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Old 06-11-2014, 09:27 AM   #1
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I have a confession to make - 986 vs 987 S

OK guys, so I previously had a base 2001 986 Boxster, which was a manual.

After getting rid of it, I got the urge again for a Boxster and ended up getting a 2009 PDK Boxster S.

It was the opposite of the 986 - it had navigation, PDK, was an S, etc.

Obviously it is a fantastic car. The speed on curvy roads is unbelievable - and that S engine has a significant amount of torque on the highway and you really fly.

It also was reliable as can be; no issues at all.

My 986 had a cracked plastic window, IMS potential issue always looming, and had rattles over the place. The manual was also at times not the easiest to drive.

Having said that, the 987 S, with all its sharp performance - sort of bored me at times. The 986, being raw and a lot harder to drive fast because of the manual, just excited me more.

I always was fixing little things on the 986 myself too, you'd think that would make you not like the car, but after a while you develop a more personal connection.

THe 987 S is just...too good! Odd statement, I know. But I got more character and enjoyment out of the base 986.

Am I wrong here? I may not be - perhaps it's why so many people still like old 911's and things of that nature vs the newer cars, which are so competent and smooth/easy to drive that it takes away a little bit of the excitement.

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Old 06-11-2014, 09:48 AM   #2
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I bought a 97 in 2004 that's become a dear friend who needs my help from time to time with activities of daily living like an elderly person, but we get alone fine.

Like you have done, I would love to trade up to a much newer boxster S or cayman S with PDK.

However, I'm older too and I think I would welcome the overly-refined newer version because I could drive it to work daily and enjoy it... rowing through gears and the cheap plastic interior and non-insulated top are messed up!
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #3
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Personally, I don't think you are wrong at all. A big part of my love of the 986 is that it is still a "basic" car. It may not be air cooled but you are very connected to it. As much as I would love to have a new Boxster, I am afraid that I would have your same sentiments. The grass is not always greener and be careful what you ask for! I see the 986's becoming more and more desirable as time goes on
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:03 AM   #4
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i agree with you.having a 09 would be too comfortable,too refined.i have an 04 box and a 73 914 as well as a 80 mercedes diesel.i prefer older and to have the ability to do some of the maintenance myself.i think that 986 boxsters may become desireable as having retained some of the older qualities of porsche .they may be rought etc,but too modern is not want i want,i too get bored.my 04 is as modern as ill get.who really knows if people will get interested in these boxsters 10 years from now.time will tell
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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I cannot imagine mine being for sale any time soon....having too much fun!
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:24 PM   #6
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well the more engineered something is the more insulated it's going to feel.


No one has quiet figured out how to eliminate the quirks that come from the road when going faster, without also taking a bite out of feedback and sensory experience. Even a car that rattles more as you go faster heightens your awareness of the road dynamics.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #7
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Half the fun for me is working on these cars... what fun would it be if you just drove it and washed it; Ok some people don't even do that, they run it through the car wash or pay someone to wash it - LOL
This may sound odd, but for me when you work on your cars you develop a connection which directly correlates to driving it. As someone said the 986 is basic and still half way simple to work on.... try doing that on a 981... its not that it isn't possible... but I think its easier to establish that connection with a car like the 986.

I was talking to a guy in Watkins Glen last year who owns a 2012 GT3 and a 73' 911RS... while I was drooling over the 2012 he was praising the 73' in every aspect and said "If I had to give up one, I'd give up the 2012"
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:43 PM   #8
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Half the fun for me is working on these cars... what fun would it be if you just drove it and washed it; Ok some people don't even do that, they run it through the car wash or pay someone to wash it - LOL
This may sound odd, but for me when you work on your cars you develop a connection which directly correlates to driving it. As someone said the 986 is basic and still half way simple to work on.... try doing that on a 981... its not that it isn't possible... but I think its easier to establish that connection with a car like the 986.

I was talking to a guy in Watkins Glen last year who owns a 2012 GT3 and a 73' 911RS... while I was drooling over the 2012 he was praising the 73' in every aspect and said "If I had to give up one, I'd give up the 2012"
Big +1 to working on your own car. Really enjoy my wrench time making it perfect. Now I just need a spray booth.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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I've read your post else where and I have a 987.1 (05) Its a stick and I love this thing. I have the updated interior but not like yours. I didn't get the compliments I got on a 2011 loaner when in my 05 either too. I'm wondering if its the Pdk. Its damn good from what I hear but....
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
OK guys, so I previously had a base 2001 986 Boxster, which was a manual.

After getting rid of it, I got the urge again for a Boxster and ended up getting a 2009 PDK Boxster S.

It was the opposite of the 986 - it had navigation, PDK, was an S, etc.

Obviously it is a fantastic car. The speed on curvy roads is unbelievable - and that S engine has a significant amount of torque on the highway and you really fly.

It also was reliable as can be; no issues at all.

My 986 had a cracked plastic window, IMS potential issue always looming, and had rattles over the place. The manual was also at times not the easiest to drive.

Having said that, the 987 S, with all its sharp performance - sort of bored me at times. The 986, being raw and a lot harder to drive fast because of the manual, just excited me more.

