Porsche Boxster 986 (1996-2002)

Date of unveil by Porsche AG: official photos in March 1996 (Geneva Motor Show)
Premiere: Journalist events from August 23, 1996 in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, public premiere October 3, 1996 Mondial de l'automobile Paris Motor Show
Market launch: November 1996 (as a 1997 model)

Porsche Boxster 986 with hardtop
© Porsche
MY1997 (V) MY1998 (W) MY1999 (X) MY2000 (Y) MY2001 MY2002 MY2003 MY2004
2.5 150 kW 2.7 162 kW 168 kW
S 3.2 185 kW 191 kW
S "50 Jahre 550 Spyder" Edition 3.2 196 kW
986.1 986.2

Porsche Boxster is a beautiful car, but it was not the best successor to the cars that came before - the 944 Turbo Cabriolet and the 968 Cabriolet. Luckily it didn't come immediately after the mighty 944 Turbo and there was an adoption period in the embodiment of the 968. Still, even the 968 was better than the Boxster as it had a durable and more powerful engine, and a 6-speed gearbox. Hence, the 2.5-litre normally aspirated 5-speed Boxster really was a drop. The drop was compensated by the drop in price, making the Boxster a really affordable Porsche, almost like the 914 in its days.

Technical specification and comparison to the predecessors

Engine Power Torque Transmission 60 mph 100 km/h 100 mph Top speed Weight no. of seats
1991 944 Turbo Cabriolet 2.5 inline-4 184 kW 257 lb-ft / 350 Nm 5-speed manual 5.8 sec. 6.0 sec. 162 mph / 260 km/h 1400 kg / 3086 lb 4
1992 968 Cabriolet 3.0 inline-4 176 kW 224 lb-ft / 305 Nm 6-speed manual
4-speed Tiptronic
6.3 sec.
7.7 sec.
6.5 sec.
7.9 sec.
157 mph / 252 km/h
154 mph / 247 km/h
1440 kg / 3175 lb
1470 kg / 3240 lb
4 in Europe
2 in America
1997 Boxster 2.5 flat-6 150 kW 181 lb-ft / 245 Nm 5-speed manual
5-speed Tiptronic
6.7 sec.
7.4 sec.
6.9 sec.
7.6 sec.
16.5 sec.
18.9 sec.
149 mph / 240 km/h
146 mph / 235 km/h
1250 kg / 2756 lb
1300 kg / 2866 lb
2
2000 Boxster 2.7 flat-6 162 kW 191 lb-ft / 260 Nm 5-speed manual
5-speed Tiptronic
6.4 sec.
7.2 sec.
6.6 sec.
7.4 sec.
15.9 sec
17.4 sec.
155 mph / 250 km/h
152 mph / 245 km/h
1260 kg / 2778 lb
1310 kg / 2888 lb
2
2000 Boxster S 3.2 flat-6 185 kW 225 lb-ft / 305 Nm 6-speed manual
5-speed Tiptronic
5.7 sec.
6.3 sec.
5.9 sec.
6.5 sec.
13.8 sec.
15.1 sec.
161 mph / 260 km/h
158 mph / 255 km/h
1295 kg / 2855 lb
1335 kg / 2943 lb
2
2003 Boxster 2.7 flat-6 168 kW 191 lb-ft / 260 Nm 5-speed manual
5-speed Tiptronic
6.2 sec.
7.1 sec.
6.4 sec.
7.3 sec.
157 mph / 253 km/h
154 mph / 248 km/h
1275 kg / 2811 lb
1330 kg / 2932 lb
2
2003 Boxster S 3.2 flat-6 191 kW 228 lb-ft / 310 Nm 6-speed manual
5-speed Tiptronic
5.5 sec.
6.2 sec.
5.7 sec.
6.4 sec.
164 mph / 264 km/h
160 mph / 258 km/h
1320 kg / 2910 lb
1360 kg / 2998 lb
2
DIN weight = European versions with standard equipment, 90% fuel, no driver, no cargo.


Design prototypes

Porsche Boxster 986 prototype
The door and side air intake design language seen on this prototype was used two decades later on the 981-generation Boxster © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 prototype
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 prototype
© Porsche

The BOXSTER model name was created from the BOXer engine and the roadSTER body. "Boxster" is a name difficult even to some owners - it is not uncommon to see an owner signing the car up for the Porsche club event as a "Boxter". Real Porsche fans naturally know how to write their baby's name.

