Home Car Reviews 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S (986) Buyer’s Guide

1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S (986) Buyer’s Guide

by Frank
1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

Welcome to the World of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S (986)

The Porsche brand, renowned for its high-performance sports cars, has created many iconic models, but the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S stands out as a particularly notable example. This guide is dedicated to those considering the purchase of this specific model, offering a deep dive into what makes the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S a unique and desirable sports car.

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S: A Brief Overview

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S emerged as a more potent and refined variant of the standard Boxster, quickly earning praise for its dynamic handling, robust performance, and quintessential Porsche design. This era was a pivotal time for Porsche, marking its commitment to offering an accessible yet authentic sports car experience. The 1999-2003 Boxster S exemplified this commitment, striking a perfect balance between everyday drivability and exhilarating performance.

Purpose of This Guide

Owning a classic sports car like the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is about appreciating its distinct characteristics and historical significance. This guide aims to provide potential buyers with comprehensive insights into the model’s features, performance, and maintenance considerations. Whether you’re a long-time Porsche aficionado or new to the realm of classic sports cars, this guide will assist you in determining if the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is the ideal addition to your collection.

Porsche History and Notable Porsche Models

Porsche Boxster S – An Overview

1999-2003 porsche boxster overviewHistorical Context and Development of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S marked a significant chapter in Porsche’s storied history. Introduced in 1996, the original Boxster was Porsche’s answer to a growing demand for a more affordable and accessible sports car. However, it was the advent of the Boxster S in 1999 that truly captivated enthusiasts. This model was developed to offer a more powerful and dynamic driving experience, addressing the desires of those who sought increased performance and sportier handling from the Boxster line.

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The development of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S was a strategic move by Porsche to strengthen its position in the sports car market. It was designed to bridge the gap between the standard Boxster and the more high-end 911 models. The introduction of the Boxster S was a testament to Porsche’s commitment to innovation and its ability to adapt to market trends while maintaining the brand’s core values of performance and luxury.

Key Features Distinguishing the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S set itself apart from its standard counterpart with several key features:

  • Engine Upgrade: The Boxster S was equipped with a more powerful 3.2-liter flat-six engine, compared to the 2.7-liter engine in the standard Boxster. This engine delivered a significant boost in power, producing up to 252 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque.
  • Improved Performance: With the upgraded engine, the 1999-2003 Boxster S could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, a noticeable improvement over the base model.
  • Enhanced Handling: The Boxster S featured a stiffer suspension setup, larger brakes, and a more aggressive wheel and tire package, all contributing to its superior handling and driving dynamics.
  • Distinctive Styling: Visual distinctions included larger air intakes, a dual exhaust system, and specific ‘S’ badging, which subtly differentiated it from the standard Boxster.
Variants and Special Editions (1999-2003)

During its production years, the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S saw several variants and special editions that added to its appeal:

  • Boxster S 550 Spyder Anniversary Edition (2004): Although slightly outside the 1999-2003 window, this special edition deserves mention. Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic 550 Spyder, it featured unique styling cues and performance enhancements.
  • Limited Color Editions: Porsche occasionally released the Boxster S in limited color options, offering a more exclusive and personalized choice for buyers.
  • Performance Packages: Options like the Sport Package added features like a sportier suspension setup and enhanced exhaust systems, allowing for a more tailored driving experience.

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S not only solidified Porsche’s reputation in the sports car market but also laid the groundwork for future innovations in the Boxster line. Its blend of performance, style, and accessibility made it a beloved model among Porsche enthusiasts, and continues to be a sought-after vehicle in the classic car market.

