PORSCHE Boxster S
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Unlike its Boxster brother, the S version of the mid-engined Porsche roadster offered a 3.4-liter unit from its predecessor, but with some improvements and a lower vehicle mass.
The Boxster S showed the world that the mid-engine cars might not be as expensive as a Diablo or a Ferrari. It might be even cheaper than the rear-engine 911 and still be fast and fun to drive. That’s why Porsche developed the Boxster S, a car that shared some of its parts with its bigger, and more notorious, brother.
From the outside, the 2012 Boxster S took a different design path than the 911. The round headlights were gone and sleeker, swept, lamps were installed. A typical design element for the Boxster was the front apron, with bigger side-scoops than the central one, which was placed on the lower side. The fenders were still higher than the hood, but not as much as before. In the back, a double-round exhaust was installed. The Boxster S needed only 9 seconds to open or close the top, at speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph).
The two-seat roadster featured a clean design interior, with influences from the Carrera GT super sports-car. A new CDR infotainment unit with a 7” touch-screen was fitted as standard on the center stack. There was also a new, 4.6”, multi-function display on the right side of the instrument cluster. As usual, the center position was secured for the analog tachometer.
The 2012 Boxster S didn’t play the downsize game and kept its 3.4-liter flat-six engine, but slightly better. It offered 311 hp and enough torque to push the car to 100 kph (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds if the car was fitted with PDK (automatic dual-clutch).
The 2008 facelift of the Boxster S is powered by a new direct-injection 3.4-liter Boxer engine which develops more power than the earlier variant. The styling got a bit updated with some redesigned headlight casings, taillights, and bumpers, while the interior got new infotainment and more material/color combinations.
There’s a revised 6-speed manual as well as a new 7-speed PDK gearbox that further improves performance. For the vehicles equipped with Sport Chrono Package or Sport Chrono Package Plus, a launch-control program is available.
A limited Boxster S Black Edition was introduced in 2011, coming with 20 more hp, blacked-out interior, and exterior as well as standard anti-dazzle mirrors, automatic wipers, cruise control, climate control and more.
For better handling, the Boxster is fitted as standard with the PSM (Porsche Stability Management) and the optional PASM suspension. At the touch of a button, this system changes damper forces for sport or for comfort.
For more performance, the Boxster S is available with a limited-slip differential that can put more grip on the tarmac. For better lap-times, it is best to have this feature installed if the optional 235/40 ZR 18 tires at the front and 265/40 ZR 18 tires at the rear are installed. For better stopping power, the Boxster S has an optional carbon-ceramic disc brakes o 319 mm (12.51”) on the front and 299 mm (11.77”) on the rear.
The second generation of Porsche Boxster came out in 2004 at the Paris Motor Show and shared almost the same design with its predecessor.
The mid-engine Porsche was a long time dream, which began in the late ’60s with the introduction of the Porsche 914. But it was too soon and that car failed. When the Boxster was introduced, the market was ready and, despite all the initial critics, it started to be recognized as a nimble, balanced car. It wasn’t the “poor’s man’s 911” anymore.
On the outside, the second generation was quite similar to its predecessor. The designers aimed to offer an evolution more than a revolution. The headlights lost the 996-generation look and a clear-lens system was adopted. The front bumper featured a centrally-mounted slim grille and to wider on its sides. Since the car featured a mid-mounted engine, the air-intakes on the sides were far more important. The centrally-mounted dual exhaust system was inspired by former glories from the race-tracks.
The two-seat roadster was available with a removable hard-top, which had to be left in the garage, while the soft-top was there when rain could try to spoil a pleasant drive. Inside, the racing heritage was noticeable due to the classic, centrally-mounted, tachometer. The leather upholstery was standard and the trims could have been ordered with a choice of wood or aluminum. For the infotainment system, a Porsche Communication Management with Bose sound was available as an option.
The 3.2-liter flat-six engine was mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission, while a 5-speed Tiptronic S (automatic) with manual override to select gears was on the options list. The Porsche Stability Management was fitted as standard.
The Boxster S was revised along with its Boxster version in 2002.
It brought some improvements in the engine department and a fix for the rear window.
The 2002 Boxster came on the market with new engines and new options. It also had a new face, but not that different than the first generation. And while most of the people hoped to have the IMS bearing problem fixed, it was even worse and affected 8% of the cars instead of only 1% for the Boxsters built before 2000. That was caused by the use of single-row bearings instead of double-row bearings.
From the outside, the 2002 Boxster S featured an apron with three air-intakes, one more than the non-S version. The central one was needed for an extra radiator, which was not installed for the simple Boxster. On top of that, it looked better. The small air-intakes on the rear fenders were considered enough for the new engine range. A big improvement was the introduction of a glass rear window instead of the plastic one. A double round exhaust was placed under the rear bumper, in the middle.
The 3.2-liter unit was installed in the Boxster since 2000, but after the facelift it was improved by 10 hp, reaching 258 hp. It was paired as standard with a 6-speed manual, or a 5-speed Tiptronic (automatic) as an option. As expected, the manual version was quicker and faster.
When it was introduced in 1996, the Boxster was a shock and some considered it as the “poor’s man Porsche”.
But the mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, Boxster S was something better than expected.
Yes, it was cheaper than the 911, but it was nimble and still a daily driver. The smaller engine, the low driving position, and the nimble handling made some 911 owners change their minds and reconsider the base-model from the German car-maker. After all, it was the sequel after the 1969 Porsche 914.
The design was inspired by former glory models such as the 356 Cabriolet and the 550 Spyder. The front fascia was on the same page with the Porsche 911 – 996 model. The low front end was possible due to the lack of engine and the rear rounded back was possible due to the mid-mounted engine. Two side air-intakes were mounted to feed and cool the water-cooled engine.
For the interior, Porsche took the same approach as with the 911. Even in the base model, the car was fitted with sports seats. The instrument cluster featured fewer dials than its bigger brother, but it still had the speedometer on the left, the rev-counter in the middle, and the water and fuel level on the right round dial. The two security arches behind the seats were not only mandatory but to strengthen the bodywork and stiffen the chassis.
Unlike its less-powered brother, which featured a 2.5-liter engine, the Boxster S was fitted with a 3.2-liter engine. It was mated to a 6-speed gearbox instead of the 5-speed installed on the non-S version. The result was a 252 hp roadster that could get a 0 to 100 kph (0-62 mph) run in less than 6 seconds.