The Boxster is a controversial car - it has a racecar-inspired mid-engine layout that concentrates the car’s mass near its center, but it was destined to get a rather powerless engine, and Porsche's first fully liquid-cooled boxer. Flat-6 racing engines with cooled heads had existed for long time (also used on the 959 supercar), but the new old idea was to cool the cylinders also with liquid. The Boxster engine was the first Porsche flat-6 with wet sump. Too bad. There was no room in the Boxster for the oil tank as in every air-cooled 911 and a car with the wet sump engine was slightly cheaper to manufacture. While dry sump engines are not vulnerable for lateral forces (heavy cornering during track day use), wet sump meant the Boxster was not designed for racing. Up until the Boxster, every Porsche (maybe except the heavy 928 luxury grand tourer) was designed to stand limitless track day use.

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Porsche Boxster technological package
This digital drawing from the nineties reads "986 PACKAGE" © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 technological package
© Porsche
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Clay model © Porsche

1993 test car "A4"

To test the Boxster's performance and handling before it was even created, a 911 bodyshell was modified to install axles with the geometry of the future Boxster. A mid-engined car would naturally have the wheelbase longer than on the 911. And that can be clearly seen on the test car called the "A4".

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Porsche A4 test car
The A4 test car looks like a 964 Turbo Targa (which never existed)© James Herne
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Porsche A4 test car
© James Herne
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Porsche A4 test car
© James Herne
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Porsche A4 test car
© James Herne
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Porsche A4 test car
The Boxster's 5.6"/14 cm longer wheelbase compared to the 964 shows here. Dark film on the rear glass protects from seeing the mid-mounted engine.© James Herne

As it was decided from day one that the Boxster will have a low power boxer engine, the test car was fitted with the old 911 3.2 engine, more precisely its even lower power version for USA and Japan with just 152 kW. The production Boxster would receive a 150 kW engine, but because of much smaller capacity, with less torque than on the 3.2-litre 911 engine. The weight of the 911 curb was reduced to the weight similar to the future Boxster.

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Porsche A4 test car
The axle widths of the Boxster are similar to the 964 Turbo. The rear wheel arches of the A4 test car are even wider than on the 964 Turbo.© James Herne
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Porsche A4 test car
180 degrees rotated powerplant means that under the rear lid the transmission can be seen instead of the engine. The engine is where the rear seats used to be on this 911.

Between the A4 test car and later prototypes there was a 968 Cabrio-look Boxster mule - a Boxster prototype was fitted with front end, side mirrors and rear end from a 968 Cabriolet.

Porsche Boxster 986 prototypes
Later prototypes with heavy camouflage. Although the 996 Carrera was launched a year after the Boxster, these 986 prototypes have the front spoilers of the later 996. Maybe the front spoiler seen here was first made for the Boxster and at some point reserved for the 996... © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 body structure
The Boxster has been the lightest street legal Porsche since its introduction © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 side airbag
The Boxster was the first open car to offer optional side airbags © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 crash test
It is always painful to watch such action, but this is what it takes to make these cars really good © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 crash test
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 crash test
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 aerodynamic testing in wind tunnel
Aerodynamic testing in wind tunnel with rear spoiler extended. The spoiler rises automatically at 75 mph / 120 km/h, reducing rear axle lift by 30%.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 winter test
Testing in winter conditions. Note the safety cage in the test car. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 front axle
Front axle © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 rear axle
Rear axle © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 engine assembly
Assembly of the water-cooled flat-6 at the factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 engine manufacturing
Camshaft installation © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 engine plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen
For several reasons (financial, design), the Boxster got a wet sump engine. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 engine
The engine is rather vulnerable. Fatal problems include intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing failure and cylinder wear. Google for more information and aftermarket fixes. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986  engine, transmission and exhaust package
Like in every mid-engined car, the engine belts are running behind the back of the driver © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 engine and clutch
View from the rear (from the transmission side)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 transmission
5-speed manual transmission © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 body welding at the factory
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 galvanization
Full body galvanization was implemented at Porsche decades ago and that's one of the factors that keeps the Porsche values up. The 26-step anti-corrosion and paint process enabled Porsche to warrant each car against rust perforation for 10 years and unlimited mileage. The paint finish was guaranteed for 3 years – also without mileage limitation.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 primer coated
Prime-coating © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 in the paint booth
Note the 993 behind the Boxster - there was a period from summer of 1996 until March 1998 when the production of air-cooled and water-cooled boxer-engined Porsches overlapped in Zuffenhausen© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 dashboard being mounted
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 see-through
© Porsche

The 1997 model year Boxster was introduced to hundreds of journalists in August and September 1996 in Germany. The first motor show appearance happened in Paris - press days were on October 1-2 and the public saw the car on October 3, 1996.

