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Old 07-06-2011, 06:35 AM   #1
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987 vs 986 - Zowie!

Hi guys. I was facing nearly $6k in work on my 2002 S from all the usual bugs that seemed to crop up when the car hit 65k - and decided to test drive a 2008 RS60 while my ride was in the service bay.
The 986 is now gone. A pristine RS sits in the driveway (behind the 911C4s). The difference between these two Boxsters is immense! The RS is smoother, faster, quick, sounds better, shifts slicker and plain out handles the 2002. I loved the old S and figured the 987 was just typical Porsche b.s. tweaks. I'm amazed at how much better the 987 actually is.
The RS seems as grippy as our 911 (a 2011 model) and about as quick. I prefer the RS exhaust roar and handling, though I haven't really pushed it to the edge.
I'm absolutely delighted.
Just wanted to share my initial impressions and excitement with other Porsche fans.

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Old 07-06-2011, 07:53 AM   #2
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Congrats on your purchase!

I went from an 01S to my 08S LE and totally agree with your comments. There's never been a time when I wished I had the 01S back.

You'll have to do the hack where the exhaust stays in sport mode w/o having to be in sport mode.

Enjoy the new ride.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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I bit the bullet and did those 65K mile repairs. The next Boxster will be a Boxster Spyder hopefully with a manual gearbox and perhaps someone in the aftermarket will come up with a fixed manual top like the Miata. I see no point in selling the 986S at this point. The buyer would be getting the better end of the deal at these prices. And the 986 although eclipsed in engineering still has styling of the concept car that started the whole movement. Performance can be addressed up to any price point. With rumors of the new Boxster being a turbo 4 banger, I might be taking a hard look at doing some big upgrades in the future because I have no interest in a turbo roadster.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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Interesting. I've never liked driving the second generation of a car more than the first that I can think of. They always seem to get heavier and "more refined" which isn't for me. Judging by the comments I've read, including Insite's evaluation, I think the 987 followed the same formula. Great for some, but not for everyone.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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You can't upgrade the IMS on the 987, if thats a concern for you. My plan is to get a 02-04 S with upgraded IMS, and then in 6-8 years, get a 09 or newer Boxster without the IMS problem (when they are afordable for me)
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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A couple of years ago I test drove LE '08 S . The reason being, was that I was trying to decide if I should purchase a new boxster, or go forward and invest the time and money with the body kit project that I had planned for my '02 S . This was my experience . Comparing both vehicles in their stock form, certain that it was, the 987 revealed significant improvements over the 986 with regard to styling, handling and performance, and overall refinement . Here's the kicker, however : in comparison to my vehicle (aka the Dangermobile) which has been heavily modified, and "dialed in" if you will, both vehicles felt like absolute, complete mush !! Now, this may seem like an apples to oranges comparison to some, but the point that I am trying to make is that the beauty of Porsches is that they're evolutionary vehicles . And, unlike other brands that seem to undergo drastic changes on an almost yearly basis, Porsches remain faithful to their original design philosophy and styling. And, regardless of the model year they are not easily opaqued by their successors. Especially, if one chooses to put their own "stamp" on his or her vehicle .
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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Could it be that you have to drive a 987 more extensively than a typical "test drive" to detect the differences?

I test drove a few 987's when I was looking for my Boxster and didn't notice much difference - thus, the 986 purchase. Seemed to me that the notable difference was between the S and non-S models rather than 986 vs 987. Reading your review now makes me think that maybe I missed something during my short test drives.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone
Could it be that you have to drive a 987 more extensively than a typical "test drive" to detect the differences?

