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Change from gen 2 Carrera to Boxster S (981)

Cheshire cat

Well-known member
10 Apr 2011
I took my 09 plate C2 in for a spark plug change etc to Porsche Wilmslow last week and had a new Boxster S PDK for the day. To say I really liked the car would be an understatement. PDK is much improved in the newer 991/981 cars though it still left me feeling slightly detached from the driving process (my C2 is PDK). My 911 felt staid and a bit old fashioned after driving the new Boxster so I asked Wilmslow OPC if I could borrow a manual 981 for a couple of hours. They were very helpful, and last Thursday I took a base Boxster manual for a bit of a hoon in the Peak District between Macc and Buxton - great driving roads. My mind was made up, found a car on the AUC locator on Friday and picked up my new (to me) Boxster S manual yesterday from OPC Guildford (I don't hang about!). It's a 12 plate car with 4000 miles and a nice spec, Agate grey with Agate/Pebble full leather, 20 inch Carrera Classics, PASM, nav, cruise, park assist etc.

I must admit a felt 'guilty' trading in my lovely Carrera that I had only owned for 10 months but it wasn't giving me all I wanted out of a sports car. Though improved, there's no doubt the gen 2 997s are 'softer' and more refined than the older gen 1 cars, and the PDK box didn't help the feeling of detachment from the driving process, particularly when pushing on. The new Boxster feels really alive and eager, and with the superb 6 speed manual I feel totally connected to the car. I also appreciate the flexibility of top down driving on a bright sunny day.

So my association with my 911 was relatively short lived but at least I'm still in a Porsche! Has anyone else made the switch from PDK back to manual after living with it for a while?
Not quite, but when I took my manual Gen 1 996 in for a service last week I had a brand spanking new 2.7 PDK boxster for six days.

Both my wife and I thought the boxster was fantastic. The PDK was wonderful around town, it averaged 30mpg and was a joy to drive - top down was great, even in the snow.

It wasn't a sports car though. Not in the way that my 996 is.

When I gave it back it took a while to adjust to the dated and basic 996. I came away in the certain knowledge that a manual 3.4 Boxster S would be quite something.
The manual 2.7 was great fun to drive, and in most situations all the power most people would need. As you probably found though, the engine has to be revved to get the performance out and I thought that could be tiring over the long run, so opted for the 3.4. I understand why people like the PDK box - it's a technological marvel - but in a true sports car, for me the connectedness of a great manual box is a must.

I do like my cars to have a decent spec so was wary also of buying a base car with a high spec as the value of the extra spec would evaporate more quickly than on an 'S'. I do think that there is a compelling argument for buying a low spec manual base 981 Boxster for a real purist driving experience.
I really enjoyed my Boxster and the change to the 911 is certainly different.

I'd agree the Boxster is a better drivers car probably and more fun. But the 911 has more power, feels more substantial, more planted and most importantly has four seats.

I'd have though the Cayman would have been a better option than the Boxster though given your comments (unless convertible was a must, of course).
Cheshire cat said:
I also appreciate the flexibility of top down driving on a bright sunny day.

If only they made a convertible 911... :lol:
I also had a 981S 'loaner' from Wilmslow when my 997 GTS was in for service.

Very nice, but not a patch on the GTS - couldn't wait to get back in the 911..
Cheshire cat said:
....that handles as well as a 981 Boxster!

Ouch! :sad:
Not the new boxster, but just went the other way and changed from an 2011 Boxster S Gen 2, for a 2009 Carrera 4S Gen 2.
I loved my boxster, if fact I thought the 2.7 was more enjoyable ( I had it before the S), you chuck it about and thrash it more confidentaly on the road without a risk of it stepping out, than the 3.4,, but I must say, "Nooooooooo!!!!!" the Carrera is a different kettle of fish, don't do it! I have no regrets what so ever from Boxster to Carrera. its a bit silly but I have ridden motorbikes for many a moon and I never got the rush in a car on out performance like a bike... until the C4S. Stick to the 911!
However, in a few months I may feel the same as you.
Have fun! and enjoy your new car! Those new boxster do look rather tempting!

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