enough of an "upgrade" to warrant a change IMO.

Interesting enough I "borrowed" a 997 S this weekend and wow, what a car. Really light years ahead of the 996 in regard to fit, finish, quality and power. I mean, there's a 6 year difference between that car and my 996, but with the 997 I could justify the change over.

Any similar experiences from the 986 compared to the newer models?

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Old 03-11-2014, 07:54 AM   #2
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I have a 996, a 986 and a 987 and although I enjoy all of them, I enjoy the 987 most of all. It has the great balance of the boxster and plenty of power for anyone.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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Well I'm not sure if you drove a 997.2 but I had the opposite experience driving 997.1S and 996S back to back. The newer Carrera felt even more insulated, way too much like a road car. Not at all like a 964/911 of course. It seems the more powerful those cars get, the bigger they get, the less feedback, basically kinda of too engineered (some call this boring but you can never get too bored in any Porsche). I've heard 997.2 GT3 owners complain of the same after ditching the 996.2 GT3.
Since the Boxster has been very consistent and true to its original proportions from 986 to 981, and has NOT undergone the bloat of the Carrera during those same years, it's easier to compare the changes to a 1997 Boxster, from a 2000 from 2005 from a 2009. Personally, I don't really notice a big difference as far as the S models until you get to the 2009 DFI engine.
I find the 1997-99 Boxsters to be the most "crispy", although the one I drove had some weight savings worked into it, it felt like a inherently light car and the five speed seems to work better with that 2.5 engine than later Boxsters. More of a "using all the power all the time" proposition which is really what you want in a roadster. I think a manual transmission Boxster Spyder is the best Porsche driving experience for under $100K going -- lower COG, RWD, Mid-engine bliss. The Cayman S I drove was nice but less weight on top is always better imho, the 987 doens't need the extra rigidity at the expense of higher COG. The Carreras are just too big now to have that short-wheel base sports coupe experience anymore.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:05 AM   #4
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I test drove a 2007 Boxster last fall. I have a 2001 Boxster base and found the 2007 had a lighter clutch but could not feel any significant benefit in terms of handling or power. I will stick with my 2001 until I feel that a Cayman fits the bill in terms of IMS free(year 2009 and on).

Water cooled 911s' don't do it for me except for the occasional use of the back seat for a small person. G.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:28 AM   #5
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Interesting as I just got back from a test drive on a 05 Base 987. I was expecting a lot more from the car in comparison to my 99 Base 986, but I just didn't feel it.

Mind you the car only had 54k miles and it did feel a little tighter and well put together. At the end of the drive, I just couldn't justify the extra money to take the jump.

Overall, my 986 just felt more lively and the sound of the 2.5 was much nicer than the 2.7.

Don't get me wrong, I did like the car. In fact, if I didn't already own a Boxster, I probably would have made an offer on the car.

I was thinking it would have noticeably more power, but I didn't feel it. Guess I should go test drive a 987 S to see a difference in performance.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffm View Post
Interesting as I just got back from a test drive on a 05 Base 987. I was expecting a lot more from the car in comparison to my 99 Base 986, but I just didn't feel it.

Mind you the car only had 54k miles and it did feel a little tighter and well put together. At the end of the drive, I just couldn't justify the extra money to take the jump.

Overall, my 986 just felt more lively and the sound of the 2.5 was much nicer than the 2.7.

Don't get me wrong, I did like the car. In fact, if I didn't already own a Boxster, I probably would have made an offer on the car.

I was thinking it would have noticeably more power, but I didn't feel it. Guess I should go test drive a 987 S to see a difference in performance.
Should have mentioned that all mine are S models. MY 986 is a 2004 S and the 987 is a 2008 S and there is a tremendous difference.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
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I went from a 987 Cayman to a 986 S... does that count?
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #8
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^^^^^^^ sure!
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:34 PM   #9
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I bought my '07 Cayman new in '08. Put 30k miles on it. LOVED IT! While I owned it I tried a couple of times to "upgrade" to a 997. Each time went back to the 987 as a better driver's car...

Sold the 987 to upgrade some farm equipment. Could not stand being without a Porsche, so the hunt was on! Drove several '08-'09 Boxsters and Carreras. Very nice...

Then I located a cherry, one-owner 986 and fell in love! It was the most "Porsche-feeling" of all the cars I drove. I know that is hard to explain, but the 987/997 felt a little sterile to me. The 986 felt like an old glove, it just fit right. I remember lusting after them, when first introduced. There is a purity there that is lacking in some other models. (Not bashing, I would be proud to own ANY Porsche!)

In short, I love them all. The 986 is my choice, though...
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:59 PM   #10
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Really light years ahead of the 996 in regard to fit, finish, quality and power.
You've hit the nail on the head. Yes, a 987 is heavier than a 986 but you get a much improved car. I went from an 01S to my LE. I own or owned 3 987Ss to the 1 986S and have spent less money combined in repairs on the 3 than on the 1. Huge improvement in quality.

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Old 03-11-2014, 04:17 PM   #11
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For some reason, a 987 Boxster/Cayman S version are hard to find in my area. There is a Cayman S about 30 miles from me I still want to drive, but that's about it.

Hustler boxster, what's you thoughts on the Cayman vs Boxster. Do you miss the open air?
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:00 PM   #12
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Husker,

Your driveway brings tears to me eyes.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #13
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Jeff-

I still have the Boxster S LE AND the Cayman S Sport. I sold the Carmen Red (burgundy) CS to make room for the CSS. So I don't miss an open air opportunity.

