Porsche Boxster History and Design

In this article, we will have a look at the history and different designs of this iconic mid-engine two-seater classic. We will explore the design of the various generations that have been introduced since the 1996 1st generation until the present day 4th generation Porsche Boxster for sale.

PORSCHE BOXSTER 986 : First Generation (1996 - 2004)

Porsche introduced the Porsche 986 in late 1996. Since the 550 Spyder in the early 1950's Porsche had not built a car that could be designated as a roadster. Porsche was taking a risk in bringing out a Roadster for the first time in 40 years; however, those risks proved unfounded when the Boxster 986 came out as one of Porsche's all-time best sellers.

986 Porsche Boxster

Sold for $39,900 in its first year on sale in the US, the 986 Porsche Boxster was an immediate hit. This mid-engine roadster was fitted with an M96 water-cooled flat-six engine and the same headlights and interior as the Porsche 911. Although pre-1999 engine issues included cracked and slipped cylinder liners, the 986 Boxster still proved to be a sales hit for Porsche.

Porsche Boxster S Special Edition 986/ 550 Spyder Boxster S Special Edition
In 2004, the manufacturer introduced the Porsche Boxster S Special Edition 986, also known as the 550 Spyder Boxster S Special Edition. As a salute to the original 1950s 550 Spyder, these were built with a limited production of only 1953 cars. The 550 Spyders were all painted in GT Silver Metallic. The cars sported a cocoa brown full leather interior, a Bose sound system, 18-inch Carrera wheels, a sports suspension package, and sports exhaust.

Porsche Boxster 986 Specs

Engine: 2.5L, 201 hp
Manual: 0-60 6.7 seconds. Top Speed 149 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 7.4 seconds. Top Speed 146 mph

Engine: 2.7L, 217 hp
Manual: 0-60 6.5 seconds. Top Speed 155 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 7.2 seconds. Top Speed 152 mph

Engine: 3.2L S, 250 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.6 seconds. Top Speed 162 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 6.2 seconds. Top Speed 158 mph

Engine: 2.7L, 225 hp
Manual: 0-60 6.1 seconds. Top Speed 157 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 7.0 seconds. Top Speed 154 mph

Engine: 3.2L S, 258 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.4 seconds. Top Speed 164 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 6.1 seconds. Top Speed 160 mph

Boxster / Cayman 987: Second Generation (2005 - 2012)

Boxster/Cayman 987
The 2nd generation of the Porsche Boxster was revealed at the Paris Motor show in 2004. The car went on sale in 2005 together with the new Cayman fastback coupé. Both cars shared many of the same components. Although the Boxster was the second version of the original 1996 986 version, it remained broadly similar. The most significant changes being the broader wheel arches to accommodate 19-inch wheels and the headlights, which were now identical to the Carrera GT, the Porsche flagship car. The Porsche Boxster and Cayman's basic engine was the 2.7 liters 236 HP flat 6, while the S version got the 3.2 liters 279 HP engine.

Porsche Cayman 987
The Porsche Cayman fastback coupé was released in July 2006, a full year after the release of the high-performance version of the same car. The Cayman shared the same mid-engined platform and body components as the Porsche Boxster 987. Because of the roof, the Cayman has a much stiffer chassis, which results in better behavior on the road. Performance-wise the Cayman has a broadly similar performance as the Boxster S, as they shared the same 2.7 liters 236 HP flat-six engine.

Porsche Cayman R 987
The Cayman R was introduced in 2011 based on the 2009 Cayman S. With 19-inch wheels lightweight wheels, the Porsche aero kit, bucket seats with carbon fiber backing, and the removal of all modern comforts like radio, air-conditioning, and door handles. The Cayman R was a lightweight racer. With that came as well some cosmetic changes like black-painted wheels and mirrors.

Cayman S Black Edition 987
The Cayman S Black Edition was a limited-edition model of which only 500 cars were produced. It came with an upgraded engine and an all-black interior and exterior.

Boxster RS60 Spyder 987
A limited-edition model based on the 1960's Spyder that won the '12 hours of Sebring' race. Porsche built only 1960 cars.

Porsche Boxster Design Edition 2 987
In September 2008, Porsche released the limited-edition 'Design Edition 2', of which only 500 cars were built. Finished in Carrera white, it came with a 299HP engine.

Porsche Boxster S Limited Edition 987
The Boxster S Black Edition was limited to 987 cars. The car came with a 320 HP engine, which was 10 HP more than the standard Boxster.

