1997-2004 Porsche Boxster 986
The Porsche Boxster concept first made its debut in 1992. The concept version of a 550 Spyder inspired sports car was met with a lot of high praise. For model year 1997 the Boxster was available to purchase and it was an instant sales success. The new car had lines similar to the 911 (especially in the front) and featured a mid-engine design powered by a 2.5-liter flat six.
The Boxster signaled a change for Porsche’s design philosophy. For many years they had one design for the 911 and their other models rarely shared much design wise with the rear-engined sports car.
With the release of the Boxster all new models would look like a Porsche in that their frond end would have similar lines as the classic lines on the 911. When first released the 2.5-liter engine put out just 201 horsepower, but with the car being fairly light it was pretty quick.
The early Boxsters could launch from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds according to Porsche, but some magazines managed times as low as 6 seconds flat. As the years went on power was increased and then the S model was released for model year 2000 and a whole new animal was born.
While the normal 986 had grown to a 2.7-liter engine that output 217 horsepower, the Boxster S featured a 3.2-liter engine with 250 horsepower and some brake and suspension improvements. Straight line performance improved in the S to a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds.
1992 Porsche Boxster Concept
Besides the addition of the S model the next big change happened in model year 2003. The changes included the addition of a glove compartment and changing the plastic rear window to a glass window.
Overall the 986 Boxster is a reliable well handling car, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its issues. The biggest potential issue is Intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing failure. The issue affects anywhere from 5-20 percent of cars (911s, Boxtsers and Caymans all had the possibility of the issue up until a few years ago and various sources estimate the numbers of affected cars differently).
The big problem with the IMS failure issue is that it results in catastrophic engine failure. However, there is some good news. A few companies have made bearings with a better design that removes the likelyhood of the failure. When buying one of these cars you should ask if this has been done and if not, then plan on doing it when you replace the clutch. Also, if the redesigned bearings haven’t been installed then it is safest to buy a car with over 50,000 miles on it as failure usually occurs before that mileage.
The Porsche 986 is neutral handling and the early cars are some of the most affordable Porsches on the current market. If you buy an early used Porsche Boxster many will think that you payed well over $50,000 for your car and some will even confuse it for a 911.
As with any used Porsche a pre-purchase inspection is a very good idea. Repairs on Boxsters are often not cheap, so buying a well maintained car can save you a lot of money down the road. It is also possible to learn how to do much of the regular maintenance yourself which can save a lot in labor fees.
After checking with multiple sources below are the current price ranges for a 1997-2004 Porsche Boxster (986). Keep in mind that this buyers guide rates cars in fair to good condition and that an incredible car or a complete project car may be worth more or less.
1997-1999 Porsche Boxster 2.5 $7,000 – $20,000
2000-2004 Porsche Boxster S 3.2 $12,000 – $30,000
2000-2002 Porsche Boxster 2.7 $9,500 – $25,000
2003-2004 Porsche Boxster 2.7 $10,000 – $28,000
For desktop wallpaper of the Porsche Boxster Concept Car click here.
Picture Source: Detectandpreserve