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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

While this is my first post on this forum, I've been lurking for some time. I've read a ton of existing posts trying to answer my own questions, and though I have got a pretty good idea of what I'm trying to do, I figured I'd ask for some advice to help narrow in my selections and give me more to consider over the next few months. I expect I'd be looking to build rather than buy off the lot.

First of all, I'm not currently a Porsche owner. I had a 928 S and GTS back in the 90s and early 2000's that I enjoyed but its been a couple decades since I sold that. I currently drive a BMW 335 m-sport, and up until a couple months back I also had a BMW Z4 3.0si roadster that I really enjoyed as my weekend car, but always wanted to move back to a Porsche. The Z4 ended up being sold for a new SUV for my wife. My BMW lease is expiring in September, and I'm thinking this is probably the right time to get that Porsche... especially since I find my 335 a bit boring and really miss my more sporty roadster.

Since this would be my daily driver and will never be taken on the track, I want a sports car that doubles as a daily driver (to quote an earlier thread describing the differences between the M3 and CS.) I'm looking for the best combination of comfort (for long trips) and handling/performance, with enough torque and HP to keep me smiling when I'm letting loose. I live in the San Francisco bay area, so I don't really have to worry too much about inclement weather, plus I like to put the top down when the weather is nice, which has me leaning towards Boxster over Cayman.

While the extra power is nice, I don't think I'm going to be in a position to really worry too much about the power curve differences between the base, S, and GTS models. So, I'm inclined towards building a well-optioned base or S rather than try to get an allocation for a GTS (if I even can at this point with the 2016 models about to hit the configurator.) Though it is my understanding that the GTS comes with about $10,000 in performance and appearance options over the S that might make that something to consider. I couldn't find anything indicating anything similar for additional options that come with the S over the base model, so I was hoping someone could clarify that. I'm a tech aficionado so some of my choices will likely learn towards tech options that make sense and don't take away from the experience.

I'm also looking to determine which options provide the best level of comfort so I have some questions relating to that. For example:
  1. Are the 14-way and 18-way seats more comfortable than the base seats, or are they just more adjustable?
  2. Does PASM offer any improvements in ride over the base suspension or is it really just for making the suspension more stiff when you want it?
  3. Does PTV offer anything for handling or ride for someone who will never take it on a track, but may do some energetic drives on coastal highways and mountain roads?
  4. Are there any other options that are recommended for helping with ride and comfort that don't take away from the handling?
While I enjoy a great engine note, I don't think I really have any need for PSE. And Sports Chrono seems only needed for launch control and track days.

Cost wise, I'm aiming to stay under $80K USD, though I have a bit of flexibility there if needed. I also considered a used 911 Carrera 4S that I liked in that range, but I really prefer the look of the Cayman and Boxster over the 911, and like the idea of the mid-engine.

Options wise I'm thinking along the following lines so far:

  • Boxster S (or base) with PDK
  • Agate Grey metallic (or Silver metallic) exterior
  • Garnet Red Leather interior (Though I may change my mind on this, since this seems too red to me. It is too bad they don't have a red/black split option like they do with the Orange/Black interior. I would like to just get the seats in red and keep the dash and such in black, or get alcantara with black seats and red highlights similar to the GTS config, but that doesn't seem to be an option.)
  • Red Top (if I go with red interior, otherwise black)
  • 19" Boxster S wheels
  • Infotainment Package w/BOSE or w/Sound Package Plus (navigation, SiriusXM, HD radio - I've heard some say there is little difference between the BOSE and SPP audio)
  • Premium Package Plus (auto-dimming mirrors/auto-sensing wipers, climate control, heated/ventilated seats, keyless entry, requires power seats or power plus seats) - though I may end up getting some of these a la carte if I don't go with the 14 or 18 way seats.
  • Bi-Xenon PDLS or PDLS Plus (PDLS comes with the Premium Package, Plus gives auto-high beams.)
  • Park Assist (Front and Rear) with Reversing Camera (seems like a no-brainer)
  • Power Folding Side Mirrors (otherwise mirrors are fixed?)
  • Power Steering Plus (maybe - other forum posts suggest this isn't useful on this car)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control w/PAS (maybe)
  • SportDesign Steering Wheel (adds paddle shifters with PDK)
  • Smoking Package (maybe - I don't smoke, but it provides a 12V plug instead of the tiny storage area if I want that)
For the Boxster S that comes in around $86K MSRP ($77K-$82K based on negotiations)
For the Boxster base that comes in around $78K MSRP (or $70K-$74K after negotiations)

I've been in a friends Cayman a few years back, but I haven't driven one myself as yet. I'm hoping to work out a means to do an extended test drive at some point soon, since a normal test drive won't really give me a real sense of the car. I'd like to compare the 911 to the Boxster/Cayman as well, but we'll see how that goes.

