Porsche Boxster 981 (2012-2016)

Date of unveil by Porsche AG: January 12, 2012, GTS: March 19, 2014, Spyder: April 1, 2015
Premiere: March 6, 2012 Geneva Motor Show, GTS: April 20, 2014 Auto China in Beijing, Spyder: April 1, 2015 New York Auto Show
World market launch: April 14, 2012 (as a 2013 model), GTS: May 2014, Spyder: July 2015

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Technical specification

Modification Engine kW lb-ft Nm Brakes Gearbox 60 mph 100 km/h 100 mph 200 km/h mph km/h DIN weight Power to weight
Boxster 981 2.7B6 195 206 280 315/299 mm manual 6-speed 5.5 sec. 5.8 sec. 164 264 1310 kg
2888 lb
149 W/kg
67.5 W/lb
PDK 7-speed 5.4 sec. 5.7 sec. 162 262 1340 kg
2954 lb
146 W/kg
66.0 W/lb
Boxster 981 S 3.4B6 232 266 360 330/299 mm manual 6-speed 4.8 sec. 5.1 sec. 173 279 1320 kg
2910 lb
176 W/kg
79.7 W/lb
PDK 7-speed 4.7 sec. 5.0 sec. 172 277 1350 kg
2976 lb
172 W/kg
78.0 W/lb
Boxster 981 GTS 3.4B6 243 272 370 330/299 mm manual 6-speed 4.7 sec. 5.0 sec. 175 281 1345 kg
2965 lb
181 W/kg
82.0 W/lb
PDK 7-speed 4.6 sec. 4.9 sec. 173 279 1375 kg
3031 lb
177 W/kg
80.2 W/lb
Boxster 981 Spyder 3.8B6 276 309 420 340/330 mm manual 6-speed 4.2 sec. 4.5 sec. 9.5 sec. 14.8 sec. 180 290 1315 kg
2899 lb
210 W/kg
95.2 W/lb
DIN weight = car with 90% fuel, no driver, no cargo. Weight of German versions with standard equipment.

Never before in the history of the Boxster was a change of generation so comprehensive. The 981 has lower weight (minus 25-35 kg / 55-77 lb depending on the modification, compared to 987.2), is longer (+32 mm / 1.3"), has much longer wheelbase (+60 mm / 2.4") and is lower (-10 mm / 0.4"). Width is the only dimension that stayed exactly the same. The engine in the Boxster S is basically the same 3.4-litre unit that was in the 987.2 Boxster S, just +4 kW, but the engine in the standard Boxster is again a 2.7-litre unit compared to the 2.9-litre in the 987.2. Still, the power has been increased by +7 kW.

With the comparable equipment level (2-zone AC, leather seats, interior surveillance), the Boxster S is 39% cheaper than the 991 Carrera Cabriolet. You think the Porsche rear seats are expensive, but this is Porsche's way to fight the overpopulation, the greatest threath to the mankind. With the Boxster GTS the power-to-weight ratio is even better than on the 991 Carrera Cabriolet.

Comparison Boxster 981 GTS vs. 911 991 Carrera Cabriolet

Porsche No. of seats Gearbox Engine kW lb-ft Nm 100 km/h mph km/h kg lb W/lb W/kg
Boxster 981 GTS 2 seats manual 6-speed 3.4B6 243 272 370 5.0 sec. 175 281 1345 2965 82.0 181
911 991 Carrera Cabriolet 4 seats manual 7-speed 3.4B6 257 287 390 5.0 sec. 178 286 1450 3197 80.4 177

Manual gearbox or PDK?

The PDK gearbox adds significant weight to the car, but with its 7-speeds it is almost as fast on the race track as the manual one. The fun factor is naturally lower with the PDK than with the manual one. You would expect the PDK serve better in the city traffic, but actually it is unresponsive as the cars with PDK are programmed to use ultra low engine rpm. To overcome the laziness, you have to activate the Sport-regime every time you start the engine. Then again, don't expect the car to consume less fuel than the manual one. The low fuel consumption figures with PDK are achieved with driving style not typical to the Porsche driver. With natural driving style there is no fuel consumption benefit to the PDK gearbox. To use the technology of the PDK to the full on the race track, you have to specify the car with the Sport Chrono package. Not because of the silly stop watch on the dashboard, but because of the Sport Plus button which you would need on the race track if you prefer to drive in the fully automatic mode. The Sport Chrono package also includes the Launch Control system.

The gear changes with the PDK are eyeblink-quick when you change one gear at the time. If, for example, you want to change from 4th to 2nd, the gear change takes time as the gears are on the same shaft and the power must first be shifted to the other shaft before the gear change can be carried out.

Interestingly, the official acceleration figures with manual gearbox vs. PDK are not comparable because they are measured from the moment the car starts to move and not from the moment the start is given in the drag race. The acceleration from standstill with the PDK without launch control is comparable to the previous Tiptronic cars, so considerably weaker than with the manual gearbox. If, for example, you use the PDK in the drag race and you have activated the Launch Control, you have a dilemma, if to start accelerating immediately not to wear the clutch or to wait for the green light and cause wear to the clutch.