The CSS is more athletic than the LE. It has a tad bit stiffer clutch. They have similar options but the CSS does have PASM. In theory, PASM in std mode should be softer than non-PASM, but I don't feel much difference there. Overall we're talking minor differences. If you're trying to decide which one is right for you, I'd base your decision on whether or not you plan to track it. Nothing wrong with doing DEs with a Boxster but a fixed roof is better.

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Old 03-11-2014, 06:08 PM   #14
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If Porsche had an Easter egg hunt it would look Husker Boxster's driveway! LOL
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #15
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I have an '02 BS and an '08 Base Cayman. Both manual. *Completely* different feeling cars IMHO. My Cayman is like a big shifter kart. Very stiff suspension. Lacking on torque, but everything else is completely off-the-chart fantastic. I just get the urge to drive like a maniac in the thing no matter what.

My Boxster S is essentially a really nice "Miata". (I've drove Miata's for 5 years....so not a totally uneducated statement). Much softer feel from the tires/suspension. Much more roll. The engine is great fun. Wish I had it in the Cayman.

If I were giving fun grades, I'd have to give my Cayman an A and the Boxster a B+. Both outstanding cars and I feel very lucky to have the option to take either one out on a whim.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:45 PM   #16
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I have a 2001 BoxsterS and a 2008 Cayman S (wife's car) and find the Boxster a much more relaxed driver. The Cayman has a sense of urgency about it that makes it, in my opinion, more fun to drive. It does have PASM and sport chrono with a factory short shifter which may account for the difference. The Boxster seems to have more low end torque but feels much slower than the Cayman. I have never looked at any road test comparisons or raced the cars against each other but they feel different in the seat of the pants. I had a 2005 CarreraS and did not like it as well as either the Boxster or Cayman. Your mileage, however, may vary.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:29 PM   #17
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Husker,

Your driveway brings tears to me eyes.
I would love and hate to be his neighbor all in the same day. Nice selection Husker.

I have a 987 after testing a 986 tip. The tip probably ruined it but 987 test drive was epic. I passed on a lot of other cars besides that 986 tip after driving it.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:28 AM   #18
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I would love and hate to be his neighbor all in the same day. Nice selection Husker.
Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:57 AM   #19
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Great replies, thanks!
I'd be interested in any more experiences of those going from a Box to Cayman. If I can find time this week, I may try to find one or two to test drive.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:35 AM   #20
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You do have to decide if you will miss the convertible or not. That's probably the biggest question. For me after about a year in the 986 I realized my wife was not a convertible person, and for myself while there are small times i miss it a little, I don't really that much. I don't miss having to always wear sunscreen or a hat, or trying to put the top down when it's super cold, or super early, just because I can and it looks better and it's a convertible. Now I can be on the freeway, have the windows down, and pop the windows up. Definitely NOT the same as a proper convertible, but as often as I might miss it I know I made the right decision. For the wife it was always too hot, too cold or too windy/mess up the hair. heh.

I also cosmetically prefer the Cayman...that's a personal preference. I think the boxsters, all gens, look ok with the top down, but the Cayman lines flow more for me. And as you mentioned any move forward will be a step up in interior. I jumped from a 2003 986 Boxster S to a 2014 Cayman S. The difference in interior build and features is of course significant. Electronics features alone made it worthwhile for me. The other big thing was power. The 986 S wasn't lacking when you wanted to have some fun, and was more than enough for twisty back roads, but on freeway unless I really really kept the revs up it felt a little slow. The 981S I can put my foot down even in fifth gear and the car will move. Downshift and you'll be flying beyond speed limits. I don't think you'll have this issue in the 987 but the 981 the gearing is a bit odd, too long in the bottom and too short on the top. Means even less shifting and torque feel which is sad. Which is something else to keep in mind. How fast is too fast? There were times in my 986 I'd enjoy shifting 3 or 4 gears. On the 981 I have to downshift just to have the fun of shifting back up 2-3 times. And you're out of legal speeds very quickly.

The handling of the 981 is just amazing. My old 986 did NOT have PSM so I certainly was lacking that, but the cayman the handling with PSM, PASM and steering is just ridiculous. It's like being on a roller coaster. It DID take me a while to get used to the steering feel, or lack thereof. That's one of my complaints. But like many things that matters more when reading an article or writing on the computer. Get behind the wheel and the steering is phenomenal...Chris Harris called "telepathic" which is exactly how I'd describe it. Even with electronic steering the weighted feel and handling has me giggling still when doing drives... Sounds like you had some 991 time so you probably are aware. I've literally made my wife sick driving my car on the twisties... heh The car is also very stable on the straights. Combine super stability, feel and more power and you'll find yourself driving a lot faster a lot more. There was a feeling of speed and fun in the 986 S at lower speeds that I don't get in the 981 S without picking up the pace. A base 981 would probably be more comparable.

I don't know about a 986 to 987 comparison. I did test drive a 996S long ago and didn't like the feel tho I felt the power change. I test drove a 997 GTS before I bought my Camyan... thing was wicked fast... made the Cayman feel slooowww. But I didn't like the rear feel and the open cockpit with rear seats. There's something about the fun confines of a 2 seater and the sounds of the engine right behind you. Which is last thing... probably more exhaust sound in the convertible and more engine sound in the coupe. Not that it's silent with PSE...

good luck!
comet

I will leave you with this picture from yesterday... There's still a spot in my heart for the 986 and I miss some of the feeling of it, open air, steering etc... maybe one day I will pick one up again...


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