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Old 02-16-2005, 07:00 PM   #1
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To "S" or not to "S"...

This may be a oft-asked question and possibly hotly debated. I'm looking for a used Boxster (my first) and people have been providing lots of great advice on my "Must-have Options" thread.

But whether or not to get a "S" is probably the biggest choice and is a tough one. Primarily because in Canada there seems to be quite a higher premium for an S.

First some context. Unlike some of you, I haven't been used to really fast cars. The fastest vehicles that I have owned have had C/D (Car and Driver) 0-60 times of about 7.6 seconds. I think that the 2.7 of 2000 and higher non-S Boxsters should handily beat that already (right?).

Is there any other "material" benefits of the S other than some straight line performance increase and some additional cachet? [Note, having a Porsche of ANY kind is enough "cachet" for me. ] Does the S handle any better? Is the S more luxurious?

Here in Canada, it looks like having the S adds about $7000 to $8000 USD (converted from about $9000 CDN) to the value of a fairly new Boxster.

If the non-S Boxter is already "very fast", maybe I don't need to spend $9000 CDN to get the same thing only "wicked fast".

Let me know what you feel are the advantages of the S.

Thanks.

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Old 02-16-2005, 08:08 PM   #2
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is this a daily driver? or a sunday ride only?

I love my S but if I had to drive it more than than 2 miles a day I would be a poor man after all the trips to the gas station.
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
is this a daily driver? or a sunday ride only?

I love my S but if I had to drive it more than than 2 miles a day I would be a poor man after all the trips to the gas station.
Just a weekend or "fun" car. The daily driver is the SUV.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:04 AM   #4
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Does the S really eat up so much gas compared to a SUV? or compared to the base.
Considering that Porsche sells 2 base for 1 "S" and that second-hand buyers "tend" to look for the "S", the delta in price will remain, but you'll get your money back at the end.
They are both cool cars, the base is as much fun...I just wanted a S because I could not get used to the idea to have less HP in a Porsche than in my previous car.
Good luck with your choice, whatever you buy will give you plenty of smiles
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:12 AM   #5
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Here in the US, the diff in price is less, perhaps 3-4K. Moreover, the S is an easier car to re-sell so you make most of this back at resale time.

Simply put, this is a personal preference issue that no one can answer for you. I recommend driving both and deciding what you want to spend you money on.

I have never had one of my customers come back and tell me that wish they had purchased the base model.

Either way, it is great car.
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:28 AM   #6
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The standard Boxster is plenty quick. I guess it depends on how much a performance junkie you are, and how interested you are in straight-line speed. Both cars handle great, so if that's your thing then the base Box will do you fine.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:00 AM   #7
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depending on which standard Boxster you are comparing to an S, 40-60 additional horsepower is plenty difference to affect gas mileage. Not necessarily because it consumes more gas but because if you like sportscars you will be using that extra power. I can go through 1/4 tank without even blinking on jaunt into NYC which includes going on a highway where there is literraly no speed limit(only two lanes on a elevated highway) for ten miles and then the crazy 'lanes mean nothing' traffic once into NYC. Here in the city the traffic lights are timed in sync and almost encourage you go fast to keep the flow moving in waves.
Those yellow cabs have no chance against my S in third gear. Just don't put gas into your any where near NYC, its marked up 20-30 cents a gallon.

p.s. if you have the funds for the S don't even hesistate, you will regret it later.
"The Boxster S ($50K) and the Carrera GT ($600K) are the most balanced cars Porsche has an offer"-an Excellence contributor.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:16 AM   #8
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Boxster S

The Boxster S without doubt would be the better of the two. Bigger engine advantage in performance and quickness. I use mine daily for work 10 miles each way and I love it. The brakes of the S are the same as in the 911 there are no better brakes than that. Therefore the equation comes down to price. Which in the use market can be not much difference. Make the investment and you will not kick yourself in the pants later on with the proverbial line I should have.
Gas mileage wise both are pretty similar and in short trips nothing is economical. Over 20 miles to a gallon is normal and in the highway even better.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:56 AM   #9
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Don't forget about the six-speed tranny from the 911(save us the speech 6-speed haters). The S also has an extra radiator to deal with the with heat of the 3.2L and a few other things that add some extra poundage over the 2.7L.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:43 AM   #10
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....after a six week journey to find the 'right' car, I bounced back/forth between. My wife would have been perfectly happy with a base 5-speed. She didn't care about option codes, Litronics... "'S.. "What's that?", etc. It came down to colors for her.

