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Old 06-21-2016, 05:42 PM   #1
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Boxster: The Best?

Can anyone think of another sports car model that set the bar for best in its category from year one?

Did Porsche build another car that did not require years of re-jiggering to put it at the sharp end of the competition?

I've owned my 986S for nearly 13 years now.
I only intended to own it for 3 years before succumbing to the disease of trying something new just for the sake of variety. I've driven just about every Porsche since with a few exceptions of the Metzger variety. when I get back in the 986 I say to myself "you idiot you should have sold this car after year 3 while the mileage was still below 30k and the resale high!".

But then I realize I wasn't going to get anything better without spending more moolah and the improvement would have only been marginal. I avoided What I refer to as the elusive elixir. That next thing that will make you complete but it never really does. The tally of very, very expensive repairs has since made me realized I should have sold much earlier. But in the merits of what the car does well and what it lacks, in my book its the best Porsche.
After 20 years its still the right proportion, the same can not be said of most sports cars.
It still hits all the marks. When people ask me why I still own it I tell them because it's the best roadster Porsche will sell you and no one else have beaten them.


Last edited by Perfectlap; 06-21-2016 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:10 PM   #2
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When did Ferrari go from front engine to rear? Each early car seems top of its class.

Agree with the Box. I recently bought a big ol F150 and its king of the road. Then I drive the little Box and smile, not just feel comfy.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:11 PM   #3
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Miata.

Sorry, but very true. The car was amazing compared to the offerings of the day (afla, DelSol, MR2) and is now in its 26th year of production. Hard to argue with.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:49 PM   #4
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Gimme a break here. I may have had a few too many but come on... the 911 has been produced for almost 50 freakin' years! It is the pinnacle that no sports car has ever come close to. Long live the flat 6 song!
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:56 PM   #5
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"+1 on that. I remember all the auto mags raging about the Miata on its intro in '89. I was in the market in '90 for a car and went for the Mitsu Eclipse GSX (turbo w/AWD), which was an AMAZINGLY fun car to drive.

And the three reasons for that over the Miata were: 1) I was a young single Dad with a 1-yo infant in my care; 2) Because of 1, I needed a fun car that I could drive year-round in WI and carry extra stuff; and 3) Dealers were getting several thousand dollar premiums above MSRP.

The Miata was the hot roadster from Day 1. I have no doubt the Boxster was Porsche's "In your face" Power vs. Economy response to the market Mazda created.

Head to head, I pick the Boxster every from when they were both available. But the Miata in it's early years was adored and unopposed.

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Old 06-22-2016, 04:00 AM   #6
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Miata.

Sorry, but very true. The car was amazing compared to the offerings of the day (afla, DelSol, MR2) and is now in its 26th year of production. Hard to argue with.
Not to mention the Mazda has steadfastly stuck to their theme of light weight sports car. The most recent offering gets lighter and shorter and slightly outperforms the original Boxster.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a25857/testing-the-2016-mazda-miata-less-is-more-quantified/

My first open top sports car was a Fiat 124 Spider. Loved that car despite it's gremlins. It was replaced years later by a much better handling, but much less roomy 1992 Miata. My '98 base Boxster has a lot more room and refinement than that Miata, but doesn't carve the roads any better. In fact, it feels a tiny bit more disconnected. I miss the rawness of the Miata, but not the racket. The Boxster is much more enjoyable to take on trips and I can actually pack what I want not what can fit.

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Old 06-22-2016, 08:33 AM   #7
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Gimme a break here. I may have had a few too many but come on... the 911 has been produced for almost 50 freakin' years! It is the pinnacle that no sports car has ever come close to. Long live the flat 6 song!
I'm not going to pit 986/987/981 vs. 911, and I don't think that's what you're doing, but let's be honest here, the 911 was far from being top if it's class when it was already years into it's production. And the 911 was not the Porsche that was beating the competition when the brand had already established iconic status.

