It is hard to believe that the original Porsche Boxster is turning 25 years old in 2022. When the concept was pitched back in the mid-90s, lots of people thought it was going to be a modern 550 Spyder, but in reality it was more like a 914. Performance was extremely lacking and the styling that was shown during the concept ending up getting beaten to death by the engineers and accountants when it was all said and done. Now 25 years later, the Boxster is a serious performance car with the GTS 4.0 and the 718 Spyder hatched by the GT department. Of course, Porsche never being one to pass up a special edition, they launched the Boxster 25 Years. Yeah, that is the name.
Just 1,250 will be made in either GT Silver Metallic to mimic the original concept, as well as Jet Black and Carrara White. All have the gold wheels and gold accents, and the interior can either be black leather or the Bordeaux Red. From there, go nuts with your typical 718 options – although the carbon buckets aren’t offered. For the powerplant, they went with the 4.0 from the GTS, not the 4.0 from the GT4/Spyder. Still, that is absolutely nothing to complain about with 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque, along with a 0 to 60 mph time in 4.1 seconds with the PDK gearbox. That is really fast. Starting price is just over $100,000, which is just $2,000 more than the 718 Spyder if you can believe that. This example up for sale in North Carolina with just 36 miles? We might have a new leader in the clubhouse for mark-up.
For the past 20 years or so, Porsche hasn’t been shy about the special editions. Most of the time they pick the non-911s as it is easier to be a little be creative with the models. This special edition, the 2008 Boxster RS60 Spyder, was made to commemorate their victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1960. The car used there was the Porsche 718 RS Spyder, which is suppose is an ancestor of the current Boxster, or at least Porsche wants you to imagine that. Just 1,960 units were made in a unique GT Silver Metallic exterior over a Carrera Red interior that was intended to match the look of the 718 RS Spyder itself. There was some other special trim as well as a sport exhaust, which raised output to 303 horsepower. Values have been surprisingly strong believe or not, and they don’t seem to be getting any cheaper. Worth it?
Sometimes just for fun I go back and look at concept cars for production models just to see how much had to be changed for whatever reason. The first-generation Porsche Boxster is an interesting example of what started as a really progressive design with some homages to years past, only to be changed significantly because of production requirements and cost control. Go look at the working 1993 concept, and the exterior had shades of 550 Spyder while the interior had some really wild features such as little three-fan blades as blower fans. I totally get why something like that didn’t make production as it would have been extremely expensive to produce, and even more expensive to fix after they broke twenty minutes after leaving the dealer lot from someone sticking something in them. What ended up in production is a design that was still fresh for the mid-1990s, but an interior that was watered-down considerably. Still, it is tough for more to argue about this Boxster as this car literally saved Porsche from dire financial straits, along with the Cayenne.
Now that we are nearly almost 25 years from the launch of the Boxster in 1996, are these becoming classics that will be looked at the same way we now look at the 914? Tough to say.
A few weeks I took a look at one of the most jarring Porsche interiors I have run across with a 1999 911 up for sale in San Diego. It wasn’t so much that the Jade Green was all that ugly, but rather the Burl Wood that was plastered everywhere clashed so much with the Jade and the rest of the interior. Add in the fact that the car is automatic, has 166,000 miles and isn’t priced all that well, you can probably guess what it is still for sale. Most of you in the comments seemed to agree with my thoughts on that 996 as well judging by the reaction that it got. Although one commenter (Thanks JonnyA) passed along another late ’90s Porsche with a green interior that still has loads of green leather, but isn’t nearly as gaudy or off-putting. This 1997 Boxster up for sale outside of Dallas features Nephrite Green leather and even better, has just 8,900 miles. Is this a better option if you still want an inexpensive Porsche with a wild interior?
I keep coming back to this 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster. It’s very eye-catching. I like eye-catching. It’s pretty new so still looks in nice shape and the price, while probably not really discounted enough relative to new, isn’t too bad. You get an outstanding open-roof performance car for not a ton of money. As someone who’s always looking at 911s that’s a nice thing to see.
But the reason I keep coming back to it and why I’m just now posting it both stem from its eye-catching nature. I love a bright red interior; I love a bright yellow exterior. Combine them and…I’m not so sure. Bright colors always are walking a fine line between exciting and garish. For me this one crosses that line and I don’t know that it works. But that line is highly subjective. For some a bright yellow car always will seem overly showy no matter what; for others it works just fine. So while this may not work for me, it might work for you. There’s no doubt it’ll turn heads.
I don’t think I have featured one of the new 718 Cayman/Boxsters yet. They’re still fairly new so that’s probably not too surprising, but I see them all the time. And I have posted a couple of the new turbocharged 911s so I can’t put all of this down to newness. Maybe those I’ve seen haven’t seemed special enough? I think this one might be special enough.