Boxster / Cayman 987 Specs

Engine: 2.7L, 237 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.9 seconds. Top Speed 159 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 6.8 seconds. Top Speed 155 mph

Engine: 3.2L, 276 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.2 seconds. Top Speed 167 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 6.0 seconds. Top Speed 162 mph

Engine: 2.7L, 241 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.8 seconds. Top Speed 160 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 6.7 seconds. Top Speed 156 mph

Engine: 3.4L, 291 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.2 seconds. Top Speed 169 mph
Tiptronic: 0-60 5.9 seconds. Top Speed 164 mph

Engine: 2.9L, 255 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.7 seconds. Top Speed 160 mph
PDK: 0-60 5.6 seconds. Top Speed 162 mph

Engine: 3.4L, 310 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.1 seconds. Top Speed 170 mph
PDK: 0-60 5.0 seconds. Top Speed 169 mph

BOXSTER/CAYMAN 981: Third Generation (2012 - 2016)

Porsche 981 Boxster
With the new 3rd generation Porsche Boxster came a new generation engine as well. The base model Porsche Boxster was now fitted with a new 2.7-liter flat-6 engine, which produced 260HP. While the Porsche Boxster S came standard with the existing 3.4-liter engine; however, Porsche had tweaked the performance to produce 310 HP. Both cars were delivered with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission came as an option. In the interior, Porsche used many parts from its higher-level models like the Carrera and Panamera, which caused the Porsche Boxster to have a beautiful interior.

Boxster GTS
Launched in March 2014 to compliment the Porsche Boxster series. The Boxster GTS was designed to be the most potent and sporty of the Boxster series. The car was fitted with the same 3.4-liter engine as the Boxster S, but it produced 15HP more. The vehicle also featured some design changes with different front and rear bumpers. Porsche delivered the car to be the ultimate driving machine, with the additions of the Porsche active suspension system, 20 Inch wheels, and the Sports Chrono Pack as standard.

Boxster Spyder
The Porsche Boxster Spyder was unveiled at the New York Motor Show in April 2015. Although the styling is similar to the previous 2nd generation car, the new Spyder also shares its styling with the Cayman GT4. As the lightest in the Boxster series line up, the car had some serious performance. Fitted with the largest and most powerful engine used in the series, a 3.8-liter flat-6, the car produced a staggering 385 HP. This helped bring the vehicle to a 180 mph top speed. Only 2400 cars were built of the Boxster Spyder, of which 850 were exported to the United States.

Porsche Cayman 981
Porsche unveiled the 2nd generation Cayman at the 2012 Geneva motor show and made available as a 2014 production car in Spring 2013. Launched with a choice of engines, the 2.7-liter flat-6 for the standard Cayman, and the 3.4 liters for the S version, both engines were available with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a twin-clutch 7-speed manual PDK transmission.
The 981 was a considerable upgrade visually, as the car was fitted with a newly designed body, a longer wheelbase, and wider front end. Due to its characteristics, the Cayman was voted one of the best driving sports cars by various motor press.

Porsche Engineers Explain 718 Series GTS Cayman & Boxster

Cayman GTS 981
With a lower ride height, a longer body and body kit, 20-inch wheels, and a sports exhaust system, Porsche shows what it can do to produce a properly fast and pure sports car. Introduced in 2014, the Cayman GTS was based on the 981 platform, but underneath was a seriously different car. The top speed of the GTS had gone up to 177 mph with the manual transmission and 179 mph with the PDK transmission. The sports plus mode pushes the car to a 4.5 second 0-62mph time.

Cayman GT4 981
In 2015 Porsche decided to launch a track car. It came out with the Cayman GT4, a high-performance car with a 3.8-liter engine from the 911 Carrera S that propels the car to 183mph. With provisions for a Club sports pack, which includes a half roll cage, battery cut off switch, fire extinguisher, and six-point racing harness, this car is a real track day racing car. The Cayman GT4 did the Nordschleife on the Nürburgring in a time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds. The Cayman R 1st generation took more than 26 seconds longer.

Cayman GT4 Clubsport 981
In October 2015, Porsche released the ultimate racing Cayman. The GT4 Clubsport 981 was born. Powered by the same 3.8-liter engine that can be found on the production version of the GT4, the Clubsport was fitted with a variation of racing additions like an FIA approved roll cage and racing bucket seats.

