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"Drivers" Boxster S...help

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Old 11-28-2017, 02:15 AM
  #1
ChristyT
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Default "Drivers" Boxster S...help

My husband and I are the happy owners of a 991.1 Carrera S manual cab. It is loaded with every option; sport seats, PDCC, sport exhaust, and it is a great car. With that said, I like the idea of a fun weekend car, and have narrowed the search to a Boxster S or Cayman S platform. We have found an enthusiast-ordered one for sale about 4 hours away, but it is a spartan build. 19" wheels, base stereo, but it does have most performance options; manual, sport seats, PASM, sport exhaust. The price seems reasonable (high 30's) as is the mileage. We are really trying to keep it under $50k on this car.

My questions:

1) will the Boxster S be underwhelming, coming from a 400hp 911? Or does it do what it does well? We owned a 997.2 base 911 way back when, and it certainly didn't feel "underpowered". But now that I am calibrated to that 991 rocket ship....

2) base stereo: bit letdown or is it simply a noisy car with worthless audio no matter what? The 991 has Burmester, but it's a loud cabin and the exhaust noise drowns it out (which is not a bad thing).

3) PASM is OK as a fun car? I know a lot here prefer the X73 from what I gather.

4) depreciation: I take it 981's don't hold value well, based on the selling price of this car. It is has lost around $1500 per 1,000 miles driven. Ouch! Does that mean that in 5 years, the car will be worth around $9,000 with the 5,000 per year I plan to drive it?

5) anyone put a hidden (license plate) hitch on a 981? We would like to take it on vacation and carry a small trailer. I have seen them on the 987 chassis.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:20 AM
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  1. I don't have any high power cars, so I can't really say. The nimbleness is lots of fun.
  2. I've never listened to the base stereo. I have the Bose system in my 987 Boxster - it sounds decen't when moving slowly, but it is a noisy car, so it's not very useful at highway speeds. The engine should make for a good sountrack.
  3. PASM is great.
  4. High 30s sounds like a really good price to me if it's in good condition. Even after the currency conversion, I don't see anything comparable near that price range where I am in Canada. Be aware that price fluctuates seasonally, and it's near the bottom of the cycle right now. I don't expect quick depreciation - quite the opposite really, given that it's the last 6 cylinder NA Boxster. It'll definitely be worth much more than just $9k in 5 years. I'd happily buy it off you for $15k US or more by then.
  5. Didn't know those existed.
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:28 AM
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You're going to have to answer most of those questions on your own as they're very subjective, but I'll take a stab:

1. No, it won't feel underwhelming. If you want to race it or run at high RPM all day using the 400HP you may be disappointed, but very very few owners actually do that. FWIW, 400HP is not exactly a rocket ship this day and age anyway, you could have a 600-700HP car for the price of the 911 but you chose it for many other reasons.
2. Base is pretty bad, bose is okay. If you care about music, I'd get at least bose.
3. PASM is fine, and can be tuned to be awesome via DSC.
4. Did you look at cayman and boxster values? Not sure how you could think it will be sub $10k since the average ask on a 2006-2008 Cayman S is still about $25k and that's a 10 year old car.
5. No answer for this one.
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by PorscheAddict View Post
You're going to have to answer most of those questions on your own as they're very subjective, but I'll take a stab:

1. No, it won't feel underwhelming. If you want to race it or run at high RPM all day using the 400HP you may be disappointed, but very very few owners actually do that. FWIW, 400HP is not exactly a rocket ship this day and age anyway, you could have a 600-700HP car for the price of the 911 but you chose it for many other reasons.
2. Base is pretty bad, bose is okay. If you care about music, I'd get at least bose.
3. PASM is fine, and can be tuned to be awesome via DSC.
4. Did you look at cayman and boxster values? Not sure how you could think it will be sub $10k since the average ask on a 2006-2008 Cayman S is still about $25k and that's a 10 year old car.
5. No answer for this one.
Agree with these points.
Had PASM on the 13' and it was enjoyable.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:11 PM
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Dr.Bill
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I think you already have a fun weekend car in the C2S cab.
However, the Boxster will have a more sports car like drive. Not the great steering of the 987 variants, but pretty good. The improved handling will likely make up for the HP deficit. PASM is fine. Base stereo isn't great, but that can be upgraded if desired. The majority of the depreciation has already happened. Once everything goes to forced induction, it may actually be more desirable.

Drive one first and you will know right away if it's for you. If you want something even more different than your C2S, look at the Cayman R or 987 Boxster Spyder. Now, those would be fun weekend cars for sure.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:55 PM
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If you plan to track the car at all, I’d go with a Cayman. However, for typical weekend fun the Boxster will be great! I have the base audio in my Cayman though and it is very poor. Kind of like AM radio from the 70’s.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:26 PM
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I've owned both simultaneously. Two comments. First, PASM, while great, is not an enthusiast build option. X73 is what you want if performance is really what you're after, though the PASM will offer a more comfortable ride. Not sure if looks matter to you, guessing no, but if so, know that the stance of an X73 car is much nicer than a PASM car IMO. Second, you will definitely notice the power difference, but the 981S cars are still quick enough to have fun. And while they're not as fast down a twisty road as a 991 in reality, they will feel more go karty to drive. If that's your thing, you'll really like the car. One good hard test drive and you'll know whether it's right for you.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:30 PM
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The Boxster/Cayman feels a bit "cheaper", just as it is cheaper when buying. Deprecation in percent is not that different from a 991, except for very attractive 991 cars.