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Understanding the Specifications of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S engineEngine Specifications and Performance Stats

The heart of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is its robust engine, which is key to its performance and appeal. Here’s a detailed look at its specifications:

  • Engine Type: The Boxster S was equipped with a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine. This horizontally opposed configuration is a hallmark of Porsche sports cars, contributing to a lower center of gravity and improved handling.
  • Power Output: The engine produced 252 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 225 lb.-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. This represented a significant increase over the standard Boxster’s 2.7-liter engine.
  • Performance: The Boxster S could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of approximately 162 mph. These figures made it one of the quickest cars in its class during its production years.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Despite its performance capabilities, the Boxster S maintained reasonable fuel efficiency, averaging around 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

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Transmission Options

The transmission in a sports car greatly influences the driving experience, and the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S offered two options:

  1. Six-Speed Manual Transmission: This standard transmission was favored by purists for its engaging driving experience and precise control. It allowed drivers to fully exploit the engine’s capabilities and was known for its smooth and responsive gear shifts.
  2. Tiptronic S Automatic Transmission: As an option, Porsche offered the Tiptronic S, a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capabilities. While it offered more convenience, especially in urban settings, it was slightly slower in acceleration compared to the manual.
Chassis and Suspension Setup

The chassis and suspension of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S were meticulously engineered to deliver a balanced and exhilarating driving experience:

  • Chassis: The Boxster S featured a lightweight yet rigid chassis, contributing to its agility and responsiveness. The mid-engine layout provided excellent weight distribution, a key factor in its balanced handling characteristics.
  • Suspension: The car was equipped with an independent suspension system, featuring MacPherson struts both at the front and rear. The suspension was tuned for a sportier and firmer ride compared to the standard Boxster, without compromising too much on comfort.
  • Brakes and Wheels: The Boxster S came with larger and more powerful brakes than the base model, ensuring reliable stopping power. It also featured larger wheels and performance tires, enhancing grip and stability during high-speed maneuvers.

The combination of a powerful engine, choice of transmissions, and a finely tuned chassis and suspension made the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S a standout performer in its category. These specifications not only provided an engaging driving experience but also underscored Porsche’s commitment to building driver-focused sports cars.

Exterior and Interior Design of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

porshe boxster s exteriorExterior Design: Aerodynamics and Styling

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S boasts a design that is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally aerodynamic. Here’s an analysis of its exterior features:

  • Body Shape: The Boxster S maintained the classic Porsche sports car silhouette with a sleek, low profile that was both elegant and aerodynamically efficient. The design facilitated smooth airflow over and around the car, reducing drag and enhancing high-speed stability.
  • Front and Rear Design: The front featured larger air intakes than the standard Boxster, improving engine cooling and giving the Boxster S a more aggressive appearance. At the rear, the distinctive dual exhausts and slightly redesigned bumper were notable.
  • Convertible Top: The Boxster S came with a power-operated soft-top convertible roof, which was a key feature of its design. This roof could be easily lowered or raised, allowing drivers to enjoy an open-top experience or a more enclosed, coupe-like feel.

Interior Layout and Materials

porsche boxster s interiorThe interior of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S was designed with a focus on driver engagement and comfort:

  • Cockpit Design: The driver-oriented cockpit featured a well-laid-out instrument panel, with gauges and controls positioned for easy readability and access. This ergonomic design ensured that the driver could focus on the driving experience.
  • Materials and Build Quality: The interior was adorned with high-quality materials, including leather upholstery, soft-touch plastics, and brushed aluminum accents. The build quality was consistent with Porsche’s standards, offering a premium and durable cabin environment.
  • Seating and Comfort: The Boxster S provided supportive and comfortable seating, suitable for both spirited driving and longer journeys. The seats were designed to offer a balance of comfort and lateral support, essential in a sports car.
Convertible Top Mechanism and Reliability

The convertible top of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S was a highlight, but also a point of consideration for potential buyers:

  • Mechanism: The power-operated convertible top was engineered for ease of use, allowing for quick and effortless opening and closing. The mechanism involved a simple push of a button, making it convenient for drivers to adjust the roof according to their preferences and weather conditions.
  • Reliability: While generally reliable, the convertible top mechanism in some Boxster S models could experience wear and tear over time. Common issues included slow operation or minor leaks. Regular maintenance and careful operation were key to ensuring its longevity.

The exterior and interior design of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S played a significant role in its appeal. The car’s striking looks, combined with a functional and comfortable interior, made it a well-rounded sports car that was as enjoyable to drive as it was to behold.