Any advice/comments things to absolutely add/drop would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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I'm looking for a more hard-edged car than what you are, and at a little lower price point, so although I am not a PASM customer, I think that you clearly are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm looking for a more hard-edged car than what you are, and at a little lower price point, so although I am not a PASM customer, I think that you clearly are.
Why do you say that? It sounds like the default suspension is on the softer side, and PASM just allows dynamic adjustment to firm the suspension up for sport mode. It looks like it adjusts dampening automatically, but if I'm not taking it on the track my need for the sport profile is limited.
 

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Why do you say that? It sounds like the default suspension is on the softer side, and PASM just allows dynamic adjustment to firm the suspension up for sport mode. It looks like it adjusts dampening automatically, but if I'm not taking it on the track my need for the sport profile is limited.
I just ordered a new Cayman S and was in much the same boat as you trying to figure out options.

PASM is 10mm lower than stock and probably (though not completely confirmed?) has firmer springs than the standard suspension. I doubt PASM in normal mode is more comfortable than the base suspension. If comfort is a high priority for you and you don't anticipate yourself specifically needing something more aggressive, I would just save my money and go with the base suspension.
 

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... I doubt PASM in normal mode is more comfortable than the base suspension. If comfort is a high priority for you and you don't anticipate yourself specifically needing something more aggressive, I would just save my money and go with the base suspension.
Is that true? I had an SA tell me that in normal mode the suspension was actually smoother than the base suspension, and that in whatever we should call the mode where the PASM button is depressed, the suspension was firmer than base but not as firm as the 073/Sport Suspension. PASM is always "active" when installed.
 

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I have never seen an advantage in 14 way or 18 way seats. I set my seat once and forget it but nobody drives my car but me.
 

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[*]Garnet Red Leather interior (Though I may change my mind on this, since this seems too red to me. It is too bad they don't have a red/black split option like they do with the Orange/Black interior. I would like to just get the seats in red and keep the dash and such in black, or get alcantara with black seats and red highlights similar to the GTS config, but that doesn't seem to be an option.)
[*]Red Top (if I go with red interior, otherwise black)
If the red interior is too red for you, spec a black leather interior. Then use Porsche Exclusive deviating leather options to redden your interior: deviating (red) leather on seat inlays at $550. Deviating leather on door panels (middle portion above armrest/below top door trim) $470 and/or deviating (red) armrests $310. Or, to stay with the red interior but tone it down a bit, deviating black carpet at $550. Food for thought...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the red interior is too red for you, spec a black leather interior. Then use Porsche Exclusive deviating leather options to redden your interior: deviating (red) leather on seat inlays at $550. Deviating leather on door panels (middle portion above armrest/below top door trim) $470 and/or deviating (red) armrests $310. Or, to stay with the red interior but tone it down a bit, deviating black carpet at $550. Food for thought...
I didn't see an option for the deviating leather options on the web site... that sounds like exactly what I want. Is there somewhere else I should be looking that lists these additional options?

Given these additional options, is there an option to spec all black and keep the seats as completely red? Then I could go with the deviated panels on the doors. As an alternative, is there a way to get alcantara on the Boxster without going GTS?

Thanks!
 

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Base vs S? I am in love with my 2.7 Boxster, just adjusted my driving style to keep the revs up a gear or two (6MT) and keep the engine wound up a bit higher than I would with my old muscle cars. Engine exhaust note (PSE) and response is terrific. Not sure how SC works with the PDK, but with the manual I love it. I have driven the manual in lots of stop and go traffic and have no regrets. The clutch is very light and engagement is very linear. You don't even need to touch the accelerator to start in traffic. I kept my order down to about $62K and would not change much if I had to do it over again. I am not much of a music person, but with the top down I can't hear much anyway, and the standard radio is all I have. Standard seats are fine with me, just set it up once and have never touched it since. Guarantee, that what ever you choose, you will love it.
 

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I've got a 2013 Boxster S PDK that I bought used at the end of last year. It is fairly similarly configured to what you have listed.