This is a paint-to-sample Brewster Green 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. It has the 7-speed PDK transmission and Carmine Red stitching in the interior. While the car itself is excellent, mostly this is about the color. To my knowledge, with one exception Brewster Green has never been a production color available from Porsche, but has been available as a paint-to-sample option for a while. The one production exception was the extremely limited edition 2013 911 Club Coupe. So when we’re talking about rare Porsche colors Brewster Green is very rare. It’s one of a handful of non-metallic greens Porsche has produced. It’s similar in appearance to the more well known Irish Green and British Racing Green, though not quite the same as either one. Brewster is a darker and deeper shade of green. In shade you might think it black, but in the sun its green shines forth and is unmistakable.
I complained yesterday that the Arctic Silver over Graphite Grey color combination of that 911 Turbo S was too bland for such a performance machine. Here we can see a similar exterior utilized to much greater effect. The key is in the details. Well, the details along with one of the best interiors I’ve seen in a modern Porsche.
This is a 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder. That’s a great base with which to start. The exterior is GT Silver Metallic. I don’t want to parse Porsche’s various silvers and which might be better than which, but this is a fine color for those who enjoy silver. It’s contrasted by Porsche script along the doors and what I believe are White Gold Metallic painted wheels. While subtle those wheels provide a nice shift in color that gives the exterior just a little more style. The interior is where things really pick up:
One last car without a fixed roof. Moving ahead 50 years from the 356C Cabriolet I featured over the weekend we come to possibly the best of Porsche’s open-top machines. From my first glimpse I immediately loved the new design of the 981 Boxster and Cayman when each debuted. While I’d generally liked the Cayman from its inception I cannot say the same of the Boxster. I was fine with it, but I can’t say it ever really wowed me. That feeling remained fairly constant throughout its first 15 years of production until the 981. Porsche finally seemed to have gotten things right. This new design struck the right balance between aggressive styling and elegant looks. It’s a modern Porsche so it shouldn’t be too shouty, but it also should make clear its sporting aspirations.
Like with the Cayman GT4, Porsche also allowed the Boxster to borrow a 3.8 liter flat-six engine from the 911 for the Boxster Spyder. Gone are much of the Boxster’s criticisms about a general lack of performance. 375 horsepower tends to help with that. So does a well-balanced mid-engine chassis with the power directed to the rear. The Boxster always has had a pretty good chassis. Now it had a complementary engine.
I’ve periodically had my eye out for the latest Porsche Boxster Spyder to feature. They don’t come up for sale all that often and most times when searching I have come up empty. The few times I have come across one it either sold very quickly or I came across an auction just prior to its end. My luck has finally come good.
The Spyder is the Boxster version of the Cayman GT4 and each serves as the swan song for these naturally aspirated Porsches. Like the GT4 it borrows its 3.8-liter engine from the 911 and in this form produces a nice 375 hp all routed to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. For me it’s also the best looking Boxster Porsche has produced thus far.
Here not only have I finally found a Spyder I like, but I found two of them! Obviously, they had to be featured together. Both are paint-to-sample non-metallic blues and are very bright. I ran a similar feature a while back with two PTS GT3 RS in blue and now we turn to another of Porsche’s limited-production models. The overall spec of these Spyders is pretty similar so really it all comes down to the exterior: Voodoo Blue or Mexico Blue. Which to have?
I write-up a lot of Porsches, but very rarely post about the Boxster. And most of those very infrequent examples are of the Boxster Spyder. So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that this Boxster post also is a Spyder.
Given that I actually am a big fan of the roadster genre it’s a little strange that I don’t feature the Boxster more often. After all, I own a 2-seat convertible and I love it. These are cars that tend to be light and nimble, almost always rear-wheel drive and with a manual transmission. And while they rarely have been the most powerful cars on the market there’s typically enough power on tap to get some serious enjoyment out of it.
The Boxster, being a Porsche, has long been one of the more luxurious roadsters on the market. It’s also suffered seemingly endless criticism for basically being not as good as a 911. Whether it was the nature of the car or simply a function of purposeful decision-making by those at Porsche, the early models probably could have been sportier. Over time those criticisms either have dwindled as the Boxster was made a better and more powerful car or they shifted to the Cayman where the “not as good as a 911” remarks make more sense.
The Spyder, released by Porsche for the 2011 model year, sought to solve most of the criticisms through the tried-and-true performance method: remove weight (a 176 pound reduction) and add power (up to 320 hp, 10 more than the Boxster S). In a roadster this is an especially important formula since the entire experience was to center on no frills sporting from the outset. The Spyder does that very well.
Here we have one of the rarely seen color options: a Guards Red 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder, located in Texas, with 50,391 miles on it.