I always was fixing little things on the 986 myself too, you'd think that would make you not like the car, but after a while you develop a more personal connection.

THe 987 S is just...too good! Odd statement, I know. But I got more character and enjoyment out of the base 986.

Am I wrong here? I may not be - perhaps it's why so many people still like old 911's and things of that nature vs the newer cars, which are so competent and smooth/easy to drive that it takes away a little bit of the excitement.

I drive a good customers nice 987 it just feels so insulated. I never like the aircooled cars, too underpowered, spartan interior, antique shifting. I believe the 986 is the perfect sweet spot & a future classic. That's why I have invested heavily in mine.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:45 AM   #11
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I prefer the dash design of the 986s even though the quality of the materials used may be slightly higher in the 987s. The later model starts to look a bit too business like inside for my tastes.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:59 AM   #12
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IMO there's really not that much difference between 986/987, your problem is the PDK !
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:54 AM   #13
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I'm sure that there is not one of us out there that would refuse a new Boxster! That being said, my 2002 S still brings a smile to my face everytime I get over 3K rpm.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:35 AM   #14
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I understand...I've owned and driven all sorts of 911s over the years, but the one that brings a smile to my face is the '73; not nearly the fastest, but the most involving and raw. I'm certain it could also be said about the 986 S.



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Old 06-12-2014, 06:35 AM   #15
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IMO there's really not that much difference between 986/987, your problem is the PDK !
I had the same feeling when I drove the 987.1 (manual) after it launched almost 10 years ago (time flys eh). I found it to be very similar to the 3.2 986 (also manual). Then I went back and drove a track prepared Miata with the tiny but revvy engine, lowered, sticky tires, etc. Even the 986S felt like a regular cushy, muted road car in comparison.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:25 AM   #16
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I went from a 2007 Cayman to my 2001 Boxster S and could not be happier...
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:12 AM   #17
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I also have the 2009 PDK boxster, and if I had to do it all over, I would have held out for an S.

But the PDK does have the SAG system (stomp n go) which I love. Works like this:

Remove foot momentarily from accelerator.

Stomp on accelerator.

Fly off.

No way can a human shift (and I'm not brave enough to downshift from 7th to 3rd, but the car does it) as fast as the PDK, and the 0-60 is great.

What's not to like? Granted, it is smooth, to the point where looking at your speedometer is a surprise (I'm going 85?!).

If you want to feel disconnected, try a Lexus IS. So quick, so agile, so oddly makes you feel sleepy at 90+ mph. Smooth as glass . . . yawn.

Here's a question; when you start it up, does it burst into a roar and rev itself to 1500 rpm? It settles after a few minutes (about 800 rpm), but mine didn't do this at first, now it does it all the time. Supposedly, it's the adaptive PDK, but I'm not so sure.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:34 PM   #18
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Then I went back and drove a track prepared Miata with the tiny but revvy engine, lowered, sticky tires, etc. Even the 986S felt like a regular cushy, muted road car in comparison.
Right now I have a 1996 Miata and a 2000 base 986. Both are fun cars but the 986 shows its roughly 600 lb. weight disadvantage (approx. 2300 lbs. vs. 2900 lbs.). The 986 feels "planted" whereas the Miata feels "darty".

In the past I've also owned a 1400 lb. Bugeye Sprite and an 1100 lb. Lotus 7 clone (Westfield). Both of those make the Miata feel like a tank.
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:21 AM   #19
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I had the same feeling when I drove the 987.1 (manual) after it launched almost 10 years ago (time flys eh). I found it to be very similar to the 3.2 986 (also manual). Then I went back and drove a track prepared Miata with the tiny but revvy engine, lowered, sticky tires, etc. Even the 986S felt like a regular cushy, muted road car in comparison.
Yeah, that's my point, people talk about the 986 being so "raw", but it's pretty cushy for a sports car.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:29 AM   #20
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Right now I have a 1996 Miata and a 2000 base 986. Both are fun cars but the 986 shows its roughly 600 lb. weight disadvantage (approx. 2300 lbs. vs. 2900 lbs.). The 986 feels "planted" whereas the Miata feels "darty".
In the past I've also owned a 1400 lb. Bugeye Sprite and an 1100 lb. Lotus 7 clone (Westfield). Both of those make the Miata feel like a tank.
The 2.5 is dartier than 2.7 base car. If I were to buy a project Boxster it would be a 2.5
strip down the interior some, slap on lighter wheels, lighter exhaust, race battery, tighter suspension, maybe lighter brakes, and that's a ~2,600 lb. mid-engine dream. Service the IMS, look after the water pump regularly, and its very hard to beat Porsche wise. That engine feels better with the 5 speed too.

Once it gets heavier, IMHO, it needs at least 240-250 HP to feel darty off braking and out of slow corners. The extra power just changes the dynamics in those particular situations. But you can also add too much power (like maybe over 300 HP), where the car is doing more of the work than the driver. It's a fine balance when it comes to roadsters.



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Yeah, that's my point, people talk about the 986 being so "raw", but it's pretty cushy for a sports car.
Until you drive something newer. But I think all Porsches post 964 feel cushy and insulated to some degree. But at least they don't leave a wet spot in your drive way.

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