The major difference when driving hard is actually the brakes. The 981 and 718 brakes have a significantly less decisive feeling.

The base stereo is actually a better starting point for putting your own better speakers. The bose isn't much to write home about, sound quality of any quality aftermarket speakers easily beats it. You will not have a pre-existing subwoofer install, though.
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ChristyT View Post
My husband and I are the happy owners of a 991.1 Carrera S manual cab. It is loaded with every option; sport seats, PDCC, sport exhaust, and it is a great car. With that said, I like the idea of a fun weekend car, and have narrowed the search to a Boxster S or Cayman S platform. We have found an enthusiast-ordered one for sale about 4 hours away, but it is a spartan build. 19" wheels, base stereo, but it does have most performance options; manual, sport seats, PASM, sport exhaust. The price seems reasonable (high 30's) as is the mileage. We are really trying to keep it under $50k on this car.

My questions:

1) will the Boxster S be underwhelming, coming from a 400hp 911? Or does it do what it does well? We owned a 997.2 base 911 way back when, and it certainly didn't feel "underpowered". But now that I am calibrated to that 991 rocket ship....

2) base stereo: bit letdown or is it simply a noisy car with worthless audio no matter what? The 991 has Burmester, but it's a loud cabin and the exhaust noise drowns it out (which is not a bad thing).

3) PASM is OK as a fun car? I know a lot here prefer the X73 from what I gather.

4) depreciation: I take it 981's don't hold value well, based on the selling price of this car. It is has lost around $1500 per 1,000 miles driven. Ouch! Does that mean that in 5 years, the car will be worth around $9,000 with the 5,000 per year I plan to drive it?

5) anyone put a hidden (license plate) hitch on a 981? We would like to take it on vacation and carry a small trailer. I have seen them on the 987 chassis.
Lots of good comments and lots of subjective thoughts here, so I'll just add that you will notice the power difference, but to answer your question, yes, the 981 platform does what it does well. Perhaps the best of just about any car out there. Even the 911! It's not the fastest car out there (far from it), but in the curvies, there are few that will deliver anywhere near as much fun as the 981.

Originally Posted by squid42 View Post
The Boxster/Cayman feels a bit "cheaper", just as it is cheaper when buying. Deprecation in percent is not that different from a 991, except for very attractive 991 cars.

The major difference when driving hard is actually the brakes. The 981 and 718 brakes have a significantly less decisive feeling.

The base stereo is actually a better starting point for putting your own better speakers. The bose isn't much to write home about, sound quality of any quality aftermarket speakers easily beats it. You will not have a pre-existing subwoofer install, though.
A bit cheaper? No, not in any way. It is every bit a Porsche with comparable build quality to any 911. It's smaller, less powerful and has less tech, but it certainly doesn't feel any cheaper. Fit and finish - the things most notice that give that "cheap" feeling - are no different. Pretty sure Porsche wouldn't allow that, because if they do, the things they could get away with would creep into other platforms.

I haven't spent enough time driving 911s to really compare braking, but in my BS, I can say the brakes are not indecisive in any way. Perhaps because the brakes in the S are straight out of the 911?
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:41 PM
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Call me crazy but the "sense of speed" I get in my 981 GTS is greater than the M4 I traded in for it, despite being at a 100 horsepower deficit. I also test drive quite a few 911s and wasn't blown away by the difference.

Also taking a look at the numbers for the Boxster S, they're not far off the M4 or the 991.1 for that matter... 0-60 in 3.9, 1/4 mile in 12.2 (with PDK) for the 911, 0-60 in 4.2, 1/4 mile in 12.8 for the Boxster S (also PDK). That is fast by any standards.

Also I agree with many other sentiments here- one drive is all it will take. To my experience, there's nothing else out there that rivals the experience. Porsche has cornered the market on fun factor cars with the Cayman/Boxster.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
A bit cheaper? No, not in any way. It is every bit a Porsche with comparable build quality to any 911. It's smaller, less powerful and has less tech, but it certainly doesn't feel any cheaper. Fit and finish - the things most notice that give that "cheap" feeling - are no different. Pretty sure Porsche wouldn't allow that, because if they do, the things they could get away with would creep into other platforms.
My impression is that compared to the 991s, 981s were more likely to be ordered with low-end interior materials -- no leather, no aluminum, no optional trim pieces. That will have the effect of making a random sample of 981s feel cheaper than a similar selection of 991s, even though most of the same options were available for both.

