1997-2004 Boxster
2000-2004 Boxster S
2004-2009 Boxster S
Air Conditioning
DIY Guide
Retrofitting Options

The 1997 to 2004 Boxster

For information regarding the Boxster S, please click on the 2000-2004 Boxster S link on the menu to the right.

The 986 is the factory designation for the Porsche boxster made between 1997 and 2004 (although the car was introduced in 1996, the 1996 cars are designated as 1997 cars by Porsche)

Initially the car was released with a 2.5 Litre flat six engine. This design of flat engine with a crankshaft in the middle and the cylinders either side of the crankshaft is known as a Boxer engine. Later in 2000 this engine was enlarged to 2.7 Litres.

Prior to the release of the Boxster, Porsche had been suffering hard times in the early 1990's and again realised they needed an entry level car for the brand. Through a consultation with Toyota, Porsche had realised that future models needed to share components with other models to be cost effective. The took this information to heart and designed the Boxster to also road test the platform which would become the 996 soon after.

The 996 and Boxster share several components, from some body panels through to the basic design and parts which make the Boxster engine. If you click on the engines link to the left, you will see how this engines bloodline expands all the way through to current model 997's with capacities of up to 3.8 Litres!

In 2003 a year before the end of production of the 986 model, Porsche introduced some facelift features to the Boxster such as the glass rear screen in place of the plastic earlier one. The bumpers were slightly altered, the indicators turned from orange to clear and a redesign of the exhaust and intake improved the model further. New wheel options were also added in 2003.

Here is a quick rundown of the Porsche Boxster 986 (1997 to 2004) history.

Model Year Details
1997 2.5 litre model introduced - 201 BHP
1998 Optional 18 inch wheels
Modifications to :- wheel wells, lower engine compartment, rear wall cross member andrear axle mounts
Side airbags become standard fitment
Optional PCM (satalite navigation)
1999 Optional Litronic headlights
Storage shelf above engine (Behind driver and passenger headrests)
2000 2.7 Litre engine introduced - 217 HP at 6400 RPM and 192 lb-ft at 4750 RPM with 7200 red line
Twin resonance induction system
Motronic ME7.2 Engine management (DME) including e-Gas (fly by wire throttle)
"Warm up" catalytic converters introduced
Gearing changes to 4th and 5th gear
Suspension changes
2001 Boxster hood now features cloth headliner (as introduced in 2001 on the Boxster S)
Integrated safety bars covered in soft material
Optional New 3 spoke steering wheel with colour Porsche crest available
LED interior illumination for ignition lock, door latches and console parts
Front and rear trunk now feature improved lining material
Optional Porsche stability management (traction control) AKA PSM
Optional subwoofer speaker system
Some popular options now grouped into packages
2002 Front seat belt pretensioners and force limiters introduced
New multi function display inside instrument cluster (Enabled with optional controller stalk)
Keys with colour Porsche crest
Matte switch surfaces
Anti entrapment trunk release with internal handle (Why?)
Optional Bose sound system replaces previous digital sound package
New colours include Black, Carrara White and Bassalt Black Metalic
Cup holder in centre dash
2003 More horsepower (revised Variocam)
Increases in fuel ecconomy
New front and rear bumpers
Clear indicators, front and rear (including side repeaters outside of the USA)
Side air intakes have larger body coloured slats
Redesigned spoiler
New wheel options including 18" Carrera alloys
Glass rear screen in convertable top with defroster
Lockable glovebox
Introduction of "MOST audio bus" for digital communication between entertainment systems
Optional PCMII using MOST technology
Console now like 996 - switches horizontal, cupholders under vent, centre vents smaller
2004 50th Anniversary limited production of 1953 cars with short throw shifter, painted wheels, colour crested centre caps, 18" Carrera alloys, Rollbar in silver, rear centre console in silver, Porsche stability control, Litronic Headlights, Trip computer (OBC), Heated sports seats with crest, rear muffler opening covered with grill
End of production of 986 model Boxster in favour of the new 987 Boxster model

More details regarding the many differences between Boxster production years and types, please read the many other articles in the information section of buttons to the left.

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