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Porsche Boxster with hardtop, roof rack and ski holder
Pastel Yellow Boxster with standard 16" wheels and optional equipment: hardtop, roof rack, ski holder© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 roof rack and surf board holder
Roof rack with surf board holder © James Herne
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Boxster Red interior
Invitation... © James Herne
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Silver Porsche Boxster 986 with black soft top
17" 996-look wheels (option M396)© Porsche
Porsche Boxster 986 rear spoiler rised
The rear spoiler erects from between the rear lid and the rear bumper when the speed exceeds 75 mph/120 km/h and retracts when the speed falls below 50 mph/80 km/h.
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Porsche Boxster 986 rear fender
Beautiful body © Porsche
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Original Porsche Boxster, silver with red interior
One of the first Boxsters, built in summer 1996. The car is painted in Arctic Silver Metallic and has the Boxster Red interior - typical to the press and market launch cars.© James Herne
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Boxster Red interior, Tiptronic
© James Herne

It was clear since 1993 motor show appearance of the Boxster concept that the announced low price will generate sales and that the factory capacity in Stuttgart cannot cope with that. So, a production partner was searched for and the contract was signed with Valmet Automotive car factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Valmet had produced cars for different manufacturers and they were also cabriolet specialists (they manufactured cabrios for Saab). While the Boxster production in Germany had started in summer of 1996, the production in Finland started in September 1997 with 1998 model year cars.

Production start of the Porsche Boxster in Finland in 1997
1997 September 3, the first Boxster made in Finland © Valmet Automotive

While some people might question the build quality of an external assembler, I as the author of this article, can assure they should not. I visited the Valmet factory twice during Porsche production and have visited other Porsche factories many times. For example, back in the old days, in the beginning of the new millenium, German workers were still allowed to smoke at their working stations while assembling the engines (it was permitted by the labor union and Porsche couldn't do anything about it). I didn't see anything like this at the Finnish factory. Naturally, a contract with Porsche was a big thing for them. How to tell if your Porsche was made in Germany or in Finland, check the 11th character in the VIN - "S" stands for Stuttgart and "U" for Uusikaupunki.

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Porsche Boxster 986 painted wheel centre
18" SportClassic 2-piece wheels (Exclusive option XRB) painted in body color (Exclusive option XD9)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 tonneau cover
Tonneau cover (Exclusive option X68) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986
Speedster rear (Exclusive option XAB) - looks cool, but is very impractical as you cannot close the roof© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986
Cargobox mounts can be seen on the rear lid © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 luggage case
With the cargobox mounted, the third braking lamp couldn't be seen anymore and so the cargobox had its own braking lamp. The cargobox was a Porsche Tequipment after sales item (it didn't have the option code). The optional garment carrier that fitted into the cargobox, was available from Porsche Selection.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 rear view
A third braking lamp mounted to the body can peek out thanks to the stylistic depression in the rear lid © Porsche
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Gren metallic Porsche Boxster 986
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986
18" SportDesign 2-piece wheels (911 996 GT3-look, option XRL) became available on model year 1999© Porsche
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Green metallic Porsche Boxster 986, side view
The top opens or closes electrically in 12 seconds (plus the time for locking/unlocking the mechanical catch at the front edge of the roof) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 dyno wheel
Ultra rare 17" Dyno wheels were available during model years 1999-2001 (Porsche Exclusive code XRH)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 top view
The secret of the Boxster: there is no engine lid, both lids cover the luggage compartments (both have equal size 4.6 cubic ft/130 L, but different shape) © Porsche

In August 1999 started the 2000 model year, which brought larger engines to the Boxster - 2.7-litre instead of 2.5 and a new 3.2-litre version called the Boxster S. It was initially planned to launch the 911 996 Carrera with this watercooled 3.2-litre flat-6 (but was finally launched with a 3.4-litre engine). The Boxster S was fitted with 6-speed manual transmission, but the basic Boxster remained with the 5-speed transmission (remember, the predecessor to the Boxster, the 968, was built with 6-speed as standard already from 1991).