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Driving Dynamics of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

1999-2003 porsche boxster s driving dynamicsHandling Characteristics

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is renowned for its exceptional handling, a hallmark of Porsche engineering. Here’s an in-depth look at its handling dynamics:

  • Balance and Agility: Thanks to its mid-engine layout, the Boxster S exhibited superb balance and agility. This design evenly distributed weight between the front and rear axles, resulting in neutral handling characteristics and minimized understeer.
  • Steering Response: The steering was precise and responsive, offering excellent feedback to the driver. This made the Boxster S particularly enjoyable on winding roads and during spirited driving sessions.
  • Suspension Tuning: The sport-tuned suspension provided a firm yet compliant ride. It was adept at absorbing road imperfections while maintaining composure during aggressive maneuvers, contributing to the car’s overall handling prowess.
Real-World Performance

The performance of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S in real-world driving conditions was impressive, characterized by:

  • Acceleration: The Boxster S’s 3.2-liter engine provided brisk acceleration, making it quick off the line and capable of rapid overtaking maneuvers. The car’s 0 to 60 mph time was around 5.7 seconds, showcasing its sports car pedigree.
  • Braking: Equipped with larger brakes than the standard Boxster, the S model offered excellent stopping power. The brake system was designed to handle the rigors of high-speed driving, ensuring safety and confidence.
  • Cornering: One of the standout features was its cornering ability. The Boxster S remained composed and grippy through corners, thanks in part to its wide tires and well-engineered suspension. This made it a joy to drive on twisty roads and racetracks alike.
Comparison with Competitors

When compared to its contemporaries, the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S held a strong position:

  • Against the BMW Z3/Z4: The Boxster S was often compared to the BMW Z3 and later the Z4. While the BMW models offered strong performance, the Boxster S typically received higher praise for its more engaging driving dynamics and better handling balance.
  • Versus the Mercedes-Benz SLK: The SLK was another competitor, known for its luxury and comfort. However, the Boxster S was generally considered to be the more serious sports car, offering a more dynamic and exhilarating driving experience.
  • Comparison with the Audi TT: The Audi TT was stylish and well-built, but the Boxster S outperformed it in terms of pure driving pleasure and sports car feel, especially in terms of handling and driver engagement.

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S distinguished itself in the sports car market with its exceptional handling, impressive performance, and overall driving dynamics. It struck a fine balance between being a fun, everyday sports car and a serious performer on the track.

Technology and Safety Features of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

1999-2003 porsche boxster s technologyTechnological Features

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S, while primarily focused on performance, also included a range of technological features that enhanced its usability and driving experience:

  • Infotainment System: The Boxster S came with a standard Porsche CDR-220 radio and an optional Becker Porsche CR-210. Higher trims offered the Porsche Communication Management system, which included navigation and a more advanced audio system.
  • Climate Control: Automatic climate control was available, providing a comfortable cabin environment regardless of external weather conditions.
  • Electronic Stability Control: Porsche Stability Management (PSM) was an optional feature, offering additional stability and traction control, particularly beneficial in challenging driving conditions.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings

Safety was a key consideration in the design of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S:

  • Airbags: The vehicle was equipped with dual front airbags, and side airbags were integrated into the door panels for additional protection.
  • Structural Integrity: The Boxster S features a reinforced steel body with integrated roll-over protection, ensuring structural rigidity and safety in the event of a collision.
  • Braking System: The anti-lock braking system (ABS) was standard, providing enhanced control during emergency braking situations.
  • Crash Test Ratings: While specific crash test ratings for the 1999-2003 Boxster S are limited, Porsche’s commitment to safety and the car’s robust construction was indicative of its protective capabilities.
Common Electronic Issues and Solutions

Like many vehicles of its era, the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S could experience some electronic issues:

  • Ignition Switch Failures: A common issue was the failure of the ignition switch, which could cause electrical glitches. Replacing the switch is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive fix.
  • Convertible Top Electronics: Problems with the convertible top’s electronic controls were occasionally reported. Regular maintenance and careful operation could mitigate these issues.
  • Instrument Cluster Failures: Some owners reported failures in the instrument cluster, including the digital odometer. This typically required professional repair or replacement.