I test drove a few 987's when I was looking for my Boxster and didn't notice much difference - thus, the 986 purchase. Seemed to me that the notable difference was between the S and non-S models rather than 986 vs 987. Reading your review now makes me think that maybe I missed something during my short test drives.
Yes, during my test drive I felt that there were some very discernible differences between the 987 and 986 . Namely, the 987 felt more refined in terms of ride quality, power delivery/engine "feel", and it had a handling aspect that I felt was more inline with what the general motor public would prefer. Personally, I like the raw "dialed in" feel of my 986. But, to be truthful it's for everyone . In any case, in order for me to replicate these attributes with a 987, that would mean "gutting" the suspension, wheels, exhaust, engine mods ect .... That would end up being a six figure boxster in no time .
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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i like to move to a newer car every couple years. was going to go for an 07 , 08 3.4 but they are still pricey and have the IMS design. so i figure i will wait for the 987 mk2 models to come in price and then pick one up. so until then i will play around with the 986.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:23 PM   #10
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At this point in time it makes sense to wait and see what the 2012 Boxster is going to be. 987.2 sales have been suffering big time so Porsche is forced to release something different to increase buyer's interest. Did anyone read about the 7-speed manual on the new 2012 911 (Type 991)?

That being said purchasing a Porsche is an emotional decision not a logical one.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:07 PM   #11
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boscoe, will you be posting pics, we would love to see them.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
Did anyone read about the 7-speed manual on the new 2012 911 (Type 991)?
I saw that, now there will be two useless gears
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by blue2000s
I saw that, now there will be two useless gears
I blame the auto industry's obsession with fuel economy. But you're right 5-speed is more than enough gears because more gears = more mechanical parts = more likely to break.

They're moving to electric power steering as well. Perhaps this should be a new thread.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:58 AM   #14
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i don't get the 7-speed thing either, but am hoping that the electric power steering will be adaptable to earlier cars (at a reasonable price).
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:03 AM   #15
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Porsche is 1/2 step away from providing one sequential shifting transmission in all it's cars. The clutch pedal can always be there but it can be optional to use. The clutch is electronically controlled in a pdk, they can just give override control of the electronics to the clutch pedal if it's depressed. Then there's no real mechanical connection to the throttle, clutch or steering. It's basically like driving a simulator. Maybe Lotus will still make fun cars in the future.

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Old 07-07-2011, 02:52 PM   #16
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i don't get the 7-speed thing either, but am hoping that the electric power steering will be adaptable to earlier cars (at a reasonable price).
I hope for Porsche's sake that the electric assist isn't like the systems on any other cars because as much as hydrolic PS sucks from the enjoyment of a good steering rack, the electric systems are twice as bad.

If you've ever driven a Prius, you know what I mean. Extremely disconnected. On GM cars, they think steering effort some how equals feel, which is of course not true and they suck too.

Last edited by blue2000s; 07-08-2011 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:05 AM   #17
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While I love my 987S I can tell you from experience, when a 986 was either behind me or in front on me, on The Tail of the Dragon over the years with fellow 986Forum members & friends (Randall, Derb, Sammy, & NickCats), the performance differences were very-very minimal. Both very capable.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Flavor 987S
While I love my 987S I can tell you from experience, when a 986 was either behind me or in front on me, on The Tail of the Dragon over the years with fellow 986Forum members & friends (Randall, Derb, Sammy, & NickCats), the performance differences were very-very minimal. Both very capable.
I'd be curious to see this with the new Boxster Spyder. From lap one 1 the manual version was faster than a PDK-equipped CaymanS on a Road&Track test circuit.

320 hp on a lighter more rigid tub may be well beyond "feels a little quicker" territory.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
I'd be curious to see this with the new Boxster Spyder. From lap one 1 the manual version was faster than a PDK-equipped CaymanS on a Road&Track test circuit.

320 hp on a lighter more rigid tub may be well beyond "feels a little quicker" territory.
Problem is not every one is the Stig so arguing about faster lap time (Or which car is faster at the ring) is pointless.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
I'd be curious to see this with the new Boxster Spyder. From lap one 1 the manual version was faster than a PDK-equipped CaymanS on a Road&Track test circuit.

320 hp on a lighter more rigid tub may be well beyond "feels a little quicker" territory.

Well, depending on the options selected on the Spyder, they are not that much lighter than a 987.1 or a 987.2 While a Spyder would have 40 more HP that my 987.1S (280 HP) that's not that much difference either. Though, I'd love the have the extra 40 ponnies. That's why I also have my beloved 993 Turbo with +400 HP.

Like I said, when I was on the TOD over the years (2007 and 2008) there were 986 and 986S in the group, and they all hung strong against my Boxster, even though I have +40 HP on those cars.

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