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Hi, I am hoping some basic 981 brethren will offer their opinion concerning how much perceived power our motor makes. I have a 2014 Boxster PDK (no chrono) that I truly love - I've had it for 9 months. It is docile around town and handles amazingly. I'm slowly becoming bugged at its lack of real top end power. I had a 987.1 manual that felt stronger than this. Regardless of sport mode or not, the motor is just underwhelming. Does anybody else find this to be the case? Is there an easy solution beyond buying an S or more? It feels like the car is just neutered - like if I just got another exhaust or something it would be different. Frankly, I wonder if it is making the power it is supposed to. Am I crazy?
 

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My personal take is if you are looking for more umph, then definitely go for an S. With the kind of trouble and cost you would need to go through to squeeze out more power out of a base mode, you might as well have the S and get to keep the high resale value + potentially better reliability. On top of that you get minor cosmetic benefits like wheels and painted calipers etc. I'm just not a believer of modding a base model to make up for the power.

Funny you brought this up, I actually felt that the 987 cars are much more connected and even faster at times (although there is without a doubt the 981 cars are faster). Some 981 owners get really offended when I said that and just claim that I'm a hater. Anyway, just my point of view
 

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Well, I’ve had my 2.7 Boxster for about the same time and 6500 miles. Frankly, I don’t know what I would do with more power. Maybe faster times on the track, but that would be the car, not me, so what’s the point? Setting fastest time of the day is not my goal.
Sure, on my first test dive I immediately noticed a lack of mid range torque. I’ve had some big block and turbo cars in the past and always loved the ability to punch it at any rpm and feel the torque smash you into the seat.
I quickly learned to keep the revs up in the Boxster, listen to the six cylinder symphony, and enjoy the ride. No regrets on the base model decision.
 

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Well, I’ve had my 2.7 Boxster for about the same time and 6500 miles. Frankly, I don’t know what I would do with more power. Maybe faster times on the track, but that would be the car, not me, so what’s the point? Setting fastest time of the day is not my goal.
I can put some real-world perspective on this. A friend has a base Cayman and we had our first track day just over a week ago. There wasn't really much comparison on the track. The GTS was pretty clearly quicker, but that shouldn't be a surprise.

The interesting bit of perspective though is that we sometimes go for some pretty spirited drives out in the countryside and at no point has his car ever had any issues keeping up. Not once. If he's ever had an inkling of frustration, feeling like he needs more power, he's never said a peep about it. It's not just me he's keeping up with, either. We go out with cars far more powerful than either of ours, and it's just never been an issue.
 

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I've had a 987, a 987.2, a 981S. I have a 981 PDK now. Of the four cars the 981S obviously had the most power but the old, base 987 2.7 seemed to have more useable torque.

When I got the 981 PDK if felt like it was a little down on power but I started to change the way I was driving it. I noticed that if I put the 981 PDK in Sport mode and pushed the throttle to the floor it responded with all the power that I need. I have a highway near my house that begins at a stoplight intersection and goes for two miles without any cross roads or drive ways. If I am the first person at the stoplight I treat that stretch like a drag strip and I am pleased with how quickly the 981 PDK gets from 0 to 60. (The speed limit is 55 mph. I back off around 60.) Of course the 981S was faster but the 981 PDK doesn't feel like a slouch. Don't baby the car. You might be surprised.
 

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One of the most fun cars I've ever owned was the BMW 318ti with a Dinan suspension. It handled as well as anything out there and was completely under-powered, which meant that going up the curvey hill near my house required constant monitoring and shifting -- true driver involvement. Obviously more power is faster, but not necessarily more fun. So, enjoy your base for what it is -- a car that performs virtually as good as my S (at least in the crowded environs I drive in) if you're paying attention and gets better mileage.....
 

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When you 'hammer' the accelerator and then let off, does the transmission hold the gear in the power band for about 8 seconds before shifting?
This is what happens with PDK and Sport Chrono. You also get a nick kick in the back on a shift if the 'hammer' is down.
It's really all the power I can use on road.
The Track is another thing on the long straights.
BTW, no exhaust ro whatever else anyone wants to sell you will give any meanigful HP gain.-Richard
 
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I'm speculating based on other PDK's I've driven. Without SC the car up shifts to the highest gear possible and holds it as long as possible. Made even a C2S feel a bit doggy. Since you don't have SC try running manual mode and use the shift points you would driving a similarly powered manual. And forget 7th exists except highway cruise, Yes I'm stating the obvious but you didn't specify the conditions so maybe something you hadn't considered. PDK in standard mode is tuned for economy.

If you have tried this get a fault code download. Maybe there's a fault not significant enough to set a CEL. Place to start anyway.
 

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Stay away from a 914-4! lol Makes a base 981 look like a salt flats monster.
 
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I owned a base 981 for 2 years and then got a GTS. Both 6MT. While the GTS is clearly faster and has more power, the real-world difference isn't as great as you'd expect given the big difference in HP and torque figures. And both need to be revved hard. Below 3500 rpm or so, there isn't much there in either car.

