In this episode of Project Porsche, Roman and TFL test driver, Paul Gerrard, run a side-by-side comparison of two Porsches with different design philosophies. How does a ’99 Porsche 911 stand up to a 2001 Boxster S, and can it beat a less-powered adversary?
The 996-generation of the 911 is Porsche’s first water-cooled 911. Some claim that the 996 Carrera is responsible for being the car that saved Porsche back in the nineties. The 996’s development was done in tandem with the 986 Boxster platform. Many parts were shared between the two sports cars, which helped keep labor and outsourcing of parts to a minimum and maximizing the profit margin for each car sold. Sadly the 996’s reputation has been tarnished by tales of scored bores and failed IMS bearings.
If you can get by the 996 horror stories, consider the Carrera because it now makes for a practical, entry-level lead-in to 911 ownership without the exorbitant price tag.
The mid-engine Boxster 986 (1996-2004) proves that insane amounts of power are not a requirement for driving fun, nor for winning races. The Boxster’s proper suspension setup and balance do wonders with helping it scoot around corners at speeds a lot faster than most cars that need to take a traditional “slow in, fast out” approach.
The 986 Boxster was launched in 1996 and was developed alongside the 996 911. The 2001 Boxster S has 250 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque from a 3.2-liter flat six and six-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission.
The differences in suspension between a regular model and the S are that the latter has higher spring rates (25 percent front, 23 percent rear), retuned shock absorber damping, increased toe-in stiffness through longer rear lower control arms, and increased camber stiffness from larger wheel bearings, improving stability in high-speed cornering.
Buying an older Porsche with lots of miles on the odometer probably means that several components will need to be replaced, like suspension parts, brake pads, and tires. Porsche parts are not cheap and cost of labor to service a Porsche is not for the faint of heart. We recommend making friends with a Porsche specialist mechanic. Close friends. Come over for dinner and a beer kind of friends. Hence, we are thankful of our partnership with Rennstall Classic Cars and their expertise keeping Project Porsche running smoothly and at peak performance.
Catch up on past episodes of Project Porsche
|Ep.1 Top 5 Best Classic Porsche Bargains
||Ep.2 The BIG Decision: Porsche 928 vs. 911
|Ep.3 Porsches on Ice and How to Replace an IMS Bearing