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Old 10-19-2016, 12:40 AM   #1
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Default Re-joined the *****, er, p-car club

So I had an 06 911 S 'vert for a short time, a few months back. Then I drove a Cayman S in anger. I was convinced I wanted mid-engine goodness. So I sold the 911 and began my hunt for an 09-12 Boxster S with PDK (yes I decided to go to an automatic!)
The 09-12 has the PDK and the new direct injection motor has no bearing or oiling issues.

After a couple of months of CL and autotrader, I finally saw one nearby that was a nice color, low miles (21k), and some nice basic options - heated seats and headlights that "look" into turns I wanted the track-ready "Sport" mode shifting but I can have the software added. The adaptive dampers ("PASM") was on my wish list but I did not see a single car nationwide with it. And I can retrofit that too - folks sell the factory option to upgrade to Bilstein PSS9's or other.

The car feels very tight and new. It's tighter than the 911 Cab. It's hard to say it's a convertible unless you really pay attention.



The Bridgestone RE050A tires have good grip despite being brand new. Much more grip than the Hankook EVO V12's on the 911.

The tires clearly aren't as awesome as the almighty Michelin Pilot Super Sports on the Cayman S I drove. They aren't as smooth nor quiet and are a bit down on grip. PSS are ungodly good street tires. I'm thinking of selling these Bridgestones while they're new and getting maybe the Hankook RS3's.

The wheels are 18" and pristine... I tried searching for used wider wheels but I couldn't find any right now. These are 18x8 and 18x9... folks usually go for 18x8.5 and 18x10 for the track and 10 mm wider front, and 20 mm wider rear. OZ Alleggerita are very popular, and light.

The PDK, even without the Sport/ Sport Plus mode is very good. It is very smooth, reasonably quick, and of course is a huge relief in the heavy traffic on my way home from the dealer.

In auto mode, it's like a very very good automatic. In manual mode, it's very good... except I occasionally still get confused with the direction of the lever and the buttons on the wheel. I really want to reverse that... I thought I got used to it at one point, then I got it backwards again. Using the stick to up or downshift is much better than the wheel buttons. I did a search for anyone who reversed it (hopefully it's only a pair of wires), but found nothing.

The $1500 upgrade to install the sport plus software and buttons should totally transform the car in auto mode. It is so good everyone says it's better than manual mode on the track or street.

The car handles pretty neutral. Very little push. I didn't realize how much I missed getting the tail out a bit on power out. The 911 just squats and goes. The 911 was an understeering pig before adding front camber; afterwards it was closer to neutral. It felt loose after turn-in before you got on the gas, but it could put power down with impunity. The Boxster is closer to the miata. Compared to the 911, it has better turn in, is more agile, and just feels more like an extension of yourself. It's exactly what I was looking for. Compared to the miata it is just way more planted. CG feels lower and the car feels wider. Much less twitchy by comparison.

The damping is to-die-for. It feels like the tiniest movement of the wheels is damped. No lost motion. Ohmygod how does Porsche do it? The CG feels low, doesn't have much body roll despite ride being smooth, and the car just.... flows. It doesn't lose composure on whoop-de-dos.

There's plenty of power for passing at lower speeds, despite lacking the big power of the 911.

When I see a used set of the factory adaptive shocks ("PASM"), a rare option, I will buy them and get this tunable controller:
DSC Sport electronic suspension control TPC Racing
The factory PASM shocks and springs are lower, *smoother* in street mode, yet handle better at the track (in stiff mode).

Nitpicks: the top mechanism already has an issue that is pretty common. The dealer is gonna look at it. The gas pedals feels a tiny bit too friction-y, but I don't notice it unless I pay attention. The brakes are squishier than the 911's or the miata with the 1" master cylinder. Maybe it has some air in it (the pads are half gone so shouldn't be squishy). The +/- direction on the shifter is backwards.

UPDATE: So I drove the Boxster on mountain roads - day, night, wet, and dry. It was a near spiritual experience. This car is preternaturally good. The way the steering, brakes, throttle, suspension, and transmission all work together... it just *flows*. I have driven 3 earlier sub-generations of Boxsters/Caymans and they were not this good. The last time I had a "spiritual" car experience was when I drove a Ferrari F430. I now know where the car gods are, and they work at Porsche. (Maybe they moved there from Ferrari).







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Old 10-19-2016, 12:43 AM   #2
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*edit: the pictures didn't show up the 1st time.

she's beautiful
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:34 AM   #3
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Why do the exhaust pipes come out of the front?
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:07 AM   #4
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Do you like the shifter? My friends 07 Cayman has a terrible shifter. I admit I have never driven it in more than city traffic, but I never liked his Cayman that much. Probably would like a Boxster more.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:12 AM   #5
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It's a PDK...
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:51 AM   #6
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Oops...
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:26 AM   #7
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I have an unhealthy desire for a Cayman S.