I was the tech-nerd that wanted all the tricks/toys. She now takes some pride at the hospital that 'she' has the tweaked Porsche...even tho' she'll never drive it more than 30% of its potential. Cachet works too. ...and as the rest of this 2001 car; it came at about 50% of the first lessor's cost.

Either for driving or polishing, there is no wrong answer.


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Old 02-17-2005, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Don't forget about the six-speed tranny from the 911(save us the speech 6-speed haters). The S also has an extra radiator to deal with the with heat of the 3.2L and a few other things that add some extra poundage over the 2.7L.
I believe the suspension is also beefed up with better sways and harder coils.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:22 AM   #12
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This is true in the 00-02 boxsters. The 03-04 base boxsters have the same suspension setup as the S models.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:47 AM   #13
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I'd never consider a non-S myself. With that said, consider buying mine, it's for sale!
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:55 AM   #14
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Actually, the '03+ S has different (bigger) sway bars than the '03+ Base. Minor detail, I know. Another thing is that the S also comes with a lot of interior bits and pieces standard vs. on the Base where they'd be optional.

I have an S and I still think it could use a lot more power. About 100hp...but more importantly 0.4L more displacement (e.g. the 911's 3.6L motor). I test drove a Base model and the difference in torque vs. the S was very apparent, especially below 4.5K rpms. I don't think anybody will say they have enough power, no matter what car they own. Once you get used to the speed, you're ready for the "next step". Don't get me wrong, both Base and S are fun cars. But when you have cheap econoboxes with 300hp/260+ torque (WRX STi, Evo 8) doing sub 5 second 0-60, a 6 second Porsche seems...not right. I think we Boxster owners deal with this issue because everything else about the car is damn near perfect.

One important aspect that people seem to forget is that although the S costs more initially, the resale is also higher. So hypothetically speaking, it actually could cost you more to own the Base model. Food for thought...

Last edited by Lux; 02-17-2005 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 02-17-2005, 03:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux
Actually, the '03+ S has different (bigger) sway bars than the '03+ Base. Minor detail, I know. Another thing is that the S also comes with a lot of interior bits and pieces standard vs. on the Base where they'd be optional.

I have an S and I still think it could use a lot more power. About 100hp...but more importantly 0.4L more displacement (e.g. the 911's 3.6L motor). .

I agree, I'm all about more power, especially after I got a ride in a Z06. It's acceleration is so powerful I couldn't breath because I was pushed back so hard in the seats. It was truly amazing.
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Old 02-17-2005, 04:11 PM   #16
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"I agree, I'm all about more power, especially after I got a ride in a Z06. It's acceleration is so powerful I couldn't breath because I was pushed back so hard in the seats. It was truly amazing."

Yes, I have a 1990 ZR-1 in stock right now and it is as fast or perhaps faster than a zo-6 (this one is chipped with flowmaster and 4.11s) .

Anyway, this torque on this car is not be believed. Lots of fun!
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Old 02-17-2005, 04:35 PM   #17
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The ZR-1 has a fantastic engine (and it looks mean as hell too). With 4.11 gears, you're probably roasting thru 3rd!

Horsepower is the biggest marketing scam. Torque is where it's at! I might just have to pick up a used Z06 to get my torque fix.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:47 PM   #18
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You might like these photos. Check out the polished engine!
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:03 AM   #19
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Lotus certanly had a way with engines, didn't they
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:22 AM   #20
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Indeed. Makes you wonder what they could do with the current crop of LS engines?



Quote:
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Lotus certanly had a way with engines, didn't they

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