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Boxster S logo
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 assembly at the factory
Boxster S production in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen© Porsche

Although Porsches are rarely ordered with standard wheels, it should be mentioned that while the standard wheel size for the Boxster was 16", the standard for the Boxster S was 17". The Boxster S also received larger cross-drilled brakes from the 996 Carrera 3.4. The discs were 318 mm at the front and 299 mm at the rear (regular Boxster had 298 and 292 mm discs). The 911 brake calipers were painted red for the Boxster S (yes, the brakes on the Boxster S look cooler than the same brakes on the 911). Compared to the base version, the Boxster S had stiffer shock absorbers and higher-rate springs (+25% front, +23% rear). In addition, longer rear lower control arms supposedly increased toe-in stiffness and larger wheel bearings increased camber stiffness for high-speed cornering stability. Front stabilizer bar diameter was increased from 21.6 mm to 23.6 mm (18.5 mm rear stabilizer remained the same). The Boxster S had a higher coefficient of drag (Cd) due to additional center-mounted radiator and wider tyres. The Cd of the Boxster S is 0.32 compared to 0.31 of the more aerodynamic base model. The weight distribution of the Boxster is close to fifty-fifty, with a bit more weight on the rear axle (Boxster 2.5 manual 47% front/53% rear, Boxster 2.5 Tiptronic 45/55).

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Porsche Boxster S 986
The headlamps with orange lower part were called as 'fried eggs'. These halogen lamps were standard on the 996 only on the first model year, but on the Boxster until the end of MY2002. Boxster S can be told by the central radiator. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986
Model year 2000 Boxster S with very rare Porsche Exclusive aerokit (option code XAF). Also, note the unique side skirts (they are different from the X76 side skirts in the XAA aerokit).© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986
Front spoiler of the XAF aerokit © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 in Pastel Yellow
Speed Yellow Boxster S with xenon headlamps ("Litronic" as Porsche called them, M601) and 18" 993 Turbo-look wheels (M413, available from MY1999) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S 3-spoke steering wheel with monochrome badge (model year 2000)
Boxster S instruments, mph/Fahrenheit-version. Interestingly, only on model year 2000 there was the monochrome Porsche badge on the optional 3-spoke steering wheel (the crest was colored before and after MY2000)© Porsche
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Red metallic Porsche Boxster 986 with gray soft top
17" Boxster S wheels (M400)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 fixed rear spoiler and Exclusive exhaust
Exclusive rear spoiler (option code XAG, also part of the XAF aerokit) and the sports exhaust system (option code XLF). © Porsche
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Yellow Porsche Boxster 986 S with fixed rear spoiler
Both the XAF aerokit and the XLF sports exhaust are rarities - the first one because of the price and the latter because of its weird look © Porsche
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Red metallic US-version Porsche Boxster 986
American version can be told by the rear bumperettes © Porsche
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Red metallic Porsche Boxster 986
© Porsche

There were no real changes for the 2001 model year, except the modified instrument cluster and two new wheel sets - the 17" Boxster wheels and the 17" SportClassic wheels. Rod antenna for telephone (mounted on the top of the windscreen frame) was not available anymore.

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Porsche Boxster 986 17
17" Boxster wheels (M391) were available from MY2001© Porsche
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Yellow Porsche Boxster 986
17" SportClassic wheels (Exclusive option XRA) were available from MY2001© Porsche
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Yellowe Porsche Boxster 986, side view
With its 171"/4343 mm length, the Boxster was longer than the 993-generation 911© Porsche
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Yellow US-version Porsche Boxster 986
US-version Boxster with 17" SportClassic wheels © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 with roof rack and bike carrier
18" SportClassic 2-piece wheels (XRB), roof rack (M549) and 2001 Porsche Bike FS Evolution © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 S instruments, early version vs late version
Boxster S instrument clusters: MY2000 (mph version here) vs MY2001 (km/h version here)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 gray interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 carbon centre console
Porsche Exclusive carbon parts: gear lever (X47, MY2001-2002 version), centre console (XMJ), hand brake lever (X58)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Exclsuive interior, silver centre console, telephone
MY2001-2002 version of the X97 gear lever, Arctic Silver center console (XJB), Arctic Silver instrument surround (XKX)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Exclusive interior with dark wood
Porsche Exclusive dark burr maple parts: steering wheel (XPC), instrument surround (XPX), dashboard trim strip (XNW), door panel parts (XTK) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 red interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 sports seats, yellow seat belts, yellow painted centre console
Yellow seat belts (XSY), sports seat backrests painted in exterior color (XSA), centre console painted in exterior color (XME)© Porsche