Despite these potential electronic issues, the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S remained a technologically advanced and safe vehicle for its time. Owners should be aware of these common problems and consider them when purchasing and maintaining the car.

Common Issues and Maintenance of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

Common Issues and Maintenance of the 2002 Porsche Boxster SKnown Issues Specific to the 1999-2003 Boxster S

While the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is celebrated for its performance and design, like any vehicle, it has its share of common issues that potential owners should be aware of:

  1. Intermediate Shaft Bearing (IMS) Failure: One of the most well-known issues with this era of Boxster S is the potential failure of the intermediate shaft bearing. This can lead to significant engine damage. It’s advisable to check if this component has been replaced or upgraded in used models.
  2. Rear Main Seal Leaks: The rear main seal, which prevents oil from leaking out of the back of the engine, is prone to leakage. Regular checks and timely replacement can prevent more serious issues.
  3. Coolant Tank Leaks: The plastic coolant expansion tank can crack and leak, especially as it ages. Replacing the tank is the best solution to this problem.
  4. Oil Leaks from Valve Covers: Oil leaks from the valve cover gaskets are relatively common, especially in higher-mileage cars. Replacing the gaskets is a straightforward fix.
  5. Wear of Suspension Components: Due to its sporty nature, suspension components like bushings and shock absorbers can wear out and may need replacement.
Maintenance Schedule and Key Components to Monitor

Adhering to a regular maintenance schedule is crucial for keeping the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S in top condition:

  • Oil Changes: Perform oil changes every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or at least once a year, using high-quality synthetic oil.
  • Brake Fluid: Replace brake fluid every two years to maintain braking efficiency.
  • Air Filter and Spark Plugs: Check and replace the air filter and spark plugs every 30,000 miles.
  • Tire Maintenance: Regularly check tire pressure and alignment for optimal performance and tire longevity.
  • IMS Bearing and Rear Main Seal: Monitor these components closely and consider preemptive replacement as a preventative measure.
DIY Maintenance Tips and Professional Service

While some maintenance tasks can be handled by owners with mechanical aptitude, others are best left to professionals:

  • DIY-Friendly Tasks: Oil changes, air filter replacements, and basic inspections can be done by owners.
  • Professional Service: Complex tasks like IMS bearing replacement, transmission work, and major engine repairs should be performed by a qualified Porsche technician or a mechanic experienced with high-performance vehicles.

Regular maintenance and addressing issues promptly are key to enjoying the full potential of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S. Being proactive about the car’s care can prevent more costly repairs down the line and ensure a rewarding ownership experience.

Modifications and Upgrades for the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

1999-2003 porsche boxster s modificationsPopular Modifications

Owners of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S often look for modifications and upgrades to enhance their vehicle’s performance, aesthetics, and practicality. Here are some of the most popular modifications:

  1. Performance Upgrades:
    • Exhaust System: Upgrading to a high-performance exhaust can improve engine breathing, potentially increasing power and adding a more aggressive exhaust note.
    • ECU Tuning: Remapping the Engine Control Unit (ECU) can optimize engine performance, resulting in increased horsepower and torque.
    • Suspension Upgrades: Installing sportier suspension components like coilovers or stiffer sway bars can enhance handling and cornering capabilities.
    • Brake Upgrades: Upgrading to larger brake discs and high-performance brake pads can improve braking performance, especially important for track use.
  2. Aesthetic Upgrades:
    • Wheels and Tires: Changing to lighter, larger wheels and high-performance tires not only improves the car’s appearance but can also enhance grip and handling.
    • Body Kits and Spoilers: Adding aerodynamic components like front splitters, rear spoilers, or full body kits can give the Boxster S a more distinctive and sporty look.
  3. Practical Upgrades:
    • Improved Lighting: Upgrading to LED lights can enhance visibility and update the car’s appearance.
    • Interior Enhancements: Installing higher-quality audio systems, modern infotainment units, or custom upholstery can increase comfort and the overall driving experience.
Impact of Modifications on Value and Performance