I have to say that I really enjoy the opportunity to play with Sports + every once in a while. If I were to order another one then SC would definitely be on my "must have" list. I don't track it but I really love that I have the option to enjoy the features of SC -- I would imagine that about 10% of the miles have been in that mode thus far.

I agree completely on the Sport Wheel -- in fact I paid the aftermarket cost to have it added to my car.

I do not have the adaptive cruise control and am still conflicted about it. I must admit that a description of how it works when I was at Tech Tactics recently was very interesting and I would really like to drive a car with that option installed.

Other than that mine has 20's and the standard suspension which I have performed very well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've got a 2013 Boxster S PDK that I bought used at the end of last year. It is fairly similarly configured to what you have listed.

I have to say that I really enjoy the opportunity to play with Sports + every once in a while. If I were to order another one then SC would definitely be on my "must have" list. I don't track it but I really love that I have the option to enjoy the features of SC -- I would imagine that about 10% of the miles have been in that mode thus far.
You mentioned you had standard suspension, but does your car have PTV? If so, do you feel they really add much to a vehicle that never sees a track?

I agree completely on the Sport Wheel -- in fact I paid the aftermarket cost to have it added to my car.
I have this on my BMW and love it. From what I'd read elsewhere people said this wasn't needed for the Cayman/Boxsters so it is interesting to see a differing opinion.

I do not have the adaptive cruise control and am still conflicted about it. I must admit that a description of how it works when I was at Tech Tactics recently was very interesting and I would really like to drive a car with that option installed.
I have this on both my BMW and my wife's Lexus and it is also very handy, especially for long drives. You can also use it as a safety feature when driving as if the car in front of you suddenly slows down or stops quickly, the car will react before you can to slow you as well. I'm a big fan.
 

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Why do you say that? It sounds like the default suspension is on the softer side, and PASM just allows dynamic adjustment to firm the suspension up for sport mode. It looks like it adjusts dampening automatically, but if I'm not taking it on the track my need for the sport profile is limited.
Standard suspension on S is wonderful sport suspension (yet suited for daily driver) and PASM is absolutely not necessary!
 

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I didn't see an option for the deviating leather options on the web site... that sounds like exactly what I want. Is there somewhere else I should be looking that lists these additional options?

Given these additional options, is there an option to spec all black and keep the seats as completely red? Then I could go with the deviated panels on the doors. As an alternative, is there a way to get alcantara on the Boxster without going GTS?
You can get it any way you want. In the USA, the dealerships have access to an extra section of "build your own" with examples of various deviating bits (z line.) The more commonly seen deviations are presented in that section, so that the dealer simply checks a box for deviating armrests or whatever. I suppose if there is a problem with the system, it is that a few salespeople don't want to be bothered with the extra work. Of and of course it is a Porsche, so you will pay plenty.

Since we the customers do not have access to the system, we glean any info from what folks report back from dealer discussions. The option codes in question are 5-digit numbers. Here are a few that I have found out about...
25071 - Deviating carpet $550
25341 - Deviating seat inlays in leather $550
(also available in Alcantara at same price, but I do not know the code)
25782 - Deviating (center) door panels $470
26891 - Deviating armrests $310
? - Deviating steering wheel rim $160
? - Deviating airbag module in steering wheel $160
? - Deviating seats (entire seat) -- The price for a 991 for deviating front and rear seats is $1500. Should be considerably less for a 981, but more than the inserts.
 

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It's good to be in your dilemma because no matter what you choose it will be great. I'm actually in a pretty good position to comment because I owned a base 981 Boxster with only a few options (full leather, BOSE, heated seats, etc.) for 2 years and then got a GTS w/ PTV.

I think with the options you're looking at, you might want to try to get an allocation on a GTS. Adding SC, PASM, full leather, etc. to an S will take you up into (or even over) the price of a GTS. But there are far fewer GTS allocations and more opportunity to discount the price on an S, so the S may end up being a better option.

Get full leather. Period. The best $$ you'll ever spend. It takes what is already a nice and expensive-looking interior up to near-Bentley levels.

I have Rhodium Silver and I get a lot of compliments on it. It's a gorgeous color but be aware that it has more of a light blue tinge than it looks in the pics. If you're looking for a true "cold smoke" silver then you'd be better off with GT Silver (albeit at what I think is a ridiculous price).

