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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang

So I drove the 718 and 981 boxsters today.
It was a revelation.
Bit of back story so you know where I'm coming from. I've owned 3 911s from the 80s and currently have a gently modded 3.2 targa. I was an instructor with the POC in SoCal and have driven many 911s. The only boxster I've driven was the original 2.5 on Willow Springs and in and around LA. It was a brilliant car. 201hp

So today I headed to the Porsche Winnipeg dealership and arranged to drive the graphite blue PDK base boxster and then drive the 2016 Black Edition PDK base flat 6 boxster.

I drove the 718 first so I'll start there. The blue is divine. Black interior with sport seats - 14way -- all good. Standard boxster type switchgear inside -- everything is ergonomically excellent and falls readily to hand. I like my seat as low as possible and fairly upright with a high steering wheel.
And then I start the engine.
To my ears the 2.0 Turbo sounds great. Not exceptional but quite lovely and very metallic and tough on acceleration. Top down was best for even more gurgle.
I pull away and the salesman suggests that if I have time we can go for awhile.

I did not like the Drive feature -- having never driven PDK I was initially unimpressed. It switched gears too often and even in sport mode didn't seem to hold gears the way I'd like -- so I went to full paddle mode and started to play.
On one hand the car is perfect. It's, by any real standard, beyond reproach. Lovely power available early and handling unrivalled by anything I've driven. I've not driven a more recent hydraulic steered boxster but this electric steering felt fabulous to me.
On the other hand I kept wishing it was manual and thinking I'd never want a PDK car after having been so excited to try one. In other words it was decidedly imperfect but I didn't know why

Then the revelation came.

It came in the form of the Black Edition 6 cyl. 2.7 base model. I finally understood why the automotive world is in mourning over the loss of two measly cylinders.

Within 2 minutes of driving the NA car I thought about all the ways to sell my mint condition, appreciating asset 1985 3.2 911 and get this car -- NOW. Because the urgency with which I wanted to buy this car was only matched by the urgency of the engine above 4k rpm. The very urgency that was entirely lacking in the technically faster 718. In fact - the reason I like my old 3.2 so much is that it FEELS fast. The sounds, the throttle response and the rush above a certain earned rpm range is REWARDING, just like this 981
I realized why these newer boxsters are SO hallowed.
Somehow in a PDK 2016 boxster with all its available nanny tech, I felt a spiritual lineage to the older 911s I've owned. That lineage lives in the steering feel and the THROTTLE RESPONSE. Above 4200 I could get a kick in the back at will and a howl from the engine by using my big toe - I had on sandals so my toe got real active - sorry next owner but my feet were clean -- I swear!!. With that type of immediate and nuanced throttle control the thought of setting that beautiful steering wheel and exiting apexes of track and back roads alike gives me shivers and elevates the heart rate

The 718 has a throttle response that left me cold :( Flooring the car did the same -- it got fast but getting fast didn't have any ceremony or rush to it. :(

The 981 had me giddy. And that 2.7 wails when you get on it. It really is glorious.

I let the salesman know out of the gate I was shopping for an eventual purchase not an immediate one -- had I been shopping today I'd have probably left with that 2.7 Black Edition. It lacked no speed for my tastes and the PDK in it felt the way I imagined it could -- rifle bolt but with D mode for my lady. Coupled with my manual 31 yr old 915 tranny air cooled that would be the perfect garage for me.

And when I want a 4 banger I'll get a 912.

Sorry 718 but the only Boxster I see myself taking Factory delivery of will be a 6 cylinder GT department special that they are sure to release down the road -- I hope I have the extra $$ those will likely cost since one day I'd like to order and spec a car - just not a 4 cyl turbo. If not I'll get a used 2009 or later base or S model and while I'll shop for both I'll look especially hard for a PDK paddle car.

As a last note - the gentlemen at the Winnipeg Porsche were fantastic and helpful.
 

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Now this was an actual, helpful review. Very in depth coming from someone with experience with this brand.

