Published in the June 2017 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”

Ⓒ2016 Technolab /

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Happy Porsche'ing,

The second generation Boxster (987) came to the US market as a 2005 model together with the 997 Carrera.

It was a revamped version of the original and although the interior and exterior were all new (Porsche claims that 80% of the 987 is new) the engines and transmissions were for the most part a carry-over from the 986, albeit with the obligatory modest bump in performance for both the base (2.7 L now with 237 HP) and the “S” version (3.2 L now with 276 HP).

One of the main differences between the engines was that the M97 engines now sported the larger single row IMS bearing that is not replaceable without cracking open the engine case.  They also differed in that the M97 engines have a mechanical vacuum pump and an electronic oil management system which did away with the oil dipstick.

For model year 2006 the BIG Boxster news was the introduction of the Boxster hard-top version: The Cayman. Porsche decided to place the Cayman a bit above the Boxster in price and therefore offered a bit better engine performance than it’s sibling.  This didn’t make sense because it’s more expensive to make a convertible than it is to make a hardtop and Porsche was the only car maker placing its convertible bellow the hardtop in pricing.  This would last into 2017 when Porsche finally decided to correct the pricing structure of its mid-engined platforms by selling the Cayman for a bit less than the Boxster.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. 

Let’s look back to model year 2007. 

The interior and exterior remained mostly the same, but the engines now offered the VarioCam Plus which squeezed a bit more horsepower from the powerplants (241 HP for the base and 291 HP for the “S”).

For 2008 Porsche offered the Boxster S with a bigger engine displacement (3.4 L instead of 3.2 L) and they also added Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) just as they had done on the 997 Carrera.

For the base model, displacement also increased from 2.7 L to 2.9 L although they did not include DFI on the smaller power plant.

Nevertheless a new transmission, the Doppelkupplunggestribe or double clutch PDK with 7 speeds became an option on both Boxster versions.

Up to now the engines were still considered 987 type engines with an Intermediate Shaft (IMS).  This engine together with its predecessor, the 986 which also shared the same basic design and IMS and had been plagued with engine failures and Class Action Lawsuits, were now being replaced with a brand new design without an IMS: The 91A type engine.

From model year 2009 through 2012 these cars are known as the 987 Gen II.

And again, as customary, Porsche had been bumping up performance year over year.  The 2009 base offered 255 HP while the “S” had 310 HP.  Performance (zero to sixty times) would also improve by 0.3 seconds with the PDK and Sport Plus options.

With the introduction of the 91A engine Porsche was getting ready for another revamping of the Boxster.  That happened in model year 2013 with the introduction of the Boxster 981, but that’ll be detailed in The Boxster Story, part 3.

Again, as customary, the factory offered several Special Edition cars:

2007 - RS60 Spyder.  Only 1960 units were made.  This car celebrated Porsche’s 1960 overall win of the 12 Hours of Sebring with the 550 Spyder.  Offered with a Carrera GT Silver exterior and Carrera Red interior and top.  Many options came as standard in the package.  The engine had 300 HP and the MSRP was $64,900.

2008 - Porsche Design Edition 2. A very restricted production run of 500 cars. Only 50 of them were destined to North America (USA 32, Canada 18).  This version was offered in Carrara White, two-tone black/grey interior and light grey stripes on the exterior.  It had basically the same performance specs as the “normal” production cars. MSRP: $66,900.

2008 - Limited Edition. Offered in eye-catching GT3 RS Orange exterior and Alcantara and orange-accents interior.  250 base cars and 250 “S” cars were produced and offered at $49,900 and $59,900 respectively. This Special Edition Boxster has been one of the most popular Boxsters and considered by some as one of the top 15 most desirable Porsches.

2011 - Boxster Spyder.  A higher-performance Boxster was introduced this year. 

It was the lightest Porsche offered, weighing in at only 2,811 lbs.  It had a manual convertible top and many aluminum components such as doors, trunk lid and hood.  It also came standard without air conditioning or radio, although you could add those back for a fee.  This car was offered in 2010 as a 2011 model and only in the “S” version.  The engine produced 320 HP. MSRP: $61,200.

Next month is the conclusion of the Boxster Story with the final chapter (part 3)