Modifications can have varying impacts on the value and performance of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S:

  • Performance: Properly executed performance upgrades can significantly enhance the driving experience, making the car more responsive and engaging.
  • Value: While some modifications can increase the car’s appeal to certain buyers, others may reduce its value, especially if they deviate too far from the original design or affect reliability.
  • Insurance and Warranty: It’s important to consider that certain modifications might affect insurance premiums or void warranties.
Recommendations for Reversible Modifications

For those looking to modify their 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S while maintaining the option to revert to stock:

  • Bolt-On Upgrades: Choose modifications that can be easily bolted on and removed, such as exhaust systems, suspension kits, and wheel upgrades.
  • Preserve Original Parts: Keep the original parts so that the car can be returned to its factory condition if desired.
  • Quality and Compatibility: Invest in high-quality, reputable brands and ensure that any modifications are compatible with the specific model and year of your Boxster S.

Modifying a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S can be a rewarding way to personalize and enhance the car. However, it’s crucial to consider the impact of these changes on the vehicle’s performance, value, and character.

Buying Tips for the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

porsche boxster buying tipsAssessing the Condition of a Used Boxster S

When considering the purchase of a used 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S, it’s crucial to thoroughly assess its condition:

  1. Visual Inspection: Look for signs of body damage, rust, or poor repair work. Check the condition of the paint, as well as the fit and alignment of body panels.
  2. Under the Hood: Examine the engine for any signs of leaks, corrosion, or aftermarket modifications. Check fluid levels and the condition of hoses and belts.
  3. Interior Check: Inspect the interior for wear and tear, ensuring all electronic components, including the convertible top mechanism, are functioning properly.
  4. Tire and Brake Inspection: Check the condition of the tires for uneven wear, which could indicate alignment or suspension issues. Also, inspect the brake pads and rotors for wear.
  5. Test Drive: A test drive is essential to assess the car’s handling, braking, transmission, and engine performance. Listen for any unusual noises and feel for any irregularities in the driving experience.
Importance of Service History and Provenance

A well-documented service history and provenance are invaluable when purchasing a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S:

  • Service Records: Detailed service records can provide insight into how well the car has been maintained and if any major repairs or replacements have been performed.
  • Ownership History: Understanding the car’s ownership history can give clues about its use and maintenance. A car with fewer owners is often preferable.
  • Accident History: Check for any history of significant accidents or repairs, which can affect the car’s integrity and value.
Negotiating Price and Cost Expectations

Negotiating the purchase of a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S requires research and understanding of the market:

  • Market Research: Familiarize yourself with the current market prices for the Boxster S in various conditions. This knowledge will be a powerful tool during negotiations.
  • Initial Offer: Start with an offer below the asking price but be realistic. Insist on justifications for the price, especially if the car has issues or lacks service records.
  • Consider Future Costs: Factor in potential future maintenance and repair costs. A lower-priced Boxster S might end up costing more in the long run if it requires significant work.
  • Pre-Purchase Inspection: Investing in a pre-purchase inspection by a qualified Porsche mechanic can save money and headaches later. Use the findings from the inspection to negotiate the price.

Purchasing a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S can be a thrilling experience, but it’s important to approach it with diligence and informed caution. By thoroughly assessing the vehicle, understanding its history, and negotiating wisely, you can ensure a satisfying and sound investment.

Ownership Experience of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

porsche boxster s ownershipInsights from Current and Former Boxster S Owners

Gaining perspectives from those who have owned or currently own a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S can provide invaluable insights into what it’s like to live with this car:

  • Driving Pleasure: Many owners rave about the driving experience, citing the car’s responsive handling, engaging driving dynamics, and the thrill of driving a convertible Porsche.
  • Reliability Concerns: While many owners find the Boxster S reliable, they also caution about potential costly repairs, particularly related to the IMS bearing issue and regular maintenance needs.
  • Community Feedback: Owners often speak highly of the Porsche community, noting the camaraderie and support available from other Porsche enthusiasts.
Day-to-Day Practicality and Long-Term Ownership Considerations

The practicality of owning a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S varies based on individual circumstances:

