Model overview
Driving characteristics
Everyday suitability
Maintenance costs

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Porsche Boxster History

The Porsche Boxster 986 marks an important turning point in the history of Porsche. Presented in 1996, it stood as a symbol of a new era, characterized by fresh thinking and innovative design philosophies. The Porsche Boxster 986, named after its boxer engine and roadster combination, played a major role in saving Porsche from financial difficulties and ushered in the rebirth of the brand.

Retro design

With a source of inspiration dating back to the 1950s, the Porsche Boxster 986 drew on the rich heritage of the Porsche 550 Spyder. Its design and performance pay homage to this legendary vehicle while introducing modernized design features and technologies.

By the end of its production run in 2004, the Porsche Boxster 986 had undergone a series of improvements and upgrades. In its nearly nine years of production, the Porsche Boxster 986 has captivated numerous car enthusiasts with its model variants such as the Porsche Boxster S, which was introduced in 2000. With a more powerful engine and an improved braking system, the Boxster S embodied the core of the Porsche philosophy – a fusion of style, performance and a unique driving experience.

Despite its popularity and generally positive response, the Porsche Boxster 986 also had its challenges. Some models were affected by technical defects that could lead to expensive repairs over the years. Nevertheless, the car managed to maintain its place as one of the most important sports cars of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

If we look at the history of the Porsche Boxster 986, it is inevitable to acknowledge its contribution to the automotive industry and the lasting impact it has had on the Porsche brand. From its beginnings as a bold innovation to its final position as a classic in the sports car world, the Boxster 986 has left its mark.

Supply and production figures

From 1996 to 2004, when the 986 was produced, Porsche sold tens of thousands of Porsche Boxsters worldwide.

The number of Porsche Boxster 986 models still in existence today is difficult to determine, as many factors must be taken into account, including accidents, scrappage, exports and other circumstances. In addition, stock numbers vary from country to country. However, in many countries, especially in Europe and the USA, the Porsche Boxster 986 is still a fairly common sight on the roads and at car meets.

It should be noted, however, that the availability of well-preserved and well-maintained low-mileage examples is decreasing as the vehicle ages and transitions to classic status. Therefore, when looking for a Boxster 986, it is recommended to do thorough research and have the vehicle inspected by a professional.


The design of the Porsche Boxster 986 is characterized by its seamless fusion of past and present. The sleek, rounded lines and characteristic styling are a clear homage to Porsche’s historic models, especially the Porsche 550 Spyder.

The Boxster 986 is an embodiment of the classic roadster aesthetic, with a dynamic silhouette and a sleek yet exciting design. The front features the signature round headlights that lend a distinctive look, while the powerful, muscular rear section adds a touch of sporty aggression.

In the interior, the design of the follows a minimalist, driver-oriented approach. The cockpit is clearly and functionally designed, with a strong focus on the driving experience. The classic round instruments, torque-oriented transmission and ergonomic layout are examples of Porsche’s commitment to simple yet efficient design.

Over the years, Porsche has made various changes and improvements to the design. This included minor tweaks to the front and rear fascias, the introduction of LED lights and an updated interior design to emphasize modernity and luxury.

The design a timeless icon that is sure to have its place in automotive history. Despite the changes and innovations introduced in later models, the Boxster 986 remains a distinctive and admired presence on the road.

Model overview

The Porsche Boxster 986 was produced in two main variants: the standard Boxster and the Boxster S. Both models share many design features and technologies, but have significant differences in performance and equipment.

The standard Boxster, first introduced in 1996, features a 2.5-liter boxer engine that delivers an impressive 204 horsepower. In 2000, this engine was upgraded to a 2.7-liter boxer engine with 220 hp.

The Boxster S, which was first launched in 2000, places even greater emphasis on the sporty aspects of the vehicle. With a more powerful 3.2-liter boxer engine delivering 252 hp, the Boxster S offers noticeably improved driving performance. In addition, the Boxster S features improved brakes and a revised chassis that offers even better control and stability on the road.

A number of special editions were also produced over the years of production. These include, for example, the Boxster Red Edition, the Boxster S 550 Spyder 50th Anniversary Edition and the Boxster S Porsche Design Edition. Each of these special editions features unique design characteristics and enhanced features that set them apart from the standard models.

Driving characteristics

The driving comfort of the Porsche Boxster 986 is remarkable. Its well-tuned chassis, balanced weight distribution and low center of gravity ensure impressive roadholding and secure handling. The precise steering and responsive braking contribute to an overall excellent driving experience.