Boxster GTS© Porsche
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The main visual difference of the GTS is the front spoiler. Boxster GTS shares its front spoiler with the Cayman GTS.© Porsche
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GTS© Porsche
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From this angle the Carrera GT design features are most notable© Porsche
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Single exhaust pipe tells it is the 2.7-litre version© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 981 rear trunk
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Porsche Boxster 981
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GTS© Porsche
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Manual 6-speed gearbox comes as standard and the 7-speed PDK is available as an option. Manual gearbox is by far more involving and therefore much more fun to drive. © Porsche
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With the red tachometer face, both gauge needles are white© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 981 Adaptive Cruise Control and camera based traffic sign recognition system
Adaptive Cruise Control and camera based traffic sign recognition system© Porsche
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Note the two-color seat belt © Porsche
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GTS© Porsche
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GTS© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 981 red interior
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Geneva Motor Show 2012. Woflgang Porsche and Michael Mauer.

The 981 Spyder

Following in the footsteps of the 356 Speedster, 550 Spyder, 718 Spyder and the Boxster 987 Spyder, the Boxster 981 Spyder is by far the most powerful of them. The power-to-weight ratio of the 718 Spyder 1.7- and 2.0-litre 4-cylinder models was better though already 55 years earlier. Visually the Porsche Speedsters and Spyders are characterized by their special side view silhouette - the result of the low windscreen or low roofline (when the canvas top is fitted).

Like the 981 GT4, the 981 Spyder got its 3.8-litre engine from the 997.2 Carrera S/991 Carrera S. To fit the mid-engined 981, the 3.8-litre engine had to be modified a bit, so it got different crankcase and naturally different intake system. The 981 Spyder is the last 6-cylinder Boxster. This purist's version of the Boxster is equipped with limited slip differential and Porsche Torque Vectoring electronic turn-in aid. The exhaust system is naturally the louder sports version and the suspension is 20 mm lower than of the standard Boxster. The suspension is sportier, but not the racing suspension from the 981 GT4. The brakes have the same size as the ones on the 991 Carrera 3.4, just that the calipers are painted red. Although 25 kg / 55 lb lighter than the GT4, the 981 Spyder is not as race-oriented as the Cayman GT4. Like in the GT4, in order to reduce weight, radio, loudspeakers and air conditioning have been deleted (can be put back at no extra cost), the fuel tank is only 54 litres (64-litre tank is available at no extra cost). What was not the case with the 987 Spyder, the roof of the 981 Spyder is more suitable for everyday use.

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The amber side blinker shows it's a US-model© Porsche
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Nose from the GT4© Porsche
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'Super cool' is the only way to describe the roof-on side view© Porsche
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The roof lock is opened electrically and then the roof is operated manually© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 981 Spyder
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Large rear lid is made of aluminium© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 981 Spyder
Is it the 918 Spyder or the 981 Spyder? The new car price difference is 10 times. © Porsche
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GT-Silver Metallic paint known from the Carrera GT aka 980 is optionally available for the 981© Porsche
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SportDesign mirrors from the 991 GT3© Porsche
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Spyder Classic package means the interior is two-tone (red/black)© Porsche
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New steering wheel similar to the one in the 918 Spyder© Porsche
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Not for posers: the 981 Spyder is available with manual gearbox only. The car is at its lightest without the radio and the speakers.© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 981 Spyder bucket seats
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Standard bucket seats from the GT3© Porsche
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Optional lighter bucket seats from the 918 Spyder © Porsche
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Sport Plus seats© Porsche
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Production locations

The Boxster 981 production started in Porsche's main factory in Stuttgart in the beginning of 2012. On September 19, 2012, the production was also started in Volkswagen's plant in Osnabrück to have more production capacity for the 911 in Stuttgart. In Osnabrück a small plant was opened already in March 2011 for VW Golf Cabriolet production. The 981-series Porsches, Boxster and Cayman, are also made there. This is not the first time that vehicles have been produced for Porsche in Osnabrück. For example, in the 1960s 356 Hardtop Coupé bodies were made there, 1969-1975 914 was produced and in the 1990s the 968 bodies were made. From the start of the 981 production in Stuttgart, Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH has been supplying the rear and side parts for the cars.

Before the 981-generation the Boxsters and Caymans were produced in Valmet Automotive factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Initially, the 981 production was agreed with Magna Steyr car factory in Graz, Austria, but after Porsche's takeover, Volkswagen's own plant was naturally chosen.

Porsche Boxster 981 Osnabrück Volkswagen plant
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Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


Sales catalogues


PDF 2011/11 Boxster, S (12 MB)

PDF 2011/12 Exclusive Boxster (4 MB)

PDF 2012/01 Tequipment Boxster (5 MB)

PDF 2012/10 Tequipment Boxster (6 MB)

PDF 2013/06 Boxster, S (14 MB)

PDF 2014/03 Boxster, S, GTS In German/Deutsch (16 MB)

PDF 2015/04 Boxster Spyder In German/Deutsch (10 MB)


Search for a Boxster 981 or continue to 718 Boxster (982)

Anniversaries
Apr, 25 – 86th birthday of the Porsche company (1931)
May, 09 – 31st birthday of the 961 (1986)
May, 10 – 74th birthday of Wolfgang Porsche (1943)
May, 15 – 35th birthday of the 956 (1982)
May, 20 – 55th birthday of the 804 (1962)