Although the 911 has the top end power and prestige, TorqueCars was surprised at the cornering abilities of the Boxster.
It is beautifully balanced and poised and is probably a better car than the 911 if it was going to be your daily driver. It is much easier to live with and considerably more forgiving than a 911 when pushed hard.
When it was released it was unfairly hailed as a poor mans 911, or the sensible sports car.
To be fair it is a stunning package and more accessible to the average driver than more exotic specialist cars.
With the right mods a Boxster can give a 911 a serious run for your money!
Running costs are lower than a 911 and you will still get many smiles per gallon from it.
This is mainly due to the fact it has a mid mounted engine offering a near perfect balance, where the 911 engine is at the rear. On a short twisty track that prevents the 911 getting into its stride the Boxster would do more than just hold its own.
In fact we would go so far as to say the only thing lacking in the Boxster is power, although there is certainly enough in the standard car to make it fun. With a bit of clever Boxster tuning you can create the perfect car.
The engines are very solid and reliable performers and Porsche have done a good job in tuning them. Some of the pre 2000 engines were prone to cylinder liner failure but this is a problem addressed in newer engines and most of the early ones have now been fixed or have stood the test of time. In fact the manufacturing process ensures that the Porsche engines all lave the factory meeting the quoted power figures.
The 3.2 litre engines are the best in terms of power output but even the early 2.5 litre engines have a lot to offer the keen tuner.
The question we get asked the most is what Boxster Tuning methods work the best. A lot depends on your aims and aspirations. First up we would recommend taking a look at improving airflow both into and out of the engine.
It is worth noting that the standard gearbox and clutch is a relatively weak area. Pushing an extra 50bhp through this has caused some owners a few problems.
A good quality sports exhaust with a sports cat will do a lot to lift your peak power. Match this with a full induction kit with a cold air feed. We would recommend a partition or box arrangement around the air filter to shield it from the high engine bay temperatures.
Getting a remap, performance chip or similar will also make quite a difference - especially if you are willing to restrict yourself to the higher octane fuels around. A remap should be done last and take into account all the other tuning mods you've had done.
Getting a little more technical we start to look at internal engine tuning and starting at the top of the engine would recommend a fast road cam. There are fairly noticeable power gains to be had from gas flowing the head using a method known as a "spiral flow". This creates a swirl in the air to enable better fuel atomisation and flow into the cylinder. A 3 or 5 angle valve job will also improve the air flow effectively increasing the duration or valve open by widening the air intake at partially open/closed settings.
Many companies are now offering various stage 1,2 and 3 tuning parts. A fast road cam is probably the most significant change you can make along with a lighter flywheel.
A full low down engine rebuild tuning project should look at balancing the internals and if you decide to go with forced induction we would recommend lower compression pistons. Going the supercharger route makes a lot of sense and is somewhat easier to setup but a turbo will give much greater power gains.
We have a few members who have added superchargers on low boost settings with fantastic results. Source a supercharger from a breakers yard and as long as you get the fueling and mapping right you'll have a massive hike in power for a "relatively low" outlay.
Handling & braking mods
When it comes to handling you should get an uprated suspension kit but lower the car no more than 30mm. Any more than this and you risk compromising the excellent handling. Stiffer springs and a harder damper will give a sporty feel but many consider this too much for a road car and opt for something a little softer.
Never overlook the importance of being able to stop the car. If you are increasing the power of your Boxster, TorqueCars recommend that you uprate your brakes. There are quite a few options open to your from its bigger sister the 911 or the many aftermarket parts suppliers. If you can afford it go with ceramic disks and a 6 or 12 pot caliper for the ultimate stopping power. Don't forget that the Audi and VW group share similar hubs so you actually have quite a large range of aftermarket parts. Bigger discs will usually require larger wheels so you'll need to check the clearance.
If you want to discuss the Boxster tuning options in more detail please join our friendly forum and feel free to swap tips with a resident Porsche enthusiasts. We would particularly like to hear about your tuning experiences in this car and which mods worked the best for you - you can also drop your tips on our feedback form below.
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