Remembering The Mid-Engine Porsche Boxster

Probably the best value Porsche to buy used today.

The first generation Porsche Boxster was never taken seriously despite its fun handling and quality build. At the time, its nearest rival was the mid-engined Toyota MR2 which was followed by the rotary powered Mazda RX-7 and today both these Japanese cars are selling for a higher price than the humble Boxster.

The Boxster has just celebrated its 25th birthday and with used prices hovering between RM88k to RM98k it should be considered instead of being ignored by car enthusiasts.

Porsche Boxster

PRESS RELEASE: When the Boxster went into series production in August 1996, it was noticeable how remarkably similar it was to the sports car concept with the same name that had been presented a good three and a half years previously.

The design harked back to the 550 Spyder, and the mid-engine layout of the six-cylinder boxer engine with an output of 159 kW (204 PS) and a displacement of 2.5 litres also brought back to mind former days.

Interestingly on the technical side, parts from the 996 generation meant that the Boxster pointed the way to an economically very much better future.

For example, identical parts such as the bonnet, headlight units, front wings and doors were also used on the 911. The new Boxster also featured a host of technical innovations.

For the first time, it was equipped with alloy four-piston brake callipers in monobloc design derived from motorsport, and the boxer engine was water-cooled for the first time in a Porsche large-series production car.

Four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, and variable intake timing by means of the patented VarioCam technology all underlined the high-tech characteristics of the power unit and proved its qualifications as a true Porsche high-performance engine.

Meanwhile, the six-cylinder boxer engine formed the nucleus of a completely new engine family. This would later also be used in the 911 and the Cayman.

Alternatively, this Boxster could also be ordered with the Tiptronic S automatic transmission, which had five speeds for the first time.

In June 2002, the 986-generation Boxster underwent a comprehensive model enhancement. The engines already introduced for model year 2000 with a displacement of 2.7 litres and 3.2 litres in the Boxster S did not just generate more power thanks to the enhanced VarioCam camshaft control – the Boxster delivered 228 PS instead of 220 PS; the Boxster S now had an output of 260 PS instead of 252 PS – but also shone with reduced fuel consumption. In addition to design changes on the body, the main features of this model facelift included chassis optimisations, a convertible top with glass rear window and enhanced standard equipment.

For the last model year 2004, shortly before the 986-generation Boxster was replaced by the 987 successor generation, Porsche created the special-edition model “50 years of 550 Spyder”. This was limited to 1953 units and evoked the first thoroughbred Porsche race cars, whose genes lived on in the Boxster.

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