Lets put away the marketing of Porsches and look at the two cars strictly from a design and production aspect. The Boxster needed no major overhaul, it was right from the get go. Engine wise obviously Porsche sandbagged which it avoided addressing until nearly the final year of the flat 6 Boxster when it FINALLY. put in the 911S engine... Something BMW or Audi would have done from the start and not 20 years later. I say that not whine but to demonstrate the level of veiled respect Porsche had for a short wheelbase, lightweight, mid engine, low center of gravity sports car. Again from a strictly design viewpoint, if the Porsche factory burned to the ground and the board was forced to start with a clean slate and they knew nothing of the legend and all these intangibles, and the public knew nothing of that either, STRICTLY from a design and engineering consideration would they view the 986/987/981 (hardtop and no top) or the 911 (on identical power plants) as the best Porsche blueprint for future purist sports car sales and competition?

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Old 06-22-2016, 08:47 AM   #8
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Miata.

Sorry, but very true. The car was amazing compared to the offerings of the day (afla, DelSol, MR2) and is now in its 26th year of production. Hard to argue with.

That's actually the car that got me thinking of which design was the best from the very start.
I never understood why Mazda never offered a more robust roadster like BMW did with the Z4 after the success of the Z3. I think if Mazda had gone mid engine on a 200-240 HP roadster with larger/wider proportions it might have owned the category. Honda wouldn't have sold nearly as many S2000's. Mazda would have had a big presence at track days and autocross not just with the Miata and RX7 but with a roadster to compete with the Boxster, early M3 and S2000.

I have always believed that the Miata is a must own sports car for a new driver. It really shows you what is missing from nearly all the sports cars that have been produced since.

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Old 06-22-2016, 10:01 AM   #9
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For me, I'd go with the 1st gen AP1 Honda S2000. Standard 6 speed manual transmission, 50/50 weight distribution, roadster(like Boxster and Miata), abundance of aftermarket parts, an inline 4 motor(that revs to near 9k) that puts out near what a Boxster S makes and not to forget the Honda reliability.

Until now the S2000 is the only car that tempts me to get rid of my 986. But for me, the Boxster is much more mature, and also not having to worry whether or not my car will be stolen every time I park it, makes me hesitant to pull the switch.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:13 AM   #10
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Mid-engine configuration is a pretty big deal.

It's pretty much better than front engine or rear engine, i.e. Miata or 911. Any Japanese manufacturer could do an MGB better than MG ... but how much this means is something else.

Porsche learned with the 928 that its customers are cantankerous and like rear engines, so they've stuck with it and that's what they race. They could likely have done better racing Caymans.

The Boxster is indeed pretty special. Even if it did arrive during a period of cost-cutting and even if it does have something of an engine flaw, it's way more developed than the 914.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:55 AM   #11
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For me, I'd go with the 1st gen AP1 Honda S2000. Standard 6 speed manual transmission, 50/50 weight distribution, roadster(like Boxster and Miata), abundance of aftermarket parts, an inline 4 motor(that revs to near 9k) that puts out near what a Boxster S makes and not to forget the Honda reliability.

Until now the S2000 is the only car that tempts me to get rid of my 986. But for me, the Boxster is much more mature, and also not having to worry whether or not my car will be stolen every time I park it, makes me hesitant to pull the switch.

i share your feelings on the S2000 especially after owning one before the current Boxster and especially after my engine giving up on me last Sunday. i was about to call it quits and go back to an S2000 but wait.. It's hard to give up the Boxster with it being so much more grown up. plus that sounds of the flat 6 is hard to beat and the handling.. yes the S2000 is good but the Boxster makes you grow a second pair of balls. And yes.. i dont miss the daily butt puckering walking over to where i parked it overnight. in my single days i turned down a few invites to "sleep over" because of parking concerns

i miss the reliability of the S2000 as it took me through the mountains on two 3000 mile roadtrips with zero problems where i beat the crap out of it. it was an 11 year old car but not once was i concern with it not making the trip.

but here i am holding on to the Boxster and getting an engine transplant so i can enjoy it some more.

for me the Boxster is the most fun sport car and the best in it's class. the only car i would replace the Boxster with is a newer Boxster. (not the new flat 4 turbos though )

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Old 06-22-2016, 11:41 AM   #12
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It's funny people on here arguing the Miata is better, or the S2000....but yet you own a Porsche Boxster?

