1 Oct 1999
For its first update Porsche silenced critics who called on for a more powerful engine than the 150kW 2.5 by offering a larger 2.7 as well as a 3.2-litre Boxster S.
Boosting power and torque to 162kW and 260Nm, and using the same five-speed manual or five-speed Tiptronic automatic, increased the Porsche’s performance usefully.
Better still, the S brought a new level of sub-supercar thrills.
At its heart is a bored version of that six-cylinder engine, offering 185kW at 6250rpm and 252Nm at 4500rpm, with only a 45kg kerb weight penalty.
With a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds and 0-400 metres in just 14.2, we are talking junior supercar pace here.
Variably timed double overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder are a standard part of Boxster engine kit, but the S is unique in having a two-stage resonance intake manifold which aids power delivery and flexibility.
A new six-speed manual gearbox – a donation from the 996 911 Carrera – while the five-speed "Tiptronic S" gained steering wheel shifting paddles.
The chassis and suspension have also come in for attention.
The reinforced lightweight steel body is lowered 10mm and there are firmer shock absorbers, springs and stabiliser bars all-round, while the rear suspension features longer rear axle control arms to increase toe-in stiffness. Other changes include revised wheel mounts, larger wheel bearings and larger wheels.
Completing the performance upgrade are larger, and cross-drilled, disc brakes.
In August ’02 the Boxster’s 2.7 engine gained a slight power rise, to 168kW, while the S’s 3.2 rose to 191kW and 310Nm.
A special limited edition model – the 986 Boxster S 550 Spyder 50th Anniversary – was released in September ’04, featuring a 196kW/310Nm version of the 3179cc ‘six’.