Porsche Boxster 987 – The Story

An evolution of the original 986 Boxster

2nd Generation Porsche Boxster (987) Story & History

Boxster 987.1 (2005 – 2008)

Official photos: 2004 September 7 / Premiere: 2004 September 23 at Mondial de l’Automobile Paris motor show press day / Market launch: 2004 November 27

Already since 1997, the 986-generation Boxsters were parallelly produced at the Valmet factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The development work of the 987-generation started in 2001 and the car was meant to be built in Uusikaupunki. In 2003 some “Made in Finland” pre-production cars were made and the production started in 2004. The bodies were fully made at Valmet and other parts were shipped there. The engines were naturally built in Stuttgart.

Starting with 987, the base 2.7 litre version got 17″ wheels as standard (6.5″+8″) and the Boxster S got 18″ wheels (8″+9″). Like with the 986, the 2.7-litre version came with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. The 6-speed was an option. Interestingly, the 6-speed gearbox didn’t lower the fuel consumption, but raised it a littlle bit (minimal difference, not worth mentioning). The initial 987 EU pricelist showed that the 2.7-litre verson was 9% cheaper and the 3.2-litre version 6% cheaper compared to the previous 986 generation models. The 987 models were launched for US market in January 2005.

Valmet Automotive factory n Uusikaupunki, Finland© Valmet Automotive

A ferry from Rostock brought parts to Uusikaupunki three times a week, and a ferry from Uusikaupunki brought most of the produced cars to Emden in Germany. To check if your 987 was made in Finland or in Germany, look up the 11th character in the VIN – if it is “U”, then it is Uusikaupunki, if it is “S” then it is Stuttgart.

© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
The bay for the mid-engine can be seen here© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
© Valmet Automotive
Boxster and Cayman made at Valmet
Production of Boxster and Cayman bodies at Valmet© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
Cathodic dip painting (corrosion protection), here in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen© Porsche
© Porsche
Infrared beams dry the water-based paint© Porsche
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory, windscreen installation robot
Windscreen being installed by a robot© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory, drivetrain
Drivetrain© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory, water-tightness tested
Testing the watertightness© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory
Made by Valmet in Finland standed for the highest production quality in automotive industry as declared by the independent surveys. The car on the photo is the 1.000.000th car made by Valmet.© Valmet Automotive
Valmet Porsche Boxster factory, shipping
Ready for shipping© Valmet Automotive
Front brake discs of Boxster 2.7 (298 mm) vs Boxster S (318 mm, same as 996/997 Carrera, but on Boxster S with red caliper). The rear discs were 299 mm on both versions.© Porsche
© Porsche
The fabric roof works well for the winter and it is mostly a design issue to use the hardtop for winter. The main problem using Porsches without door frames in the winter is that the door glasses tend to freeze to the seal while they were designed to move slightly downwards when the door handle is pulled.© Porsche
The roof opens or closes in 12 seconds, it works also when driving up to 30 mph/50 km/h© Porsche
Despite its questionable design when erected, the rear spoiler is really effective in reducing lift on the rear axle© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987 with hardtop
Single exhaust pipe tells it’s a 2.7-litre version© Porsche
Aluminium hardtop© Porsche
Twin exhuast pipes tell it’s an “S”© Porsche
© Porsche
The Boxster has a drag coefficient of 0.29© Porsche
The “S” has a fake central opening in the front spoiler© Porsche
Note the front bumper of the 2.7-litre version
What a car – it has a midmounted engine like a racing car and luggage compartment volume comparable to a small family car
Similar in design to the 997, but the crab handle is different© Porsche
Standard alcantara seats
Optional fully electric seat adjustment© Porsche
Nice and simple. The 2.7-litre model can be spotted by the steering wheel design and the black instrument faces.
Boxster S has silver instrument faces. A Tiptronic version pictured here.© Porsche
2.7-litre with the Tiptronic is the worst combination© Porsche
Becker Porsche CDR-24 radio, automatic AC, seat heating
Cup holders
The manually working Sport Chrono stop watch on the dashboard is a useless feature on the era of GPS lap timing© Porsche
Storage bin above the engine
Plexiglass wind deflector
© Porsche
© Porsche
© Porsche
The Boxster 987.1 was the first roadster in the world to secure passengers against lateral impact using head airbags© Porsche
Steering with variable ratio, red brake calipers of the Boxster S, optional PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) shock absorbers© Porsche
2.7-litre 176 kW engine with 5-speed manual gearbox© Porsche
3.2-litre 206 kW engine with 6-speed gearbox© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987 Variable dual-chamber resonance intake system
Variable dual-chamber resonance intake system© Porsche