PORSCHE BOXSTER / Cayman 981 Specs

Engine: 2.7L, 261 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.5 seconds. Top Speed 164 mph
PDK: 0-60 5.4 seconds. Top Speed 163 mph
PDK Sport Chrono: 0-60 5.2 seconds. Top Speed 163 mph

Engine: 3.4L, 311 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.8 seconds. Top Speed 173 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.7 seconds. Top Speed 172 mph
PDK Sport Chrono: 0-60 4.5 seconds. Top Speed 172 mph

Engine: 3.4L, 326 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.8 seconds. Top Speed 175 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.5 seconds. Top Speed 173 mph

Engine: 3.8L, 370 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.3 seconds. Top Speed 180 mph

Cayman Specs

Engine: 2.7L, 271 hp
Manual: 0-60 5.4 seconds. Top Speed 165 mph
PDK: 0-60 5.3 seconds. Top Speed 164 mph

Cayman S
Engine: 3.4L, 321 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.7 seconds. Top Speed 175 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.6 seconds. Top Speed 175 mph

Cayman GTS
Engine: 3.4L, 340 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.6 seconds. Top Speed 177 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.5 seconds. Top Speed 176 mph

Cayman GT4
Engine: 3.8L, 380 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.2 seconds. Top Speed 183 mph

718 PORSCHE BOXSTER/CAYMAN 982: Fourth Generation (2016 - Present)

718 Boxster/ Cayman 982
The 4th generation of the Porsche Boxster/Cayman 982 Series has been in production since 2016- the present day. With the switch to a turbocharged new four-cylinder engine, Porsche enters a new era for the Boxster/Cayman combination. The 2.5- liter engine on the S version made Porsche change the marketing name for the 982 to the 718. This in reference to the Porsche 718 that won the Targa Florio race in 1959 and 1960 to much larger engine cars. The engine is directly derived from the 911's six-cylinder engine and manages to go to an unbelievable 7500 revs.

718 Boxster 982
Although the styling and design of the 4th generation Boxster are broadly the same as the 3rd generation cars, the most apparent changes are In the headlights and bumpers. The changes are really below the engine cover, where the four-cylinder engine manages to churn out 296 HP and reach a top speed of 171 mph.

718 Cayman 982
The Porsche 982 Series cars handling and throttle response are surprisingly good for a four-cylinder vehicle, even more so the handling as Porsche has fitted the Cayman with a stiff and sporty suspension, which makes drivers feel every move they make on the road. The performance is roughly the same for the Cayman as it is for the Boxster with 296 HP and a top speed of 171mph.

2021 Porsche 718 Boxster and Caymans Get Upgraded

718 Cayman GT4 982
With a top speed of 189 mph, the GT4 has earned its place in the fastest segment of Porsche cars. Powered by a 4.0-liter flat-6 engine, which gives 414 HP, there is certainly no lack of power. The significant changes from the 3rd generation feature a more aggressive bodywork, lower stance, new diffuser, and larger intakes. Porsche has also fitted several components from the GT3 911 like the front suspension and brakes while the dampers, ABS, and stability control come from the GT3 911 RS.

718 Spyder 982
The Spyder 982 is a continuation from Porsche to share the styling of the Spyder with the GT4. With the double hump engine cover and sporty looks, this is a perfect looking car.

718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport 982
Porsche released two varieties of the Clubsport in 2019. The Competition and the Track day, which is a fully race-ready sports car.

982 Series 718 CAYMAN / 718 BOXSTER / 718 T Specs

718 Cayman / 718 Boxster / 718 T
Engine: 2.0L, 296 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.9 seconds. Top Speed 171 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.7 seconds. Top Speed 171 mph

718 Cayman S / 718 Boxster S
Engine: 2.5 L, 345 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.4 seconds. Top Speed 177 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.2 seconds. Top Speed 177 mph

718 GTS
718 Cayman GTS / 718 Boxster GTS
Engine: 2.5L, 359 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.4 seconds. Top Speed 180 mph
PDK: 0-60 4.1 seconds. Top Speed 180 mph

718 GTS 4.0
718 Cayman GTS 4.0 / 718 Boxster GTS 4.0
Engine: 4.0 L, 394 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.3 seconds. Top Speed 182 mph

718 Cayman GT4 / Spyder
Engine: 4.0 L, 394 hp
Manual: 0-60 4.1 seconds. Top Speed 189 mph