Think Outside of the Box: The Porsche 986 Boxster
The 986 Boxster offers you an easy and exciting route to Porsche ownership.
Imagine this, you’re a car enthusiast living along the West Coast or in one of Johannesburg’s gated townhouse complexes, and you’re looking for something that you take on a leisurely and/or spirited drive on weekends with the wind in your hair without breaking the bank.
Well, there are tons of cars that offer that experience but there’s only one that does it with bucketloads of pedigree and the ability to make you feel extra special when you’re behind the wheel. So, which car am I speaking about? Surprise surprise, it’s the Porsche 986 Boxster.
Launched in 1996, the Porsche 986 Boxster garnered a reputation as the car people loved to hate. I guess that comes from the constant comparison with the 911 of the era but in all honesty, the Boxster represents everything you could want from a sports car and it’s fast becoming a future classic.
So why should you buy a Porsche Boxster?
It’s a Porsche
The 986 Boxster carries a hallowed badge. If you love cars, then you know the legacy which the Porsche name carries and the beauty of the Boxster is that unlike Porsche’s other attempts at sportscars like the 944, it carries with it traditional Porsche elements like the flat-6 boxer engine.
The 986 Boxster was available with three engine options throughout its lifespan. The smallest engine available was a 2.5 which produced 150kW and was available from 1996 to 1999. In 2000, Porsche replaced the 2.5 with a 2.7 producing 162kW together with a 184kW 3.2 which was available in the Boxster S model.
The 986 underwent another host of engine upgrades in 2003 which saw the 2.7’s power pumped up to 165kW while the 3.2 was given 190kW.
When the 986 was launched, Porsche equipped it with either a 5-speed manual or their 5-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, while later cars were lucky enough to receive a 6-speed manual.
All of the gearbox options are extremely good, especially when properly maintained and choosing the right options comes down to your preference. If you enjoy leisurely cruises or wish to use your Boxster as a daily driver (something very possible with a Porsche) then you may prefer the auto option. If you prefer a more hands-on driving experience, then the manual options are more up your alley…but try to get a 6-speed car if you can.
Being a flat-6, the 986 Boxster brings with it a wonderful sound. Forget turbocharges or growling V8s, a flat-6 Porsche engine has a very distinct sound and if you are a car person you will know exactly what I am speaking about. The added advantage you get with the Boxster is that with the top down, you can experience that glorious sound even more, adding that little bit of extra excitement to the driving experience.
There are also quite a few aftermarket exhaust options available for the 986 which will allow you to amplify that sound while releasing a few extra kilowatts in the process.
The 986 Boxster is mid-engined meaning that the weight of the engine is placed at the optimum point within the car. Now, if you know anything about cars and handling dynamics, you will know that placing the engine as close to the middle of the car as possible improves handling and that’s why leading supercars from Bugatti to Pagani all use this layout. Couple this with the flat-6 engine layout and the Boxster has the added advantage of a lower centre of gravity.
Now we get to the best part of the 986 Boxster, the price! If you have R180,000 you can get your hands on a good example but if you are willing to spend in the region of R250,000 you can get your hands on a very good S model. There was a special edition 550 Spyder model available and these trade for around R400,000 depending on whether you can find one.
Whichever price bracket you find yourself in, try and find a facelifted model with clear indicators both front and rear. These look more modern, or you could search the internet to find a set of lights with clear lenses if your specific car has the older orange indicators.
Overall, the 986 Boxster offers a fantastic package for anyone who is looking for an enjoyable car and to live out their dream of owning a vehicle with Stuttgart’s famous golden crest.
Looking for your dream Porsche? The ClickaCar Virtual Showroom is where you will find it.