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The First Porsche Boxster - The Story

Introduced in late 1996, the Boxster, based on the 1993 Boxster Concept, was a beautiful roadster with mid-engined layout. In base form it was powered by a 2.5-litre flat six-cylinder engine (later upgraded to a 2.7-litre engine) and was an instant hit. It was Porsche's biggest volume seller from its introduction in 1996 until the introduction of the Cayenne SUV in 2003.

Porsche Boxster 986 Model Timeline

1st Gen Porsche Boxster Model Guides (1997 - 2004)

There were two core models of Porsche Boxster for the first generation, the base Boxster and the Boxster S. The base Boxster came first as a 1997 model year car, powered by a 2.5 liter flat 6 engine that was good for 201 hp and 181 ft lbs of torque. In 2000 the base Boxster got a more powerful engine, now a 2.7 liter unit with more power and torque to go with that sublime chassis. It was the Boxster S launch as a 2000 model year car that got people most excited. It got a bigger 3.2 liter engine and better hardware and made for a tremendous cars. The model range received a minor facelift in 2002. It includes some design updates including the plastic rear window was replaced by a smaller glass window with a heating element and the bumpers were changed slightly for a more defined, chiseled appearance, and new wheel designs were made available. The interior received some updates including an updated steering wheel. Porsche installed a reworked exhaust pipe and air intake. The 986 Boxster production ended in 2004.

It was Porsche's first road vehicle to be originally designed as a roadster since the 914. The first-generation Boxster (the 986) was introduced in late 1996 as a 1997 model year car. The V-Series Boxster 2.5 rolled out in August 1996 from Porsche’s factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany. The design was heavily influenced by the 1993 Boxster Concept (which was a good thing). It was an instant success, becoming Porsche's biggest seller from its introduction in 1996 until the introduction of the Cayenne sport utility vehicle in 2003.  Read More
While the original 986 Boxster was a sweet ride, its performance began to lag behind newer competitors like the Honda S2000. Powered by a 2.5-litre flat six-cylinder engine, the base model was upgraded to a 2.7-litre engine in the year 2000. The gearbox options in the Boxster 2.7 are the same as in 2.5, but they got new type designations due to improvements. Externally, the 986 Boxster 2.7 looks like Boxster 2.5. Inside the side airbags are standard and the plastic feeling has been reduced. The fuel tank is a larger 64-liter. Alcantara trim is available on the options list. Read More
In 2000, Porsche gave us the Boxster S. With a 3.2 liter naturally aspirated Flat-6, it was good for 250 bhp and 225 ft lbs of torque, up by 25% on the base 2.7 liter Boxster. Hardward changes, a 6-speed gearbox and all this extra power and torque transformed the Boxster driving experience. From behind the wheel, the Boxster S rushes forward in a way that is missing from the base model, that torque increase really making itself known, especially in the midrange. 0 to 60 mph now takes 5.60 second (compared to 6.5 for the 2.7 L base model). Top speed is 161 mph and the quarter mile is 14.1 seconds. Read More
The first generation Boxster got a facelift and refresh for the 2003 model year. The 2003 Boxster came on the market with new engines and new options. It also had a new face, but not that different than the first generation. The result was more horsepower, the 2.7 liter now good for 225 bhp @ 6300 rpm and 192 ft lbs @ 4750 rpm. Power was up by 8 horsepower over the prior year model, while torque was unchanged. From the outside, the 2002 Boxster featured an apron with two air-intakes on the sides. Read More
The Boxster S was revised along with its Boxster version in 2003. From the outside, the 2002 Boxster S featured an apron with three air-intakes, one more than the non-S version. The 3.2-liter unit was installed in the Boxster since 2000, but after the facelift it was improved by 10 hp, reaching 258 hp. It was paired as standard with a 6-speed manual, or a 5-speed Tiptronic (automatic) as an option. As expected, the manual version was quicker and faster. Read More

1st Gen Porsche Boxster Special Models

There was only one special edition Boxster during the first generation. In 2004, the Boxster S Special Edition, also called 550 Spyder Boxster S Special Edition or S 550 Spyder 50th Anniversary Edition was introduced with a production run of just 1,953 cars (paying homage to the 550 Spyder's year of introduction). 500 cars were made for the US Market. These were all painted in GT Silver Metallic and had unique cocoa-brown full-leather interior as standard. Several other changes including a slightly more powerful engine made this pretty rare and special.

In 2004, the Boxster S Special Edition, also called 550 Spyder Boxster S Special Edition was introduced with a production run of just 1,953 cars (paying homage to the 550 Spyder's year of introduction). 500 cars were made for the US Market. These were all painted in GT Silver Metallic, the same colour as the Carrera GT concept presented in 2000, and had unique cocoa-brown full-leather interior as standard with grey natural leather as a no-cost option. Read More

1st Generation Porsche Boxster Specs & Performance Summary

The base Porsche Boxster didn't light the world on fire in terms of performance figures when is came out in 1997. It was a wonderful sports car but 6.7 second 0 - 60 mph was slow compared to the BMW M cars of the era. The upgrade to a 2.7 liter engine in 2000 helped a little, but it was the Boxster S with its bigger engine and better hardware that had serious performance. 0 - 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and a quarter mile in just over 14 seconds was legit. The 986.2 upgrades in 2003 gave both models some more power and that translated into better performance.

1st Gen Boxster Pictures, Galleries & Videos

The Porsche Boxster was a revelation when it was first released. It was small, fun and relatively fast. Enjoy our interactive galleries and awesome videos of the Porsche Boxster below.

Porsche Boxster News & Updates

Recent auctions, awesome review videos and all the latest news and posts regarding anything to do with the Porsche Boxster.

The Boxster 718 T was released for the 2020 model year as more sport-oriented versions of the base 718 models. As such, the T features the same 2.0-litre flat-4 engine as the base 718 but adds performance-oriented options such as Porsche's sport suspension system, the Sport Chrono package, and a limited-slip differential, along with minor cosmetic differences including special decals along the lower doors, a smaller-diameter steering wheel, door pull straps in place of standard door handles, wheels from the Porsche 992 Carrera S, and black rear badging. Read More
Stuttgart. Porsche is celebrating the 25th birthday of its roadster family with a special anniversary model: the Boxster 25 Years. The limited edition is restricted to 1,250 units worldwide and is based on the GTS 4.0 model, which is powered by a 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine with 294 kW (400 PS). It makes reference to numerous design features of the Boxster concept car that heralded the success story of the open-top two-seater at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show. The production version was launched in 1996 with hardly any changes in its visual appearance and is now in its fourth generation. Read More

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