  • Daily Driving: For some, the Boxster S serves as an enjoyable daily driver, offering a balance of performance and relative comfort. However, its two-seater configuration and limited cargo space might not suit everyone’s daily needs.
  • Maintenance and Upkeep: Regular maintenance is key to preserving the car’s performance and reliability. Long-term owners often emphasize the importance of budgeting for routine servicing and potential repairs.
  • Depreciation and Value: The 1999-2003 Boxster S models have already undergone significant depreciation, making them more affordable as a used sports car. Well-maintained examples can maintain or slightly appreciate in value, especially as they approach classic status.
Joining the Porsche Community: Clubs, Events, and Online Forums

Owning a Porsche Boxster S opens the door to a vibrant and supportive community:

  • Porsche Clubs: Joining a local Porsche club can provide opportunities for socializing, networking, and learning from experienced owners. These clubs often organize events, drives, and meet-ups.
  • Events and Track Days: Participating in Porsche-specific events or track days can be a thrilling way to experience the car’s capabilities and meet fellow enthusiasts.
  • Online Forums and Resources: Online communities, such as forums and social media groups, are valuable resources for advice, troubleshooting, and sharing experiences. Websites like Rennlist, Pelican Parts, and the Porsche Club of America forums are popular among Boxster owners.

The ownership experience of a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S can be incredibly rewarding, offering a blend of driving enjoyment, community involvement, and the prestige of owning a Porsche. However, it also requires a commitment to maintenance and an understanding of the car’s characteristics and needs.

Investment Potential of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

porsche boxster investment potentialMarket Trends and Resale Value Analysis

Understanding the market trends and resale value is crucial for anyone considering the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S as an investment:

  • Current Market Trends: As of my last update in early 2022, the market for the 1999-2003 Boxster S was showing signs of stability. These models had already undergone significant depreciation, making them relatively affordable entry points into Porsche ownership.
  • Resale Value: The resale value of these cars depends heavily on their condition, mileage, and maintenance history. Well-maintained examples with low mileage and a documented service history tend to hold their value better.
Comparison with Other Porsche Models as an Investment

When compared to other Porsche models, the 1999-2003 Boxster S presents a unique investment perspective:

  • Compared to 911 Models: While not as coveted as some classic 911 models, the Boxster S offers a more accessible price point. It doesn’t have the same investment potential as air-cooled 911s but is also less expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Versus Other Boxster Generations: The 1999-2003 Boxster S models are often more desirable than the base Boxster due to their enhanced performance and features. However, they may not appreciate as rapidly as some later, limited-edition Boxster models.
Predictions for Future Collectability and Value Appreciation

The future collectability and value appreciation of the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S can be speculative, but several factors suggest potential:

  • Growing Classic Appeal: As these models age, they may begin to be regarded as classic sports cars, which could increase interest among collectors and enthusiasts.
  • Affordable Porsche Entry: The Boxster S remains one of the more affordable ways to enter the Porsche market, which could sustain demand and support values.
  • Condition and Rarity: Models in exceptional condition or with rare options and colors are more likely to appreciate. Limited-edition variants or models with significant provenance could also see increased collectability.

While the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S may not be the highest-growth investment in the Porsche lineup, it holds potential as a relatively affordable, enjoyable, and potentially appreciating asset. Its future in the classic car market looks promising, especially for well-preserved examples.

Legal and Insurance Considerations for the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

1999-2003 porsche boxster s considerationsInsuring a Classic Sports Car Like the Boxster S

Insuring a classic sports car such as the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S requires some specific considerations:

  1. Specialized Classic Car Insurance: Look into insurers that specialize in classic or collector cars. These policies often recognize the unique value of classic sports cars and can offer agreed-value coverage, which is crucial for cars that may appreciate in value.
  2. Usage and Mileage Restrictions: Classic car insurance policies might have restrictions on how often and for what purposes the car can be used (e.g., for shows, club events, or limited pleasure driving). Be sure to understand these terms, as they can affect premiums and coverage.
  3. Security and Storage Requirements: Insurers may require secure storage for the Boxster S, such as a locked garage, to reduce the risk of theft or damage.
  4. Driving Record and Experience: Your driving history and experience with sports cars can impact insurance rates. A clean driving record and experience with similar vehicles can be beneficial.
Legal Considerations: Emissions, Modifications, and Import/Export Laws