From the 2006 model year (August 1, 2005), the Boxster and Boxster S got more powerful engines and the optional Tiptronic transmission and the Sport Chrono Package were given additional functions. The 2.7-liter engine got 4 kW more power (now 180 kW). The Boxster S engine, which was increased in size from 3.2 to 3.4 litres, developed 217 kW (+11 kW) and sprinted from 0 to 100 km/h 0.1 second faster. Both flat-six engines were equipped with VarioCam Plus valve control: with variable valve timing (VarioCam) and changeover valve lift (Plus).

2.7-litre 180 kW© Porsche
3.2-litre vs 3.4-litre© Porsche


SportDesign bodykit

The SportDesign bodykit was offered from 2006© Porsche
SportDesign front spoiler add-ons, 19″ SportDesign wheels, PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes© Porsche
© Porsche
SportDesign rear spoiler
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987 SportDesign rear spoiler
© Porsche
© Porsche
© Porsche
SportDesign add-on© Porsche

Model year 2007 had a slight modification inside the rear luggage compartment – the coolant and engine oil filler caps were relocated to behind the wall, increasing the size of the rear trunk. The 19″ Turbo-look forged alloy two-tone wheels became available, 8″ wide for the front axle and 9.5″ for the rear.

On November 20, 2006, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG celebrated a production milestone: the 200,000th Boxster (986+987, Stuttgart+Uusikaupunki) rolled off the production line. The landmark vehicle, a meteor grey metallic Boxster S ordered by a customer in the USA, was made at the Valmet factory. Michael Macht, Executive Vice President of Production and Logistics, said: “Ten years ago, no one would have believed what a huge success this Porsche mid-range roadster has become. Thanks to our flexible production system, we can manufacture the Boxster model series at both our main plant in Zuffenhausen and at Valmet.”


PCNA Limited Edition

© Porsche

In 2007, 500 Limited Edition Boxster and Boxster S were made for Porsche Cars North America, the importer for USA and Canada. There wasn’t anything special about these cars, just that they were made with the following specification:
* SportDesign bodykit
* 997 GT3 RS Orange paint
* Black mirrors
* Black side air vents
* Black model designation on the rear lid
* Black 19″ 997 Carrera S wheels
* Sports exhaust system
* Orange painted roll-over bars, door trim, dashboard trim strip, gear lever gate trim strip, shift pattern markings
* GT3 alcantara covered steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake lever
* Limited Edition label on dashboard

Although the color combination suggests it is a more sportier version, it actually was also produced with the 2.7-litre engine and on the request even with the automatic gearbox. Both the 2.7 litre and the 3.4-litre S were made in the series of 250 cars, so 500 in total.

© Porsche
© Porsche
Olli Vaartimo, Michael Macht, Juhani Suvinen
Olli Vaartimo (Chairman of the board, Valmet Automotive), Michael Macht (Management board member in charge of Production and Logistics, Porsche AG), Juhani Suvinen (President, Valmet Automotive) in front of the Orange Limited Edition Boxster at the Valmet factory© Porsche
10 years of Porsche production at Valmet in Finland
2007 October 16, party at Valmet to celebrate 10 years of Porsche production. The actual anniversary date was September 3, 2007.© Valmet Automotive

Michael Macht, Executive Vice President of Production and Logistics of Porsche AG, expressed the satisfaction: ”In the past ten years Porsche and Valmet have come a long way together. And we are absolutely aware of the fact that Valmet made a decisive contribution to Porsche’s great development in the 90’s. /–/ I also see the ramp-up of the Cayman as an example of successful cooperation. I hardly believe that anybody will be able in the foreseeable future to build a car rocketing up from zero to No 1 in the J D Power study virtually overnight.”


Boxster S ‘RS 60 Spyder Edition’

It was presented on December 7, 2007 at the Bologna Motor Show, to be built in the series of 1960 cars. Although the reason for this limited edition is not really justified – it doesn’t have anything to do with the 718 RS 60 Spyder racing car -, this is the most beautiful 987.1. The sports exhaust system was always optionally available, but its 6 kW power gain was never announced before the 223 kW RS 60 Spyder Edition. The exterior paint was the nice darker shade of silver from the Carrera GT, the interior was either available in red (with red roof) or dark gray (with black roof).