But I don't make enough to justify buying a new, $75k Porsche.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Why do the exhaust pipes come out of the front?
Read your post, went back to look at pics, lol'd
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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Very nice.

A good friend bought a Cayman GTS last year with the PDK. I've never been a fan of 'automatic' transmissions, but that thing is spectacular. You're going to love the Sport/Sport+
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Why do the exhaust pipes come out of the front?
It's a cannon to be used on left lane campers!
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
Do you like the shifter? My friends 07 Cayman has a terrible shifter. I admit I have never driven it in more than city traffic, but I never liked his Cayman that much. Probably would like a Boxster more.
I drove an 06 with the factory short shifter. It was much, much nicer than standard. When upgrading there is a certain cable or attachment with some plastic in it that should be replaced with an aftermarket piece because they fail prematurely.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z31maniac View Post
I have an unhealthy desire for a Cayman S.

But I don't make enough to justify buying a new, $75k Porsche.
If you won't track it, the first gen S's are a great buy.
For track work, 09+ got oiling issues fixed.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:58 PM   #13
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Nice car. Great color. Sapphire Blue is one of the best standard option Porsche colors in a long time. If I could get away with another 2-seater toy car the Boxster S would be high on my list. As it is now, my semi-realistic dream car remains a 997 Carrera as it has a vestigial back seat for stowing small children. Base model is fine with me. Decent ones are in the $35k range or a little more if you want fancy spec.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
The +/- direction on the shifter is backwards.
Should be back/towards you for upshifts, forward/away from you for downshifts. On the wheel, right paddle for up, left paddle for down. How does Porsche do it?
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:59 PM   #15
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Great car. Just yesterday i was looking on CL at early model boxters.

By the way - Upshift away (front) downshift - (to you) back makes all the sense to me and the opposite pattern doesn't. It's like going faster - forward, going slower - back.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Should be back/towards you for upshifts, forward/away from you for downshifts. On the wheel, right paddle for up, left paddle for down. How does Porsche do it?
Apparently the Boxsters are reversed -- shift down by pulling back, shift up by pushing forward. Dunno about the paddles.

PDK lever - need standardization - Rennlist Discussion Forums

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slow View Post
Great car. Just yesterday i was looking on CL at early model boxters.

By the way - Upshift away (front) downshift - (to you) back makes all the sense to me and the opposite pattern doesn't. It's like going faster - forward, going slower - back.
I'd want mine like a 3-4 shift pattern. Forward to downshift, back to upshift.



The buttons are identical left to right -- like rocker switches on both sides. Maybe you could retrofit a paddle steering wheel setup?

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Old 10-19-2016, 05:14 PM   #17
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By the way - Upshift away (front) downshift - (to you) back makes all the sense to me and the opposite pattern doesn't. It's like going faster - forward, going slower - back.
Nonono. Go drive a real race car or a shifter kart or a Lenco or a Hewland or a Quaife or any racing gear box ever made that's not an H/Z-pattern. Pull back for faster, push forward for slower. It correlates to the motion of your body during the acceleration or deceleration. Trying to push your hand forward why your body is being pushed backwards is totally illogical.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:37 PM   #18
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Welcome back to the miataturbo with other cars who now happen to be Pcars club.

I had my Turbo tune cleaned up/updated last week and hooray if it doesn't feel like a new car. Old ecu flashes can work... but a hand in the details of the extra maps makes all the difference in the world.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Nonono. Go drive a real race car or a shifter kart or a Lenco or a Hewland or a Quaife or any racing gear box ever made that's not an H/Z-pattern. Pull back for faster, push forward for slower. It correlates to the motion of your body during the acceleration or deceleration. Trying to push your hand forward why your body is being pushed backwards is totally illogical.
Yeah, back when I would read all the C&D articles complaining about the "forward to upshift" model, I thought they were smoking crack and it was totally arbitrary and just something to learn. Then I bought a car that has one that way (my S6) and, no, they were right all along. Forward to upshift is totally wrong.

Fortunately the paddle direction is correct -- left for downshift, right for upshift. The problem with the paddles on most cars is that they're attached to the wheel, not the steering column, so if you have the wheel turned more than 90 degrees the paddles are reversed.. That's fine for a Formula One car because the steering wheel doesn't even GO that far, but on a street car (or especially autoxing) it totally throws things off.

After a year with the S-tronic in the Audi, I don't know if I'd buy another car with one. I like the speed at which the transmission shifts, but it doesn't afford the level of control a real manual does, and it's lacking the visceral satisfaction.

--Ian
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:51 PM   #20
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What's your opinion on the IMS issue on the first gen cars? The prices are starting to become very reasonable, but the specter of a $15k replacement engine due to a failed IMS bearing causes me pause. The 09+ cars seem to be holding their value better, probably due to the more reliable engine, and I can't justify the cost of a new or close to new one. That being said, fell hard for the '16 Cayman GTS I drove in Germany.
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