As the new generation of the 911 (996.2) was unveiled for 2002 model year and Boxster being closely tied to the 996, some changes were carried out also on the Boxster although its very mild facelift would happen a year later. The 2002 model year changes included seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, buttons with matte finish, car key with a color Porsche Crest (the car key now also controlled the optional power seat memory function) and the optional Bose sound system.

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Bose sound system in Porsche Boxster 986
Bose sound system has 10 loudspeakers © Porsche

USA versions featured the new compulsory internal anti-entrapment release for the luggage compartment. For non-criminal Europe it sounded completely weird that such a feature ever becomes necessary, but the facts speak: USA has the highest rate of prisoners compared to any country in the world and approximately 5 times/400% higher rate than in the European Union.

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Porsche Boxster 986 anti-entrapment release
Anti-entrapment release was first installed in the rear luggage compartment (USA versions produced from September 1, 2001) and then in the front luggage compartment (US versions produced from January 9, 2002). © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986
From model year 2002, the XAA aerokit became available. The GT3-look aerokit included 911 GT3 front spoiler, 911 GT3-look side skirts (option X76 when ordered separately) and a unique rear spoiler.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 beige seats and dashboard
3-spoke steering wheel (standard from MY2002), sports seats © James Herne
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Porsche Boxster 986 black alcantara interior
Sporty alcantara seat material, standard gear lever © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Exclusive interior
Alu-look: side air vent slats (CKE), central air vent slats (CKZ), dashboard trim strip (CNY) and steering wheel (CPF). Colored instrument dials (X45), exterior color painted instrument surround (XND) and centre console (XME). Y06 aluminium package incl.gear lever knob with aluminium inlay (MY2002-2004 version of X97) and handbrake lever with aluminium inlay (X98).© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Exclusive carbon interior
Porsche Exclusive carbon parts: 3-spoke steering wheel (XPD), instrument surround (XPY), center air vent bracket (XNR), dashboard trim strip (XNX), telephone handset (CED), gear lever (X47, MY2001-2002 version)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 MY2002 instruments (car with onboard computer)
Cars with optional on-board computer came with dot-matrix central display © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 manual vs Tiptronic, navigation vs radio
Note that with the optional navigation system installed, the AC unit is moved from the dashboard to the front center console. MY2002 brought matte finish buttons.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Exclusive
Boxster S with many touches by the Porsche Exclusive department, including the ugly (up to MY2002) parking sensors © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 fixed rear spoiler
This rear wing could not be ordered separately, only as part of the XAA aerokit. As the wing has the third braking lamp, the lamp's former position on the body is covered up. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 with fixed rear spoiler and GT3-look wheels
With the fixed rear spoiler, the function of the standard electrically erecting rear spoiler is blocked © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 black alcantara interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Exclusive interior, painted centre console
© Porsche

986.2

While the 996-generation 911 was facelifted for the 2002 model year (996.2), the Boxster 986 never received a real facelift, just a number of changes were carried out for the 2003 model year (986.2). The biggest news was the new roof with rear window made of real glass (and now heated). Compared to the quickly fading plastic window, it is a single reason to prefer the 986.2 over the original Boxster (986.1). The most notable new interior feature was the glove compartment. Why it had been missing for the first 6 model years, only the decision makers know. The PCM (Porsche Communication Management) was also new, with larger screen, and the retro cassette player was finally replaced with a CD-player. To be honest, the cassette player was old tech already when the Boxster came out in 1996. While the PCM 1 came with the telephone module as standard, for the PCM 2 the telephone had to be ordered separately.

A new conveniency feature was the remote controlled opening of the front and rear lids.