The Boxster 986 offers reactive and dynamic handling, which comes into its own particularly when driven in a sporty manner or on winding roads. The car has great balance and always lets the driver maintain control, even at high speed.

Inside, the Boxster 986 offers a high level of comfort. The seats are well contoured and offer both good lateral support and sufficient comfort for longer journeys. The interior noise level is acceptable, although there can be increased wind noise when the soft top is open.

Everyday suitability

The everyday practicality of the Boxster 986 is one of its great strengths. With two trunks – one in the front and one in the rear – the Boxster 986 offers more storage space than most sports cars. This flexibility makes it a thoroughly practical choice for daily trips or even weekend getaways.

The fuel consumption of the Boxster 986 is reasonable considering its performance and sportiness. With an average consumption of around 10 liters per 100 kilometers in the city and 7 liters on the highway, the Boxster 986 is comparatively economical for a car in its class.


The Porsche Boxster 986 offers a total of around 260 liters of storage space, divided between the front and rear trunks. The front trunk has a volume of about 150 liters, while the smaller rear trunk holds about 110 liters. Please note that these values vary depending on the model and year

Maintenance costs

Boxster 986 maintenance costs can vary, depending on the model and condition of the vehicle. Maintenance and repair costs can be higher than a typical family car, especially if they are older models that may require more care and maintenance.

In general, you can expect annual maintenance costs between 800 and 1200 euros, including oil changes, filter changes and general inspections. Major maintenance, such as changing the brake pads or clutch, can cost between 500 and 1000 euros.

of a class.



The Porsche Boxster 986 features a mid-engine concept. This means that the engine is located behind the driver’s cab but in front of the rear axle.

This layout has several advantages. It allows for almost perfect weight distribution, resulting in excellent handling and stability in the corners. In addition, positioning the engine in the center reduces mass at the axles, improving response time and handling.

The engine itself is a flat boxer engine with the cylinders arranged horizontally opposite each other. This helps to improve the center of gravity and balance of the vehicle. It is a feature that Porsche has made iconic with the Boxster 986 and also other models like the 911.

Porsche Boxster:

  • Engine: 2.5 liter (1996-1999), 2.7 liter (2000-2004) boxer engine
  • Power: 204 hp (2.5 L), 220 hp (2.7 L)
  • Torque: 245 Nm (2.5 L), 260 Nm (2.7 L)
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual, 5-speed Tiptronic (optional)
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 6.9 s (2.5 L), 6.7 s (2.7 L)
  • Top speed: 240 km/h (2.5 L), 253 km/h (2.7 L)

Porsche Boxster S:

  • Engine: 3.2 liter engine
  • Power: 252 hp
  • Torque: 305 Nm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 5-speed Tiptronic (optional)
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.9 s
  • Top speed: 264 km/h

Porsche Boxster 986 engines are known for their performance and durability, provided they are properly maintained and serviced. There are three main engine variants in the 986 range: the 2.5-liter, the 2.7-liter and the 3.2-liter boxer engine.

These engines offer a high level of performance and responsive handling, resulting in an excellent driving experience. They are also relatively robust and durable, with some Boxsters easily achieving high mileage.

However, there are some known issues that potential buyers should be aware of. The best known of these concerns the so-called Intermediate Shaft Bearing (IMS), which can fail on some Boxsters. This problem can lead to severe engine damage and often requires expensive replacement. It should be noted that this problem does not affect all Boxster 986 and there are upgrades and repairs that can fix the problem.

Another problem that can occur with older or high-mileage Boxster 986s is oil leaks. These can often be traced to worn seals and gaskets that need to be replaced.

Although these problems are significant, it should be emphasized that they do not affect all Boxster 986s and that the majority of these vehicles provide many years and miles of reliable service, especially when well maintained. It is always advisable to have a used vehicle inspected by a professional before you buy it to make sure it is in good condition.


Porsche Boxster 986 transmissions are generally known to be reliable, provided they are properly maintained and serviced. There are two main types of transmissions used in the Boxster 986: a manual transmission and a Tiptronic automatic transmission.

The manual transmission is particularly robust and durable, offers a very direct driving feel and allows precise control of the vehicle. In rare cases, problems such as sluggish shifting or noise may occur, but these are usually due to improper use or lack of maintenance.

The Tiptronic automatic transmission offers a slightly less sporty but more comfortable driving experience. Although it is generally considered reliable, problems can occur in some circumstances, such as jerky shifting or delayed response. However, such problems are rare and can often be prevented by regular maintenance and replacement of the transmission oil.