Thank you very much sir !

Kind of disappointed to hear those comments about the 718 however, but I appreciate that, that is the reality of it. Of course, I myself would like to take a test drive to generate my own thoughts on it, but this is great to keep in mind especially for what to look out for. Very descriptive so visualization was great.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
you're welcome -- glad it was helpful and, of course, YMMV

And I can't wait to see the iterations of these in 5, 10, 15 years when the transition has born its proper fruit
 

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Just out of curiosity you might want to test cars from other brands, even the Audi equivalent to the 718... which I believe is the TT. The segment is heating up and it might even make you more appreciative of the 718, or perhaps find something you like better... but that doesn't happen to often.
 

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Yeah Shark -- I actually rented an audi TT in germany last year and drove it on the Autobahn for about 2500kms and the Nurburgring for a day of lapping.
It was fantastic.
I'd have to A/B with a boxster to really know what I think but can't imagine choosing the Audi - as good as it was, over a 6 cyl boxster.
That said - it made me think an A4 or A6 could be a family car in my future
 

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The TT never really appealed to me that much before.. but this generation definitely made quite an impact on me. I'm very fond of the styling.

 

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I actually really like the new TT. The TT RS on the other hand... beast mode. 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a drop top.

 

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Thanks for the 718 and 981 boxster comparison review! Some people may be on the fence between the two models and reviewers don't usually have a side by side comparison between models under the same brand. As much as I would like the 981, it's price tag may put me off of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Charlotte there's a great comparo of every gen Boxster in one of the UK mags and - spoiler alert - the reviewer picks a 987 2.7 as his favorite - even next to a 981 GTS!

Says it's just the best driving experience and goes so far as to say that by being the best boxster it's the best sports car on the planet.

I believe it for the simple reason that even my track coach who got FTD on most DEs we went to always said -- better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow

Maybe that 987's more in your financial wheelhouse! :) If it were me I'd look at 2005 and do IMS out of the gate - it may be a small percentage with the problem but I like to know that on my watch the cars are rock solid for anything I'm gonna do.
Another option would be to buy an 06-08 and then drop 12k on an engine rebuild somewhere like Vision and get a performance boost plus piece of mind - 20k for car plus rebuild = not bad
Which then gets closer to a 981 2.7 which some other reviewers have also called the best car porsche makes for the same reasons

Just some rambling sunday porsche thoughts
 

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I have been debating between a 2016 981 and a 2017 718 for the past few months. The interesting thing is that my reaction is exactly opposite to the review above. The new 718 is a noticeably better handling car. It also is so fast. In fact, at my altitude (5000 ft), the base 718 has more punch than the 981 S. I also like all of the minor styling ques on the new 718. As far as the sound goes, I like the snarl of the new engine. It does sound different than the naturally-aspirated six, but I happen to like it more. I have never owned a Porsche or a sports car for that matter, but have driven plenty of my friends cars over the years. I know some Porsche persists are lamenting the change in the engine, but for some like myself, it is an improvement. My only lament is that my dealer will give me no discount on a 718, but I could get a 5 or 6 percent discount on a 981. I may just have to wait a while. I am hoping that more buyers will agree with the above review, so that a nice glut of cars occurs at my local dealership by next spring. :D. Well, it doesn't hurt to dream...
 

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To each his own. I owned a 987.2 for five years. Took it to the track about 8 times a year. Purchased a 2 liter 718 two weeks ago. Although I haven't gone to the track with the 718, my initial street reaction is the 718 is a better car in every way, including the sound.!
 

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Listen, I LOVE THENEW 718. I just came out of a 2104 911, and a 2017 Macan S. I saw a sweet 718 Cayman at my local dealership here in Jacksonville and had to have it. I went to see my salesman to buy a cup holder for the macan, then i left two hours later with anew 718.
The engine is different than the 6 it replaces, but WAY MORE FUN!!! I got a manual 6 speed, as I always do. LOVE TO DRIVE IT!!!
 
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