I've also driven GT3s, 991 Turbo S, 458s, Huracans, GTRs, Gallardos, and R8s on the track. Similarly, they don't feel as fast as they should be given their staggering power outputs. The 991 Turbo and GTR are possible exceptions because the low-end torque fires you out of a cannon from almost any rpm.

I think the lesson here is that big power figures are more impressive on paper than in the real world. Yes, a 981 GTS is faster than a base and a Huracan faster still, but if you didn't know the actual power figures you'd think they were closer based on a real world drive.

My advice to you: if you like driving the base 981 and aren't really hard up for more power, then I would stick with what you have for now. When it's time for a new car, then consider the S or GTS or whatever.
 

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I've had that feeling before [with my 2.7] and I think some it has to do with different quality levels of gasoline. After feeling that my car was a bit down on power or that it was being curtailed by low octane etc., I started going elsewhere and the perception disappeared.

BTW - the rest of the time, I think the 2.7 has more than enough oomph as I don't track it. What would I do with more power anyway? Race teenyboppers in ricers or Grandpa's in Corvettes and Camaros?
 

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I owned a base 981 for 2 years and then got a GTS. Both 6MT. While the GTS is clearly faster and has more power, the real-world difference isn't as great as you'd expect given the big difference in HP and torque figures. And both need to be revved hard. Below 3500 rpm or so, there isn't much there in either car.

I've also driven GT3s, 991 Turbo S, 458s, Huracans, GTRs, Gallardos, and R8s on the track. Similarly, they don't feel as fast as they should be given their staggering power outputs. The 991 Turbo and GTR are possible exceptions because the low-end torque fires you out of a cannon from almost any rpm.

I think the lesson here is that big power figures are more impressive on paper than in the real world. Yes, a 981 GTS is faster than a base and a Huracan faster still, but if you didn't know the actual power figures you'd think they were closer based on a real world drive.

My advice to you: if you like driving the base 981 and aren't really hard up for more power, then I would stick with what you have for now. When it's time for a new car, then consider the S or GTS or whatever.
Thanks for confirming that the 28,000 miles I've enjoyed in my (under-powered) base Boxster haven't been completely wasted!
 

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The OP doesn't mention whether it's PDK or manual. PDK will by default go for the highest gear which can make it feel sluggish. Also what year is it? I've had loaner cars that had <1000 miles with PDK that felt really tight and needed a bit of a stomp to get going.

My 6MT BS felt faster than the PDK base Cayman loaner, but a good chunk of that was the different gear/rev combinations - I just don't drive in 6th at the first opportunity like PDK does.

Just in case this seems like I'm bashing either PDK or base cars - I actually really enjoyed the loaner and the PDK transmission, even though it didn't have the sports design steering wheel or most of the options that I'd have added.
 
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All 981's with PDK have an available sport mode regardless of Sport+. In sport-auto mode it does not upshift at the lowest rpm.
 

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All 981's with PDK have an available sport mode regardless of Sport+. In sport-auto mode it does not upshift at the lowest rpm.
But in Sport mode it does upshift too soon for best responsiveness. In my 986 MT, when a merge or similar situation was coming up, I would downshift ahead of time. In my PDK car, I pop into Sport+ auto ahead of time. Keeping the tach at noon improves response both ways on the gas. If I didn't have SC, I would use Sport manual. With + auto, it won't bounce off the limiter.
 

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I have a 2014 base with PDK. It sounds like, to me, you are down on revs not power. Grab that beautiful motor by the scruff of the neck and hammer it. It will thank you later and you get to hear a noise much better than any S ever generated. To quote my SA, 'drive it like you stole it whenever you can'. Not very good for the economy but excellent for the ears
 

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It's all about the driving experience; if the car feels underwhelmed to you then it's probably not the right car for you (since you're not maximizing your experience). Power/torque is a good thing and it doesn't necessarily have to be for tracking or racing. Most cars have more power than needed on the street...my wife's first car (Honda Civic, 1.8L/4 cylinders) had more power than required but that's not the point now, is it? Life is too short to be driving an underwhelming sports car...
 

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The OP doesn't mention whether it's PDK or manual. PDK will by default go for the highest gear which can make it feel sluggish. Also what year is it? I've had loaner cars that had <1000 miles with PDK that felt really tight and needed a bit of a stomp to get going.

My 6MT BS felt faster than the PDK base Cayman loaner, but a good chunk of that was the different gear/rev combinations - I just don't drive in 6th at the first opportunity like PDK does.

Just in case this seems like I'm bashing either PDK or base cars - I actually really enjoyed the loaner and the PDK transmission, even though it didn't have the sports design steering wheel or most of the options that I'd have added.
The OP did say that he had PDK but you are right in that you do need to stomp them. I have learned that if I drive the PDK like a straight drive it really is fun.
 

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A lot of these responses seem to imply PDK in auto-mode. Seriously, who does that and why?
 
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