2008 Boxster S 3.4 ‘RS 60 Spyder Edition’ and the 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Spyder© Porsche
© Porsche
Black windscreen frame really suits© Porsche
Red taillights© Porsche
Carrera Red interior looks perfect© Porsche
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 'RS 60 Spyder Edition' interior
Punched material was used for the seat faces, central parts of the door panels, steering wheel and handbrake lever© Porsche
Instruments unique to the RS 60 Edition© Porsche
© Porsche
© Porsche
200.000th Porsche built by Valmet Automotive
2008 June 4, the 200.000th Porsche built by Valmet Automotive (Boxster+Cayman, 986+987) was a Boxster S “RS 60 Spyder Edition”© Valmet Automotive


Boxster S ‘Porsche Design Edition 2’

The production of the 987.1 is nearing its end in September 2008 and one last limited edition is made, the Porsche Design Edition 2 (PDE 1 was offered for Cayman and PDE3 for Cayenne). The press release called it “very special Boxster S”, but it is just a white Boxster S with sports exhaust, a few parts painted white (usual Porsche options) and with PDE2 decals applied to the car.

© Porsche
© Porsche
© Porsche
© Porsche
The interior was either available in black (with black roof) or in gray (with gray roof)© Porsche
© Porsche
PDE2 was a marketing campaign to sell the last cars of the outgoing model

Boxster 987.2 (2009 - 2012)

Boxster 987.2 (2009 – 2012)

Official photos: 2008 November 18 / Premiere: 2008 November 19 at Los Angeles Auto Show / Market launch: 2009 February

Considering the technical and visual change of the Boxster from 987.1-generation to 987.2, it was extensive enough not to call it a “facelift”. The 987.2 looks really good, only the rear lamps are questionable. The base version got 0.5″ wider standard wheels (17″). For the first time in Boxster history the brake discs have the same diameter on the Boxster and the Boxster S. The difference is in rear disc thickness and in caliper color – black for the 2.9-litre and red for the 3.4-litre version. The PSM Porsche Stability Management was developed further. When the driver lets go of the gas pedal very quickly – which is typical of an upcoming emergency braking – the PSM builds up a level of brake pressure before the driver’s foot lands on the brake pedal, moving the brake pads slightly towards the discs for immediate action. This shortens the stopping distance. A new option was the seat ventilation (for both the standard seats and the fully electric seats).

DFI engines

New engines were constructed – now with DFI Direct Fuel Injection. The base model got a 2.9-litre flat-6 instead of the 2.7-litre. In the DFI engine inlet valves control only the air flow into the combustion chambers and gasoline is injected directly into the cylinders which provides better efficiency (lower CO2 emissions). Another improvement was the integrated dry-sump lubrication system. The 986/987.1 wet sump engines were vulnerable to lateral forces (among other design flaws they had). The DFI Boxsters got the power and torque rise, but it wasn’t very significant. The 3436 cc DFI engine in the Boxster S was set to produce 228 kW @ 6400 rpm. Less than 3 years later, the same engine was used in the 911 991 Carrera where its power was not governed by marketing strategies and it could pump out 257 kW @7400 rpm.

PDK 7-speed transmission and Sport Plus mode

The earlier 5-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox was replaced with 10 kg/22 lb lighter 7-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox. PDK stands for Porsche DoppelKupplung (Porsche Double Clutch). The 7th speed is for lowering the CO2 emissions. For the top speed, the 6th gear must be used. While the PDK didn’t bring any benefits for the city drivers (theorethically Tiptronic might even act smoother), the PDK in Sport Plus mode excels on the race track. The Sport Plus race track mode and the Launch Control are part of the optional Sport Chrono package. The cars fitted with Sport Chrono pack can be idenitifed by the stopwatch on the dashboard. While the Sport Chrono pack is a must for a PDK-equipped track day car, the stopwatch on the dashboard is completely useless, an obstruction. While the earlier Tiptronic automatic was awful for track day use, PDK in Sport Plus mode makes an average driver perform really well on the track day. The Launch Control function in the Sport Chrono pack provides maximum acceleration from a standing start. To activate the Launch Control function, Sport Plus mode must be on, brake pedal must be fully depressed and then accelerator pedal must be fully depressed. The engine revs to 6500 rpm, the clutch closes slightly and the message ‘Launch Control ’ appears in the display on the PDK steering wheel. Now, the driver has to release the brake pedal quickly in order to minimally wear the clutch. On the paper the cars with PDK and Launch Control seem to accelerate better than the manual gearbox cars, but the times are ET (elapsed time), which does not include preparation time and in real life street race manual gearbox cars have better chances to win the drag race. The feeling of skillfully operating a manual gearbox Porsche sportscar is something that will probably remain the biggest part of the unforgettable Porsche experience.

