I had the unusual opportunity to compare the original Boxster to the modern 987 back to back. It was a rush job….travelling from the UK 1200km to Stuttgart, leaving on the Plymouth to Roscoff ferry, then travelling through France, via Paris, Le Mans, Reims over the German border and on to Stuttgart. on one friday…..then hop into an original 2000 986 3.2S and back again on Sunday.
Both Porsche were great fun to drive, although to be fair, this type of journey is where a 911 excells but both old and new Boxster were definitely not out of their depth. Even at proper ‘cracking on’ speeds, you know having the needle in a place where you rarely see it…..
The two Boxster were suprisingly frugal. We averaged a shade under the 30mpg on regular unleaded, 29.5 for the 987 2.7 and 28.9 for the older 986 3.2S it seemed pretty good to me.
In practical terms the ultimate speed of the two would be pretty similar, what was obvious though was the extra mid range go of the 3.2S. I rather like these long continental road trips, especially the continued high speed and high speed corners. Having done a few miles across Europe in various 911 collecting or delivering i was impressed as to how secure they both felt on the high speed bends and in cross winds. In this respect they felt more secure than many a 911 in the same conditions.
One outstanding feature of the newer Porsche is the PASM which enables the car to wear large low profile tyres, tight suspension yet cope with poor road surfaces in comfort. This is definitely progress.
The newer Porsche 987 also had the better cabin and better seats, better climate control and of course the cabin architecture (which I had plenty of time to study) and all that is a massive leap forward. Its also got a decent glove box where the 986 simply had nothing.
Remembering that we are comparing two Boxster at significantly different values, the 3.2 S was still a pleasure, making a better noise leaving the numerous re starts (tolls) and it seemed to me to be quieter inside, or less wind noise from the hood.
It seems amazing to me that this superb Porsche, so well engineered was going to be on sale for way under ten thousand pounds, but thats the market price, yet to me, that doesnt seem enough. I s simply that there have been plenty made and supply and demand dictate that this is the market. But make no mistake, buy a good example and it will be something special to enjoy.
At 11 years old the Boxster S was without a squeak or rattle and ran circa 145-150 mph on the brief section of unrestricted Autobahn and never missed a beat, just as the newer car did. Stable, secure, good manners and reasonable economy. If you fancy one, dont hold back, just find a decent one and enjoy.
The purpose of this trip?
Alan is a previous customer living in Budapest, he bought his first Boxster (the 3.2) from me some while ago and wanted to update it and we agreed to meet half way. Having checked the European road atlas Stuttgart was approximately half way………and I had never been to the Porsche Museum.
I shall make some more post about the jems I saw inside the Porsche museum soon, I loved it in there adn would go again tomorrow, I cannot recomend it highly enough fantastic. A post on this soon.
The original Porsche Boxster design study was on display inside the museum, watch out for a post on this too.