boxster s vs boxster

Porsche 718 Boxster S vs Boxster – How do they compare?

About 60 years ago, in the mid-1960s, Porsche started to really make a name for itself in the racing world. Porsche has always been up there as one of the greats, almost from the moment they were founded. But the 60s is when they solidified themselves as the real deal, inarguably successful and powerful.

And thanks to Le Mans, they were finally (beyond the realms of any dispute) one of the big boys. Able to compete with the best of them. Thirty years later, Porsche came out with the original Boxster and Boxster S, two great cars in their own right and two highly sought-after ones too.

They made waves in the automotive world, and it felt as if they would never be supplanted. And then, 20-odd years after that, Porsche came out with the 718 Boxster, quickly followed by the 718 Boxster S, and what these two cars became was not just a testimony to how good Porsche had gotten at manufacturing. But a testimony to how good they had always been.

The Boxster and Boxster S showed the world that Porsche still had the talent and innovation of the 60s while once again highlighting just how good they really were. But out of the two Boxsters, which do you think should come out on top? Here are all the facts to help you decide:


  • The Porsche 718 Boxster and Boxster S are both impressive cars that continue the legacy of the original Boxster from 20 years ago.
  • The Boxster comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing just over 300 horsepower, while the Boxster S has a larger 2.5-liter turbocharged engine generating 350 horsepower.
  • Both models offer a choice between a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
  • The Boxster S features sportier brakes with red calipers, but optional yellow or blue PCCB ceramic brakes are available for an extra cost.
  • The Boxster S is more powerful, with 50 additional horsepower, 30 more torque, and faster acceleration (0-60 time reduced by half a second).
  • In terms of value for money, the standard Boxster offers better value as the Boxster S comes with a 25% higher price tag and even more if you opt for the PCCB brakes (40% higher cost).
  • While the Boxster S outperforms the standard Boxster in various aspects, the marginal advantages may not justify the higher price tag for some buyers.
  • The article concludes that, in a head-to-head comparison, the Boxster S is the better car overall, but the standard Boxster provides better value.
  • The author suggests choosing a well-maintained standard Boxster and investing in upgrades rather than opting for the more expensive Boxster S.

The Porsche Boxster

In 2016 Porsche came out with a new and highly improved version of the Boxster. And they christened it the 718. The Porsche 718 Boxster came with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produced just a touch over brake 300 horsepower and was capable of cranking out as much as 280 lb-ft of torque.

All the power and bite of a 60s race car without the horrendous handling and questionable safety features! It was available with either a six-speed manual transmission or Porshces revamped seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

The 718 Boxster is rear-wheel drive and can reach 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of around 170 mph. As standard. Without any of the bells and whistles that Porsche likes to tease us with at the time of purchase.

The Porsche Boxster S

Not long after the Porsche Boxster hit the streets, the Boxster S was announced and released. Both cars looked near-enough identical and shared many of the same features. However, the Porsche 718 Boxster S came with a slightly larger and even more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that produced 350 brake horsepower and as much as 309 lb-ft of torque.

It, too, offered a choice between a six-speed manual transmission or its seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 718 Boxster S also has rear-wheel drive and accelerates from 0-62 mph in just under 4 seconds, with a top speed of around 177 mph.

Porsche Boxster S vs Boxster – How are they different?

While both cars are very similar for the most part, they have some differences. First, the Boxster S has a slightly larger engine displacement. Now, while they both have the option for manual or automatic transmissions, the Boxster comes with the PDK transmission as stock, whereas the Boxster S comes with the manual transmission.

Although you can get either transmission on either car, you just might have to pay a little more. The Boxster S comes with improved breaks, and the Boxster comes with standard ones. You can tell because the Boxster S comes with red calipers, which is a sign that Porsche has installed sportier brakes. You can ask for the yellow or blue PCCB ceramic brakes as an optional extra, but it would increase the cost of the car by about 20%.

Porsche Boxster S vs Boxster – Which is more powerful?

The Boxster S is far more powerful, which isn’t surprising. The S is supposed to be the more powerful counterpart to the standard 718 Boxster, and it shows. A bigger engine, better brakes, and a slightly improved transmission.

What does that net the Boxster S and its driver? An extra 50 brake horsepower, 30 more torque, half a second knocked off its 0-60 time, and an extra seven mph at its top speed. The Boxster S is much more powerful than its predecessor, handles far better coming out of corners, and feels a lot nippier.

They both have rear-wheel drive, so in terms of how you drive the car, they are pretty similar. The Boxster S just gets you a few more horses for your money. But that begs the question – does it get you enough extra horses or enough extra torque?

Porsche Boxster S vs Boxster – Which is the best value for money?

In terms of value for money, you can try and quantify cars in a few ways. Some people like to quantify them by some kind of horsepower-to-dollar ratio. Some prefer to look at how rare a car is to try and work out what its resale value is.

And others look at the car as a whole and pick a winner based on gut instinct alone. And when it comes to these two cars, honestly, it kind of has to be the Boxster. Sure, the S is more powerful and much faster, but it costs about 25% more.

If you want the PCCB brakes, it costs about 40% more. Are you getting 40% more power, more speed, and 40% more car? No. You aren’t.

Porsche Boxster S vs Boxster – A head-to-head summary

In a head-to-head to decide which comes out on top, there is a clear answer: Boxster S is the better car. I mean, when it does everything better, there really isn’t any room to argue. But we are talking about such minor, marginal advantages that it really doesn’t make enough difference to justify the heftier price tag.

If I were to go out today and buy a 718 Boxster, I would simply go for the lowest mileage car that seems to be in the best condition. You can have your extra 7 miles per hour, I’ll spend the leftover cash on some better brakes, new filters, and an upgraded ECU.

My “standard” Boxster would smoke your Boxster S, and id have enough money left over to buy you a beer afterward. No hard feelings, right? Let us know in the comments if you agree with our assessment or whether you feel like the Boxster S has something we are missing!

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