By   March 12, 2018

Project Porsche Boxster R

Project Porsche Boxster R

It has been a little while since we’ve updated you on our current project that we are calling Project Porsche Boxster R. The idea is to create the ultimate Boxster street car. To accomplish this we are looking to make a few improvements to what is already a good car.

First we will work on making it lighter. Weight reduction plays a huge part in performance as it will improve the power-to-weight ratio. The early 986 Boxster is already fairly light, but even just 100 lbs. of weight loss will result in the same power-to-weight ratio as the Series 1 Lotus Elise. That version of the Elise could launch from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. By comparison the stock early 986 can hit 60 mph from a standing start in 6 seconds flat according to test by both Road and Track and Motor Trend.

Our goal with weight reduction is to lower the weight by about 200 lbs. While more weight can be reduced, 200 lbs. is likely the most you can take out of the Porsche 986 with it still being livable on the street. We know from Spec Boxster race cars that you can get a lot more weight out of a 2.5-liter Boxster, but then you have something that is mainly usable on the track.

We plan on leaving a few creature comforts, such as the air-conditioning. However, we are planning to install lightweight carpet, lightweight seats and a lightweight battery. We will reduce weight in a few other areas as well and with all of this we hope to reduce between 150 lbs and 200 lbs.

Once we have a lighter more focused car we will focus on improving the suspension. We are planning on going for a stiffer setup, but one that is adjustable and can still be livable on the street. We also plan on installing larger anti-roll bars and improving the brakes.

After making the car a bit more hardcore, we plan to add just a little more power. The early Porsche Boxster is capable of getting 50 to 100 more horsepower with an engine swap. The less expensive way to go is to put the 3.2-liter engine from a 2000 Boxster S to replace the 2.5-liter engine. However, if you want all the power you can get, the the 3.4-liter flat-six from the 996 generation of the 911 offers about 300 horsepower. With either of these options upgrading the transmission to the 6-speed transmission used in the Boxster S is a good upgrade. We are currently researching which engine is the best option for our project and it will partly be up to what is available when we are ready for the swap.

Of course we’ll also want a good sounding exhaust. We are currently researching our options for this, but we are leaning toward the Porsche Sports Exhaust. Some of the decision of what exhaust to use will depend on what engine we swap to as we want to make sure it isn’t too restricting.

At this point in the project we are still working on weight reduction. In our last update we removed the spare tire / tools as well as the storage shelf that sits behind the driver. This time around we remove the rear carpet panels that include sound deadening. Check out the video below to hear how it sounded before and after removing the carpet (the before and after segment comes at about the middle of the video).

Once you check it out scroll down to the comments and let us know what you think of the project.

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  • Dennis Power

    The Porsche Sport Exhaust is probably a better idea than non-Porsche options. I used a FabSpeed setup on my 2000 Boxster S and it didn’t last very long. Also, I installed a 3.4 996 from a Carrera and didn’t need to upgrade the transaxle: it is strong and survived just fine, and that was for racing. Consider a lightweight flywheel: that would cut significant weight.

    • David Hurth

      Thanks for the good advice.