Owning a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S also involves several legal considerations:

  1. Emissions Regulations: Be aware of the emissions regulations in your area, especially if you live in regions with strict controls like California. The Boxster S must meet the emissions standards of its production year.
  2. Modifications Compliance: Any modifications made to the vehicle should comply with local laws. This includes noise regulations, emissions modifications, and safety-related changes. Illegal modifications can lead to fines, insurance issues, and difficulties in selling the car.
  3. Import/Export Laws: If you’re considering importing or exporting a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S, be aware of the legal requirements in both the exporting and importing countries. This includes safety standards, emissions, and taxes or duties that may apply.
  4. Registration and Inspection: Ensure that the vehicle is properly registered and passes any required inspections in your jurisdiction. This may include safety inspections or emissions testing.

Navigating the legal and insurance aspects of owning a classic sports car like the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is crucial for a hassle-free ownership experience. Proper insurance coverage and adherence to legal requirements will protect your investment and ensure that you can enjoy your vehicle without unexpected complications.

Alternative Options to the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S

Audi TT 2003Comparison with Other Sports Cars from the Same Era

When considering a 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S, it’s helpful to compare it with other sports cars from the same period to understand its position in the market:

  1. BMW Z3/Z4: The BMW Z3 and later the Z4 were contemporaries of the Boxster S. They offered a blend of performance and luxury, with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. The Z3/Z4 models were known for their smooth inline-6 engines and distinctive styling.
  2. Mercedes-Benz SLK: The SLK was Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the compact luxury roadster segment. It featured a retractable hardtop, a more comfort-oriented ride, and typically, less emphasis on outright performance compared to the Boxster S.
  3. Audi TT: The Audi TT was known for its unique and futuristic design. It offered all-wheel drive in many models, which provided different handling characteristics. The TT was more about style and all-weather capability than pure sports performance.
  4. Honda S2000: The Honda S2000 was a more performance-focused roadster, known for its high-revving VTEC engine and precise handling. It offered a rawer driving experience compared to the Boxster S.
Pros and Cons of Choosing the Boxster S Over Similar Vehicles

Selecting the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S over its contemporaries comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks:


  • Mid-Engine Layout: The Boxster S’s mid-engine configuration contributes to its excellent balance and handling, making it a true driver’s car.
  • Porsche Brand and Heritage: Owning a Porsche comes with a certain prestige and access to a passionate community of enthusiasts.
  • Performance and Handling: The Boxster S generally offers superior handling and driving dynamics compared to many of its rivals from the same era.


  • Maintenance Costs: Porsche parts and services can be more expensive than some other brands, potentially leading to higher ownership costs.
  • Practicality: As a two-seater roadster, the Boxster S is less practical for daily use compared to some more comfort-oriented competitors.
  • Common Issues: Specific issues like the IMS bearing problem require awareness and budgeting, which might not be a concern with some other models.

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S stands out for its driving dynamics, brand heritage, and overall performance. However, potential owners should weigh these benefits against considerations like maintenance costs and practicality when comparing it to other sports cars of the era.

Conclusion: The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S – A Comprehensive Overview for Potential Buyers

As we conclude this comprehensive guide on the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S, let’s summarize the key points and offer some final thoughts for potential buyers:

