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Old 09-27-2015, 01:34 PM   #1
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Help with purchase decision Boxster / Boxster S

Long time fan, first time Porsche buyer. Fell in love driving a boxster on twisted roads few years back, and now finally looking to purchase a Boxster 981. I've driven both S and non-S, and still don't have a clear decision. Price is a factor, otherwise would just go with the S. Would like feedback from the community, particularly those that opted for the 'base' and if any performance options on the base were considered (sports chrono, PASM, sports suspension, etc.)

I enjoy driving, and tend to drive more aggressively than most, but don't plan to track the car. I don't know if 10K premium is worth an extra passing second. Having said that, I do see myself taking the boxster out on day trips through fun driving roads with nice twists where I would like to throw it into corners. I also plan to use it as a daily driver (though short distances).

Thank you for feedback!!
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:49 PM   #2
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Price was a factor for me too, but after driving the S, I dug deeper and saved a while.

Brakes, HP, thicker cylinder walls, 6-speed, thicker roof and so on. You'll do better 03+ since you get glass window and glove box.

Rule of thumb is newest and fewest miles affordable, but mine had 119k when I bought it and zero regrets.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:58 PM   #3
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Well, I have an S although it's the wussamatic version (according to Timco ). It has quite a few things that are desireable, especially since I track my car. I honestly believe that you would be quite happy with a base for street use, especially since you can probably get a newer model for the same amount of money. Very fun cars in any version!
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:12 PM   #4
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Well, I have an S although it's the wussamatic version (according to Timco ). It has quite a few things that are desireable, especially since I track my car. I honestly believe that you would be quite happy with a base for street use, especially since you can probably get a newer model for the same amount of money. Very fun cars in any version!
Hey now, that was a Coreseller remark to KRAM, and he took heat for it. I did not coin that phrase. It just fit the reply.

I was also kidding about the 'non-S'. It's a base model.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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After owning a 200hp 986 base and a 300hp 996 C2, I'd suggest that you want to be closer to 300hp if you want it to move - that means the 315hp 981 S would be the car of my choice.

And I am by no means a "horsepower guy". In fact, the Porsche that I like to drive the most is my 185hp 911SC.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Hey now, that was a Coreseller remark to KRAM, and he took heat for it. I did not coin that phrase. It just fit the reply.

I was also kidding about the 'non-S'. It's a base model.
and we all know what happened to both Core and Kram......
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:55 PM   #7
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Almost everyone here is more knowledgeable of the 986 and 987, so much so that when someone asks a question about a 981, we start talking about buying a 986.


The gap in performance between a base and an S has increased a lot. That being said, if you are buying new, you want to buy now, they are likely going 4 cylinder very soon. The boxster S has a bigger displacement motor than the carrera S as of right now and that won't last for long.

So I highly suggest an S or even GTS if you care about the options included on a 981. But it would be great to buy now before they go 4 cylinder.

Are you considering used? I'm sure there are some early 981 S cars still under warranty for a good discount because of a few measley miles on the clock.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:58 PM   #8
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You might want to consider checking out rennlist - more 981 owners there for sure. Some peeps on here don't seem to take to well to even us 987 guys!, let alone a 981. That said - drive them both and do a real comparison. I love my base and couldn't justify going for the S with the higher tag on it. I didn't see the value for my money, but you might. Drive 'em and see.
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:22 PM   #9
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Spend more, get more, worth more at the end. Personal preference.
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:50 PM   #10
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Sorry to Hijack/steer the direction of the post, but figured my question is similar and didn't need a new thread.

Just wanted to get others opinions.
I'm looking at a 2004 Boxster S w/ 28,400 miles w/ a dead engine/IMS issue. Shop says engine is toast & is 1 tooth off on the chain. I looked at it recently and the tires are original from 2003 w/ dry rot, door panel has some good scratches 2in+ long (6 total on driver side), front bumper is pretty scratched up on the bottom/front, struts are original and boots have cracks, and Carfax shows 4 owners/20Transactions.

What would you estimate this car worth?

Last edited by mcmcomput; 09-27-2015 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mcmcomput View Post
Just wanted to get others opinions.

I'm looking at a 2004 w/ 28,400 miles w/ a dead engine/IMS issue. Shop says engine is toast & is 1 tooth off on the chain. I looked at it recently and the tires are original from 2003 w/ dry rot, door panel has some good scratches 2in+ long (6 total on driver side), front bumper is pretty scratched up on the bottom/front, struts are original and boots have cracks, and Carfax shows 4 owners/20Transactions.

What would you estimate this car worth?
$4k?

That's my guess. Price Is Right rules. Can't go over.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:30 PM   #12
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See, I opened my mouth without noticing that the OP was considering a 981. I thought we were talking about 986's . So take my comments with a grain of salt.
To the thread hijacker: in my very humble opinion, if you're buying a roller, might as well look for an S with better suspension and brakes etc. Can't be much more.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:10 AM   #13
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Looking at a 2003 Porsche Boxster Base, 90K Miles, 1-owner, pristine condition, asking price is $11995. Planning to offer $10,000. Any pros/cons I should be aware of?
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by halfrunner View Post
Looking at a 2003 Porsche Boxster Base, 90K Miles, 1-owner, pristine condition, asking price is $11995. Planning to offer $10,000. Any pros/cons I should be aware of?
The standard reply is "Get a PPI from a local dealership or Indy shop".
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by halfrunner View Post
.... Any pros/cons I should be aware of?
Yes - a lot - So many that they can't all be listed in this thread
1 - Do the research and you will have a good idea what to look for on your own
2 - PPI will give you a professional's evaluation.
The (2) together will give you the info to make the best judgement.
Emotion will also be tugging at your decision - Sometime it wins
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:21 AM   #16
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Pretty easy to answer the original question. When you buy a car do you love it and leave it alone? Buy a Boxster. Do you immediately start looking for performance upgrades? Buy an S. Higher purchase price but cheaper than paying for the differences in power and handling later.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:30 AM   #17
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Sooner or later we all want a little more power. If your budget can afford the S go with the S. Don't settle. Wait till you can afford the one for you.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by CHRISP357 View Post
Pretty easy to answer the original question. When you buy a car do you love it and leave it alone? Buy a Boxster. Do you immediately start looking for performance upgrades? Buy an S. Higher purchase price but cheaper than paying for the differences in power and handling later.
+1

Performance upgrades on a Boxster are either minimal or very expensive
No such thing as cheap and powerfull

Even spending lots of $$$$, you are maybe looking at 40-50HP max unless you change the motor for a V8 and that will cost you approx $15-$20k+

As others have mentioned, the S has more than just a bigger engine.
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