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Porsche Boxster 986.2, front
This is 986.2. Did the original front spoiler look better? © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 side view
18" 996 Carrera wheels © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 roof mechanism
Despite the new roof kinematics, the opening and closing still happens in only 12 seconds, as before© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 roof mechanism
The shape of the new roof is dictated by an additional, fourth roof bracket above the rear window© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 top up
New roof drops at a steeper angle than before - otherwise there would not have been room for the glass rear window (the plastic rear window used to fold in the middle when the top opened) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 blue interior, yellow exterior
© James Herne
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 side grille
Again - the original 986.1 grille might have looked better... © Porsche
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Yellow Boxster 986.2 with aerokit and Speedster rear by Porsche Exclusive
A Boxster customized at the Porsche Exclusive department © Porsche
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Boxster 986.2 with 18
18" SportTechno wheels © Porsche
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Boxster 986.2 with GT3 wheels and Speedster rear by Porsche Exclusive
The parking sensors are not as hideous as on the early cars. A car that small doesn't need them at all. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 open driving
While on the 986.1 the standard color of the steering wheel, gearshift lever, door handles and handbrake lever was black despite the interior color, from 986.2 these parts came in the same color as the interior. Previously this was available only as cost option through Porsche Exclusive. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 rear glass
Real glass rear window with heating is the biggest improvement over the original Boxster© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 rear spoiler erected
While the new rear spoiler is not beautiful, the old one was really ugly when erected - so, this is a good one! © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 rear spoiler
986.2 rear spoiler looks better also when sitting in its socket © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 rear spoiler erected
986.2 rear spoiler erected © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 with hardtop
The rear bumper looks better than on the 986.1 - controversely thanks to the useless openings© Porsche
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Yellow Porsche Boxster S 986.2 with aerokit
986.2 rear lamp lenses are white/red, without the amber part© James Herne
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 open driving
Open air driving in a beautiful Porsche roadster... © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2, yellow and red
Compared with the former 17" wheels, the new 17" wheel set is 2 kg/4.4 lb lighter and the optional 18" Carrera wheel set weighs a whopping 10.8 kg/23.8 lb less than the 911 Turbo-look wheels of the 986.1© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
Porsche Exclusive dark wood interior. Glove compartment and newer navigation system can be seen. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
Boxster S with carbon fibre interior parts, instrument faces in interior color and other Porsche Exclusive options© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
A-pillar/windscreen frame covered with exterior color leather (Porsche Exclusive option "CUT")© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 PCM 2 navigation
PCM 2 (Porsche Communication Management, version 2) navigation system has a 5.8" screen in 16:9 format. Surrounding console - with buttons, air vent and hidden cup holders - is now similar to the 996. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 cup holder
Cup holders© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive center console storage box lid (CUV)
Storage bin lid with Boxster logo on additional strap (Porsche Exclusive option CUV) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Bose subwoofer
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Bose subwoofer
Bose sound system including subwoofer was available already from model year 2002© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 sports seats
Sports seats (can be told by the shoulder supports) with painted backrests and painted roll-over protection bar (not a new feature)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 Alu-look roll over bar
Alu-look silver painted roll-over bar, yellow seat belts, painted sports seat backrest, 2-tone sun visors © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 yellow painted roll over bars, windstop
Dark blue interior, plexiglass wind deflector (Windstop)© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
So many Porsche Exclusive options could push the cost of the Boxster S near the cost of a basic 911 Carrera Cabriolet© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 with Speedster rear
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986 carbon fibre door sill
Carbon fibre door entry guards © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 gray interior
Looks rather basic compared to the cars prepared by Porsche Exclusive, but we can see many expensive options here: full leather interior, navigation system, telephone handset console...© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 interior with bucket seats
Bucket seats look superb and have no substitute on the race track, but are not so good for a daily driver© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 glove compartment
Oh, dear glove compartment - how many years did we have to wait for you! © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive interior
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive front center console
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive gear lever and handbrake lever (CVN)
Handbrake lever with painted Porsche script on aluminium insert and gear lever with aluminium insert with painted model logo (Porsche Exclusive option CVN) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive door grab handle
Porsche Exclusive door grab handle © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 Exclusive 2-tone sun visors
Porsche Exclusive two-tone sun visors© Porsche

New VarioCam technology on both the 2.7 and 3.2-litre engines increased engine output a bit and marginally reduced fuel consumption (exhaust emissions). The 986.2 introduced the “returnless” fuel supply system. Until model year 2002 any excess fuel used to flow back to the tank. The 986.2's returnless fuel system incorporates the pump, the filter and the pressure regulator in the tank, meaning that only the fuel really needed is pumped to the engine.