That tells me that in reality, the Boxster is the best, as that is where you are putting your money. If it isn't, why are you here?

IMO - the Boxster is the best sports car on the market. Mid engine design creates amazing handling, the HP per weight ratio is excellent, it's beautiful, cost effective (vs other 'premium' sports cars), versatile (two trunks) and it's a PORSCHE! Roll that all together and it beats the rest hands down, even the illustrious 911. There's a reason it win's Car/Driver awards pretty much every year - whereas the Miata does not.

If I won the lottery tomorrow - while I might go out and get a Ferrari or something silly, there would still be a place in my garage for the Boxster.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:07 PM   #13
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Boxster - by a mile but only if you focu$ like a laser on reliability and PM. Be prepared to pay way more than your initial purchase price to get the Boxster reliable. Then tell me how good the Boxster is compared to others at a similar total cost....
The reliability situation improves with the 9A1. There are still issues but they are much fewer.
So the choice is pre-9A1 but pay to upgrade reliability,be upside down financially for a decade(what I did) or get a much more expensive '09+ and $pend a little to improve reliability(what I should have done)
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:48 PM   #14
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+1 with Perfectlap regarding Mazda having missed out by not offering a more robust Miata. I owned a first model year Miata and loved it. However, having previously owned one of the first RX-7's, I always thought Mazda should have dropped a triple-rotary into the Miata and badged it as an RX-5.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:26 PM   #15
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This:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJtloiw4D-M


Mike drop.

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Old 06-22-2016, 04:54 PM   #16
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HAHA I was waiting for someone to post that video! That very video was one of the deciding factors why I chose getting into a 986 a couple of years ago.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:00 PM   #17
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i share your feelings on the S2000 especially after owning one before the current Boxster and especially after my engine giving up on me last Sunday. i was about to call it quits and go back to an S2000 but wait.. It's hard to give up the Boxster with it being so much more grown up. plus that sounds of the flat 6 is hard to beat and the handling.. yes the S2000 is good but the Boxster makes you grow a second pair of balls. And yes.. i dont miss the daily butt puckering walking over to where i parked it overnight. in my single days i turned down a few invites to "sleep over" because of parking concerns

i miss the reliability of the S2000 as it took me through the mountains on two 3000 mile roadtrips with zero problems where i beat the crap out of it. it was an 11 year old car but not once was i concern with it not making the trip.

but here i am holding on to the Boxster and getting an engine transplant so i can enjoy it some more.

for me the Boxster is the most fun sport car and the best in it's class. the only car i would replace the Boxster with is a newer Boxster. (not the new flat 4 turbos though )

100% agree with you! I think the way you summed it up is exactly what I was trying to get to. I'm crazy about my 986 now, especially after updating some exterior pieces. Although, hopefully in the future, I can add some Hondas in my garage again and not have to sacrifice getting rid of the Boxster.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:13 PM   #18
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Me too....

....after owning a Miata for 24 years, and still owning a '90 Miata that I have turbocharged, this video pushed me over the edge into Boxsterdom as well.


Great minds....
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:25 PM   #19
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I fit in a Boxster immediately. I don't fit in either the S2000 or the Miata. Arms and sight line through the windshield header. Tried them. Probably both cheaper to maintain on average than a Boxster but felt cramped to the point where I never bothered to drive them. OTOH, the 986 was comfortable and as a daily driver practical.

I was 6', 180 pounds so by no means was I outsized.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:24 PM   #20
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Writing here as a gearhead with over 50 years of sporty car experience, and literally dozens of cars over that time span, I conclude that the Boxster S is the all-around winner. That said, there are cars that are equally satisfying for a few criteria, but not in the aggregate. Examples in that category include the Austin Healey 3000, supercharged Miata, 6-speed C5 Corvette roadster and Fiat Dino 206 Spyder.

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