Hill-start assist

Standard for all cars and not depending on the transmission type, the system assists the driver in making a smooth start on an incline. If the gear is engaged, the brake pressure is maintained 2 seconds after the footbrake is released. The vehicle is therefore temporarily prevented from rolling backwards. Brake pressure is reduced if sufficient revs have been generated.

Boxster Spyder

See dedicated article

Black Edition

Black Edition is not anything special. It was a last model year offering, basically an equipment package consisting of typical options (bi-xenon lights with dynamic cornering lights, automatic AC, cruise control, navigation system, bluetooth, Sound Package Plus, audio interface, anti-dazzle mirrors, rain sensor, wind deflector, 19″ wheels). Visually the Black Edition cars can be identified by everything in black: the body, roof, Boxster Spyder wheels, model lettering, exhaust pipes, roll-over bars, dashboard trim strip etc.

Porsche 987.2 production at Valmet Automotive in Finland
Porsche production in Uusikaupunki. 987.2 Boxsters and Caymans were the last Porsches made in Finland.© Valmet Automotive
Porsche 987.2 production at Valmet Automotive in Finland
Orange blinkers tell that currently US versions are being built. The VIN of the car on the photo is WP0CA29889U710526. “U” in the VIN tells this Porsche was born in Uusikaupunki.© Valmet Automotive
Porsche Boxster 987.2 unveiling
Unveiling at the 2008 LA Auto Show press day: Detlev von Platen (CEO of PCNA), Wolfgang Dürheimer (Porsche R&D Director), Klaus Berning (Porsche Sales and Marketing Director)© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 in Guards Red
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 top operation, hood in motion
The top can be operated while driving up to 30 mph/50 kmh. It takes 12 seconds to lower the hood and close the cover.© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 dark green metallic
The surfaces of the side windows are treated with a water-repellent coating© Porsche
Porsche Boxster S Black Edition
Black Edition Boxster S© Porsche
A lady with the Porsche Boxster 987.2
The single exhaust of the 2.9-litre version looks rather cool, lamborghinish from this angle© Porsche
Porsche Boxster S (987.2 generation)
Guards Red is one the nicest Porsche colors© Porsche
Guards Red Porsche Boxster 987.2 S top down
© Porsche
Guards Red Porsche Boxster S (987.2) rear view
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 dark green metallic, rear view
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 dark green metallic, top down
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 Design package
Boxster Spyder wheels, roll over bars, side grilles, lettering, exhaust pipes and other parts in black are part of the ‘Design’-package, which later was the basis for the Black Edition cars© Porsche
Guards Red Porsche Boxster S (987 facelifft) on an airstrip
19″ wheels in 911 997.2 Carrera S look© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 Design Sport package
‘Design Sport’ package = ‘Design’ package of black parts + a new front spoiler and rear spoiler (wing)© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 Design Sport front spoiler
‘Design Sport’ front spoiler© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2
© Porsche
Porsche 987.2 Boxster S Black Edition interior
Black Edition© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 SportDesign steering wheel
SportDesign steering wheel in a Black Edition car. Note the black instruments from the regular Boxster. Typically, Boxster S has silver instruments, but not the Black Edition Boxster S.© Porsche
Porsche Boxster S Black Edition dashboard plaque
‘000’ means it is a prototype© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 interior, PDK, navigation, Sport Chrono stopwatch
Optional touchscreen navigation system could be equipped with optional TV tuner© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 see-through rendering
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 brake cooling
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 see-through rendering
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster S (987.2) engine
While there’s an actual air intake on the left side of the car, the one on the right side is fake© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 987.2 power and torque graph
© Porsche
Porsche Boxster S 987.2 power and torque graph
© Porsche
Porsche 987.2 Normal vs Sport Mode
© Porsche