I think you can pass on SC and PASM if you're not going to track the car. The standard steel suspension is great. I doubt you'd feel any difference with PASM under normal driving. SC gives launch control with PDK (I have a 6M) but other than being a stop-light warrior (or poseur!) then I'm not seeing the point. Sport Plus mode is too aggressive for daily driving anyway. I leave it in Sport unless I'm at the track.

PSE is expensive but worth every penny, IMO. The standard exhaust sounds great so I don't think you "need" PSE. But PSE takes it up to divine level.

My brother has a 981 S with red leather interior. It's a love it or hate it thing. It looks great and striking, but it's an awful lot of red. Red, red, red. If they have the two-tone black and red interior, I think that's a better option.19" Boxster S wheels -- Yes. The 20s are on the stiff side for daily driving and not worth $2k IMO
BOSE etc. -- Yes. I don't think SPP gives you rear speakers (you need them) but regardless the Bose is worth the upgrade. You'll need to fiddle with the settings to get the best out of it though (choose "linear" etc.). If you can live without navi (I think it sucks) then you might want to do what I did: get CDR+ and Bose. You basically get the PCM upgrade without the navi and it saves $1500 or so.
Premium Package Plus -- can't really comment but I like the heated seats in my car. Don't care about keyless entry.
Bi-Xenon PDLS or PDLS Plus -- I think they both suck. Stick with what comes standard.
Park Assist (Front and Rear) with Reversing Camera -- seems like a waste of money to me. The car is small and visibility is good. You really need a camera to show you what's happening only a few feet behind you?
Power Folding Side Mirrors -- another waste of money, IMO. The standard mirrors fold back but you gotta do it the old fashioned way. The folded mirrors aren't really that much different in terms of how far they stick out, though.
Power Steering Plus -- avoid like the plague. I've never tried it myself, but the universal view is that it sucks. The standard steering is one of the best on the planet. I wouldn't mess with it.
Adaptive Cruise Control w/PAS -- I can't comment on how effective this option is, but at the ridiculous price Porsche wants to charge I didn't give it a second look.
SportDesign Steering Wheel -- absolutely, positively, YES. The standard wheel has these awful push-pull buttons and not paddles. Porsche should be ashamed.
Smoking Package -- can't comment but it sounds like it might be worthwhile
Good luck!!!!
 
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You mentioned you had standard suspension, but does your car have PTV? If so, do you feel they really add much to a vehicle that never sees a track?
I do not have PTV but find it a very interesting option. And to me it is more of an option for a non-track car than a track car -- I think that "dragging" the brakes a lot via PTV is not ideal for running on the track. Seemed to be a pretty consistent opinion up at the Porsche Tech Tactics up at Easton PA recently.

As I said, I am happy with the stock suspension but if I were to do anything I would go with the X73 since that seems to be more to my liking.

Good luck, and has been said -- You are going to enjoy the heck out of the car no matter what you decide!!
 

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I don't think you can get PTV without PASM. I have PTV on my car and can't tell you whether it does anything or not. Unlike some forum members here, I got PTV for the track. Assuming it works as Porsche claims it does, the benefits are mainly felt in aggressive driving of the type that most drivers would only do on a track. The LSD component should be self-explanatory. The rear-brake dragging component is more mysterious. Yea, I get what it does in theory, but in practice on the track you'll be trail braking into most turns anyway. I saw it as a safety feature in that PTV (presumably) could correct my line if I did something dumb.
 

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I had an 335 Msports with MPPK and MPE. I too found it somewhat boring even though I had the 6MT. it was never going to compare to the S4.

I was about to order an M3 - base base base.

I am glad I did not.

You will be much happier in the 981. It is more fun to drive, steering more alive and generally better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are you still thinking or have placed your order yet?
Still investigating and debating my choices. I plan to place an order in the next couple of months (April/May timeline most likely) since my current lease doesn't expire until August, which will probably put me into the 2016 model year allocations.

A friend also turned me on to the Corvette C7 Z51 which appears to have all the power, torque, handling, and tech options I want, with a much lower price point. I've never really been a fan of Corvettes, but after watching a lot of C7 video reviews and comparisons against the Porsche lineup, I'm considering doing a test drive for one of those as well. For my budget of USD $75K ($69K considering 9% taxes in CA) I can get a fully loaded C7 Z51, a optioned Boxster or a base Boxster S.

I'm going to try to do some test drives in the coming weeks to get a better comparison.
 
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