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Porsche 986.2 Boxster 2.7 and Boxster S 3.2 power and torque curves
986.2 Boxster 2.7 and Boxster S 3.2 power and torque curves© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 dimensions
© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster 986.2 exhaust system EU3 (Euro) vs LEV (USA)
Catalytic converters in the exhaust system: European EU3 version vs USA LEV © Porsche
100.000th Porsche Boxster made in Finland
2003 August 28, Uusikaupunki, Finland: this is 100.000th Porsche made by Valmet Automotive© Porsche

'50 Jahre 550 Spyder' edition

Porsche premiered a special edition Boxster S at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2004. The official name was "Boxster S Anniversary Edition 50 Years of 550 Spyder". Although the 1953 550 Spyder was Porsche's supercar and the Boxster is the entry level model, this Boxster S at least does not have the power-to-weight ratio worse than on the 550 Spyder half a century earlier - interestingly, they have exactly the same power-to-weight ratio. 1953 examples of the 550 Spyder edition Boxster S were made. They were painted with the Porsche supercar Carrera GT color, the GT Silver Metallic and the cocoa brown interior was also a carry-over from the Carrera GT. The soft top came also in cocoa. Alternatively the car was available with dark gray interior, black carpets and a black roof.

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Porsche Boxster S
5 mm wheel spacers (XRP) are standard on the special edition© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
18" 996.2 Carrera wheels, 7.5" wide front and 9" rear (option 411) have spokes pained in Seal Gray Metallic (special build code 191) © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
Note the unique silver-colored brake calipers. Although the 0.4"/10 mm lowered sports chassis (M030) came as standard, it was possible to order the car with normal height suspension. Cocoa-colored interior and soft top can be seen.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
Power was marginally up from 191 to 196 kW thanks to sports exhaust system (and top speed by 1 mph/2 km/h). Roll-over bars and sports seat backrests were painted in exterior color. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
Rear valance grilles are unique to the 550 Spyder edition © Porsche
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Chromium plated and polished logo© Porsche
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2004 Porsche Boxster S
Porsche Exclusive tail pipe (code XLA) is standard on the special edition © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
Special embossed leather is used on the sports seat centre parts, door grab handles, steering wheel, handbrake and gear lever. Painted in exterior color: instrument surround, 996 dashboard center frame, dashboard trim strip, center console, handbrake lever.© Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
Embossed leather on steering wheel left and right, chromium-plated instrument rings, black dial faces © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S, Tiptronic lever,
No front centre console means the '550 Jahre 550 Spyder Limited Edition Nr. xxxx/1953' plaque was fixed to the carpet (or on the optional front centre console, option 581), embossed leather on handbrake and Tiptronic levers, chrome Tiptronic gate. © Porsche
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Embossed leather gear lever with ball-shaped aluminium top (was available from Porsche Exclusive on MY2001-2002). The cars came with the short shift kit. © Porsche
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Porsche Boxster S
Unique Boxster S door sill plaque of the '50 Jahre 550 Spyder' edition © Porsche

Engine codes

Code Engine Power Torque Model Model years
M96.20 2.5 150 kW 180 lb-ft / 245 Nm Boxster 986.1 (2.5) 97 98 99
M96.21 3.2 185 kW 224 lb-ft / 305 Nm Boxster 986.1 S 00 01 02
M96.22 2.7 162 kW 191 lb-ft / 260 Nm Boxster 986.1 (2.7) 00 01 02
M96.23 2.7 168 kW 191 lb-ft / 260 Nm Boxster 986.2 (2.7) 03 04
M96.24 3.2 191 kW 228 lb-ft / 310 Nm Boxster 986.2 S 03 04

Interestingly, the Boxster 986 engine codes are not related to type 986 (they are not M86), but to 911 996 (M96).

Transmission codes

Code Transmission Model Model years
G86.00 5-speed manual Boxster 2.5 97 98 99
G86.01 5-speed manual Boxster 2.7 00 01 02 03 04
G86.20 6-speed manual Boxster S 00 01 02 03 04
A86.00 5-speed Tiptronic Boxster 2.5 97 98 99
A86.05 5-speed Tiptronic Boxster 2.7 00 01 02 03 04
A86.20 5-speed Tiptronic Boxster S 00 01 02 03 04



Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


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Anniversaries
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Mar, 12 – 49th birthday of the 917 (1969)