It's a good idea to insist on leather door panels if buying a used 981, because they appear to be less susceptible to warping due to adhesive failure. If/when that happens, it will (reportedly) cost thousands of dollars to fix outside of warranty.

I haven't spent enough time driving 911s to really compare braking, but in my BS, I can say the brakes are not indecisive in any way. Perhaps because the brakes in the S are straight out of the 911?
True, that makes no sense at all. The brakes on a 981, and especially a 718, are awesome. If they don't inspire confidence, something's wrong with them (or with the driver).
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Pep!RRRR View Post
I have the base audio in my Cayman though and it is very poor. Kind of like AM radio from the 70’s.
I guess everyone is different. I haven't even turned my electronic audio system on yet. Hopefully it works. Well, actually, I don't care - the mechanical audio system works fine. The only reason I'd care is if I ever go to sell it.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:39 PM
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I would posit that for a fun counterpart car, all you need is a Boxster S manual with heated/cooled seats on the standard suspension. You already own an extremely advanced machine. A good Boxster S is about as “drivers” as you can get. And no Sport Chrono: rev-match yourself.

Might I suggest:
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IMHO: for a dual duty, track/street machine, Spasm would be preferable, but the suppleness of the base suspension belies just how much grip,
feedback and precision is available at 8/10ths, which is all you will see on the street.

Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:25 AM
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My take...

1. The 981S will definitely not be underwhelming, especially if you push it. The balance and capability of the chassis will blow your mind when you start exploring its potential on twisty roads. Having driven my fare share of 911’s of similar era’s what I have found to be the primary difference between it and the Boxster/Cayman is the power delivery. The 911’s power comes on at lower RPM’s and stays relatively consistent through the power band while the mid engine cars need to be above 3500 RPM before the power really kicks in. If you keep it above 3500 RPM the power will feel just as good IMHO.

2. I ordered the base stereo for my Spyder and I have found that if you get the settings right it actually sounds decent. You do need to adjust the fader, bass and treble. Once you get above 50 mph with windows down/top off it really doesn’t matter what you have, it all gets washed out by the air moving around the car. My point, don’t focus on the stereo.

3. If you can find the x73 I would go for it, otherwise PASM or perhaps standard shocks and an aftermarket option? If you end up with PASM there’s an aftermarket controller which improves upon the standard software to help keep the car flat during hard cornering, braking and acceleration.

4. I would say most of the depreciation on these cars occurs within the first three to four years of ownership and then it tapers off as long as you take care of the car mechanically and cosmetically. With the 981 being one of the last NA cars it will likely hold its value better than the rest as it represents the high water mark for the mid engine NA cars.

5. There’s lots of storage in these cars, more than the 911. What do you want to be able to haul?
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ChristyT View Post
My husband and I are the happy owners of a 991.1 Carrera S manual cab. It is loaded with every option; sport seats, PDCC, sport exhaust, and it is a great car. With that said, I like the idea of a fun weekend car, and have narrowed the search to a Boxster S or Cayman S platform. We have found an enthusiast-ordered one for sale about 4 hours away, but it is a spartan build. 19" wheels, base stereo, but it does have most performance options; manual, sport seats, PASM, sport exhaust. The price seems reasonable (high 30's) as is the mileage. We are really trying to keep it under $50k on this car.

My questions:

1) will the Boxster S be underwhelming, coming from a 400hp 911? Or does it do what it does well? We owned a 997.2 base 911 way back when, and it certainly didn't feel "underpowered". But now that I am calibrated to that 991 rocket ship....

2) base stereo: bit letdown or is it simply a noisy car with worthless audio no matter what? The 991 has Burmester, but it's a loud cabin and the exhaust noise drowns it out (which is not a bad thing).

3) PASM is OK as a fun car? I know a lot here prefer the X73 from what I gather.

4) depreciation: I take it 981's don't hold value well, based on the selling price of this car. It is has lost around $1500 per 1,000 miles driven. Ouch! Does that mean that in 5 years, the car will be worth around $9,000 with the 5,000 per year I plan to drive it?

5) anyone put a hidden (license plate) hitch on a 981? We would like to take it on vacation and carry a small trailer. I have seen them on the 987 chassis.
Christy, let me take a stab at addressing your concerns.

1. Having come from a 996 4S, the 981S has a completely different feel. The 911 is obviously much larger, has a "back seat" (sort of) and is rear engine. The mid-engine roadster is a very different experience. As much as I loved my 996, the Boxster is as solid, and just more fun. I don't think you'd find it underwhelming.

2. I have a Bose in my car, which is quite adequate, top up or down. No it's not the quality of a Burmeister, but it's a nice unit.

3. PASM is great - especially with 20" tires and sport exhaust. The suspension feels taut, but not bone jarring. I went with that over the x73 for that reason.

4. As the very last of the normally aspirated sixes in the Boxster (unclear what the new 718 Spyder will have), I and many others think the 981's will actually hold their value well.

5. Can't answer that one.

PM Sent!! Good luck with your search.
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