Key Points for Potential Buyers:
  1. Performance and Engineering: The Boxster S is renowned for its mid-engine layout, delivering exceptional balance and handling. Its flat-six engine offers a blend of performance and reliability, making it a true driver’s car.
  2. Design and Features: With its classic Porsche styling and well-appointed interior, the Boxster S strikes a balance between luxury and sportiness. The convertible top adds to its appeal as a fun and stylish roadster.
  3. Maintenance and Common Issues: Awareness of common issues like the IMS bearing and rear main seal leaks is crucial. Regular maintenance and proactive care are key to preserving the car’s performance and reliability.
  4. Modifications and Upgrades: While there are numerous options for personalizing and enhancing the Boxster S, it’s important to consider the impact of modifications on the car’s value and character.
  5. Ownership Experience: Joining the Porsche community can be a rewarding aspect of owning a Boxster S, offering camaraderie and support from fellow enthusiasts.
  6. Investment Potential: The 1999-2003 Boxster S presents a relatively affordable entry into Porsche ownership, with potential for value appreciation, especially for well-maintained and low-mileage examples.
  7. Legal and Insurance Considerations: Proper insurance and adherence to legal requirements are essential for a hassle-free ownership experience.
  8. Alternative Options: While the Boxster S stands out in its class, comparing it with contemporaries like the BMW Z3/Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT, and Honda S2000 can help contextualize its position in the sports car market.
Final Thoughts on the Desirability and Suitability of the Boxster S:

The 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S represents a compelling blend of performance, style, and Porsche heritage. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a pure driving experience coupled with the prestige of the Porsche brand. Its desirability is further enhanced by its potential as a future classic, especially as it becomes more appreciated in the collector’s market.

However, potential buyers should consider the practical aspects of ownership, including maintenance costs and the car’s suitability for their lifestyle. The Boxster S is more than just a car; it’s a passion project that rewards those who are willing to invest in its upkeep and embrace the Porsche community.

In conclusion, the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S is a desirable and suitable choice for those who value driving pleasure, brand heritage, and the unique experience of owning a Porsche. With informed care and involvement, it can be a deeply rewarding ownership experience.

Additional Resources for the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S Enthusiasts

For those interested in the 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S, a wealth of resources is available online and in various communities. Here are some recommended links and resources for further exploration, connection with fellow enthusiasts, and sourcing parts and services:

Forums and Enthusiast Groups:
  1. Porsche Club of America (PCA): The PCA Website is a must-join for any Porsche owner, offering events, forums, and a wealth of knowledge from fellow Porsche enthusiasts.
  2. Rennlist: Rennlist Forum offers an extensive online community with a dedicated section for Boxster owners, offering technical advice, ownership experiences, and a marketplace.
  3. Pelican Parts Forums: Pelican Parts Porsche Forums is a great resource for technical advice, DIY guides, and parts sourcing.
  4. Planet-9 Porsche Forum: Planet-9 is another active forum with a focus on newer Porsche models, but also valuable for Boxster S owners.
  5. Boxa.net: Boxa.net is a UK-based forum specifically for Boxster enthusiasts, offering a wealth of knowledge and a strong community.
Recommended Dealers, Specialists, and Parts Suppliers:
  1. Suncoast Porsche Parts: Suncoast Porsche A reputable source for genuine Porsche parts and accessories.
  2. Porsche Classic Partners: Locate your nearest Porsche Classic Partner for expert service and parts for older Porsche models. Porsche Classic Partner Locator
  3. ECS Tuning: ECS Tuning Offers a wide range of parts and accessories for various Porsche models, including the Boxster S.
  4. AutohausAZ: AutohausAZ is a good source for OEM and aftermarket parts at competitive prices.
  5. Local Porsche Dealerships and Specialists: Don’t overlook local dealerships and independent Porsche specialists. They can be invaluable for service, parts, and advice.
Further Reading and Resources:
  1. “Porsche Boxster: The Practically Free Sportscar” by Robert McGowan: Porsche Boxster: The Practically Free Sportscar” by Robert McGowan book offers insights into owning, maintaining, and enjoying a Porsche Boxster.
  2. Porsche Boxster Technical Manuals: For those interested in DIY maintenance and repairs, technical manuals can be invaluable. These are often available for purchase online.
  3. YouTube Channels: Channels like “Porsche Club of America”, “Rennlist”, and various DIY Porsche maintenance channels can provide visual guides and tips.

Remember, while online resources are invaluable, connecting with local Porsche clubs and attending events can provide hands-on experience and advice that is just as important. Enjoy the journey of owning and experiencing your 1999-2003 Porsche Boxster S!

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