It is important to note that, as with any vehicle, the reliability of the transmission depends greatly on the care and maintenance it has received over its lifetime. Therefore, before buying a used Boxster 986, it is recommended to perform a thorough inspection and check the maintenance history.


The chassis of the Porsche Boxster 986 is designed for performance and handling without neglecting comfort.

At the front, the Boxster 986 features a MacPherson strut suspension with control arms, springs and gas-pressure shock absorbers. This type of suspension enables precise steering and stable handling.

At the rear, the Boxster 986 uses a modified MacPherson strut suspension, also with control arms, springs and gas-pressure shock absorbers. This suspension is designed to increase the grip and stability of the vehicle at high speed and in curves.

Both axles are also equipped with stabilizers to minimize body lean in bends and further improve handling.

The Boxster 986 features a variable damper control system (Porsche Active Suspension Management, PASM), which is available as an option. This system dynamically adjusts damping to driving conditions, allowing the driver to choose between a sportier or more comfortable setting.

Overall, the chassis of the Boxster 986 is designed for a balanced and responsive driving experience. It provides a high level of control and feedback, which contributes to the Boxster’s reputation as an excellent driver’s car.


Although the Porsche Boxster 986 is an impressive vehicle, it also has some weak points.

One of the most well-known weak points concerns the IMS bearing (Intermediate Shaft Bearing). This bearing can wear and fail over time, resulting in severe engine damage. Although not all Boxster 986s are affected by this problem, it is something that potential buyers should keep in mind.

Another common problem with the Boxster 986 is oil leaks, especially on older models. These can often be traced to worn seals and gaskets.

The plastic water pump is another weak point. It tends to fail, which can cause the engine to overheat. It is recommended to check them regularly and replace them if necessary.

Some Boxster 986 may also have problems with the transmission. In some cases, the transmissions may be difficult to shift, or noises may occur.

Despite these weak points, the Boxster 986 remains an impressive vehicle. With proper maintenance and care, it can be a reliable and exciting sports car. It is important to perform a thorough inspection before purchase and ensure that all maintenance has been properly performed.

Driving fun

The Porsche Boxster 986 is widely regarded as a fun-to-drive car. Thanks to its balanced mid-engine layout, powerful boxer engine and precise steering response, the Boxster 986 delivers a driver-focused experience that many drivers would describe as pure driving pleasure.

The Boxster 986’s handling is excellent due to the car’s near-perfect weight distribution. The steering is precise and responsive, and the car conveys a high level of control and safety. The brakes are strong and reliable, and the car remains stable even at high speeds and in sharp corners.

In addition, the Boxster 986 offers an impressive acceleration experience. The power of the boxer engine, combined with the car’s light weight and efficient transmission, ensures fast and responsive acceleration. Although the Boxster 986 is not as fast as some newer sports cars, its acceleration performance is still very satisfactory and contributes to the overall driving pleasure.

Finally, the sound of the Boxster 986 also contributes to the driving pleasure. The powerful and unmistakable sound of the boxer engine is an essential part of the driving experience and underscores the car’s sporty character.

Overall, the Porsche Boxster 986 is a car that offers a high level of driving pleasure and can put a big smile on any driver’s face.

In conclusion, the Porsche Boxster 986 is a remarkable vehicle. With its attractive design, powerful performance and high level of ride comfort, it has secured its place in automotive history. Despite some weak points, it offers an excellent driving experience and remains a popular choice for sports car enthusiasts.

Porsche Boxster 986 Datasheet


  • Engine layout: mid-mounted engine
  • Engine type: Flat six-cylinder boxer engine
  • Displacement: 2.5-liter (base model), 2.7-liter (Boxster), 3.2-liter (Boxster S)
  • Power: 150-191 kW (204-260 hp) depending on model


  • 5-speed manual transmission (standard), 6-speed manual transmission (Boxster S), 5-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission (optional)

Driving performance

  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 6.9-5.7 seconds depending on model
  • Top speed: 240-264 km/h depending on model

Dimensions and weight

  • Length: 4315 mm
  • Width: 1780 mm
  • Height: 1295 mm
  • Unladen weight: 1250-1350 kg depending on model

Consumption (combined)

  • 9.0-10.0 l/100 km depending on model and transmission

Trunk volume

  • Front trunk: 150 liters
  • Rear trunk: 110 liters

Production period

  • 1996-2004