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Base or S model, is the price difference worth it?

 
Old 04-28-2019, 12:56 PM
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profire
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Default Base or S model, is the price difference worth it?

Hello all, my wife and I are looking to purchase a 987 or 981. I have been researching the forums, reading and watching reviews,and learning what to look for in a used Boxster. Although I would much prefer the S model I'm still undecided on which one to get especially since the S commands considerably more money in the DFW area. For those that have the base model are you ever disappointed in the performance (power wise) and wish you would have bought the S model?

I am currently looking into the 2012 to 2014 models.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:47 PM
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Kayaknfly
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I have a base 08. Having driven it back to back with an 09 S (friends car and we do drives together) I’ll say that yes the S has more power and feels quicker(both manuals). Not by a lot though. Maybe .4-.5 seconds quicker to 60 with a real world driver at the wheel and not dropping the clutch for a hard launch. The S has more low end Torque whereas the base you really have to keep the RPMs up high. I throughly enjoy the base and it allows you to explore the full rev range without greatly exceeding the speed limit. Depends what you’re looking for. If it was my only car I’d probably get an S to have the extra power but I have another car for power, so the base is great for other then straight line speeds. Nothing quite like hearing that engine at high RPMs. Also if you track/hpde a base will teach you to keep up your speeds in the corner more, as you won’t have the power to overcome corner mistakes. When I got my cayman base the price was almost $10k difference and wasn’t justified for what I’d be using the car for. Daily driver/only car I might have got the S. Drive them both and see if you need the extra umph!
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:56 PM
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CornerOffice
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Many here including me search nationally for best selection and price. I have bought three CPO cars this way without drama (PPI for peace of mind and eyes on the ground). I suggest you stretch your budget for a 981S.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:25 PM
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profire
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Originally Posted by CornerOffice View Post
Many here including me search nationally for best selection and price. I have bought three CPO cars this way without drama (PPI for peace of mind and eyes on the ground). I suggest you stretch your budget for a 981S.
Is the 981 that much better than a 987.2?.........For some reason (being a Porsche novice) I was under the impression that the 981 started in 2015 year model. 2012 was first year for 981 correct?
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:47 PM
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I am afraid that the question you pose can only be answered by yourself, by test driving both models and then deciding if the price differential is worth it to you. Having owned both cars, I would say that for me it depends more on other factors (condition, color, options, ease and convenience of the purchase, etc) than just the power of the engine. So, if you find a car that you and your wife really like, that "hits you" as the saying goes, then buy it regardless of whether it is a base or an S, and don't look back. A Boxster is an enjoyable car regardless of the specific version. Good luck.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:09 PM
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2012 is the last year of the 987.2. 2014 is a 981. I have a base 2010 987.2 manual Cayman and honestly do not regret exploring the rev range of my Porsche. I mean revving your Porsche out...how can you not enjoy that. Hell, 166mph was Porsche’s claimed top speed for a gen 2 base and Porsche routinely underrates EVERYTHING.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:16 PM
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I drive a base model 987.2 Boxster with sport chrono and PDK and it isn't at ALL too slow for non-track driving. I've had cars with more HP...in fact almost all of the sports cars I've owned over the past nearly 20 years have had more power...but this car doesn't feel underpowered in the slightest.

Your mileage may vary, of course but I challenge you to drive a base model first before convincing yourself you need more.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:02 PM
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I know its slightly different than what you are considering but I regretted a base 2002 986. For all I know the newer base models youre considering are more engaging but when looking to upgrade to a 987 I had two requirements: manual transmission and an S. Perhaps because my dd is a 416 hp Lexus ISF and 214 hp was just too significant when I got in the Porsche, or maybe just because I knew I could financially swing the S version, I dont know. I just know I never again want to question my decision when I could have afforded the better performance and passed to save money. My Porsche is pleasure only, so again you may have slightly different priorities.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:18 PM
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The base engine is a sweetheart to rev and does so beautifully. My best friend has a Base Cayman and it doesn't feel underpowered at all. A Plenum, TB and a tune will bring it to S power levels. That being said - I got an S and had it shipped 2800 miles.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:49 PM
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MidEngineRules
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S is always worth the price difference, especially used where you do not pay the original premium. You automatically get a bigger more powerful 3.4 liter motor and larger more powerful brakes with red calipers. Usually with an S you get more options as dealers typically kept base models very basic for the ones they spec'd. In the 987.1 the S is typically the difference between 5 and 6 speeds, although you can get a 6 speed 987 base with sport chrono. Those are very hard to find. Some of the best used Porsches are 2008 Boxsters. Look for the orange limited edition base or S. The 2008 RS60 Spyder is a true gem and the first Boxster over 300 hp. An S with sport chrono, Bose, sat nav, and power memory seats are usually good starts. Even better if it has Porsche Sport Exhaust (PSE). Base models with those options are hard to come by. With the 981 you do get some feature upgrades, a bit more modern car, and PDK is much quicker than in the 987.2.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:23 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I have a few to go test drive. I think fgv1it has the right approach.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:38 PM
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Love my 987.1 base.
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:40 PM
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My wife moved from a 987.2 base Boxster to a 2013 981 base Boxster a year ago. She enjoyed her 987 because she could feel and hear everything the car was doing and the 981 is more refined and feels larger somehow. Her opinion. Both were/are trouble free. I find 981 more fun to drive around town than my car. I autocross both cars and although I do need to adjust my driving style on the Boxster it is just as much fun to drive. On the track I would also enjoy the Boxster but my wife would never let me take her car out there. You haven’t stated your intended use but other than maybe drag racing, base or S would be a great car. These cars are all about the balance and handling and either base or S will have that. As someone said you need to find a car with the options you want at a price you think is fair and enjoy it. Good luck with the hunt.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:25 AM
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saabin
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Are you talking Boxster or Cayman?

I've got a '14 Cayman S that you could test drive if you like. I'm local to you, send me a PM and we can setup a private test drive to see how you like the "S".
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:19 AM
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Good luck in your search! Nothing beats test driving the various options you are considering. Base 987 gets my vote FWIW. Crazy bang for the buck.

Let us know your impressions once you have a chance to sample some cars.
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