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boxster S 295 hp 3.4l vs 280 hp/3.2l


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(newbie here ...)

has anyone driven both? how much difference can you *feel* ?

I've driven a Boxster-S [280HP] and a Cayman-S [295 HP] back to back....

The straight answer is - not much on the road. Possibly a little on the track. IMNSHO, only a pro can really feel/use the 15hp difference, but if you are buying new, the 295 HP Cayman S engine gives you:

a. Bragging rights

b. the feeling that you have the best possible engine [and heck, you do].

But, if I got $5K or more knocked off identical vehicles at new [under 1000 miles], I'd take the 5K,

bargain for more money in your pocket, and take the 280 HP.

Bapcha

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I don't know anyone who has driven the new 3.4. I take it they are in stock now? By the book, it's less than a 10% difference...but it must be nice. I'll put it this way...I have the 260 hp 2004 and I might not feel much difference between that and the 280...but I bet when I test drive the 2007 I'll definitely feel the 40 hp gain! Such is the way with incremental upgrades...it all depends on where you are coming from.

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I haven't driven the 3.4L '07 Boxster S, but I did drive a Cayman S which I had as a loaner. It's difficult to compare the Tiptronic Cayman to my manual '05 3.2L Boxster S, but there did not seem to be a dramatic difference in power. Anecdotally, there seemed to be slightly more power at lower revs which would make sense given slightly larger displacement, but it's always difficult to tell what's reality and what's perception.

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I test drove, back-to-back, a brand new '05 Boxster against a 1,000-mile CPO '03 Boxster S that I ended up buying last summer. Using Porsche-published data, note the differences between these two vehicles:

'05 Base 2.7L

0-60 mph in 5.9s

240 hp @ 6400 rpm.......(par)

199 ft lb @ 4700 rpm.....(par)

'03 S 3.2L

0-60 mph in 5.4s

258 hp @ 6200 rpm.......( +7.5%)

229 ft lb @ 4600 rpm.....(+15.1%)

I bought the '03S for many reasons over the '05 base, but the test drive was one of the biggest. Though, before I went out, the salesperson assured me I would feel no significant difference. He contended that it was on the track where the difference would play out and unless I was dropping the clutch with hard starts, I wouldn't be able to make out the 0.5 second difference between the two. I drove the 2.7L first with an open mind. My route took me down a busy road with stop lights to a highway, on which I did a few mile loop and returned. Then I took the 3.2L on the exact same route. BTW, both cars were manuals (5-speed for the '05 and 6-speed for the '03).

The difference of 18 hp and 30 ft lb of torque was not too noticeable in the stop-and-go traffic, where I could barely get to 35-45 mph before the next light. However, making the turn onto the highway on-ramp was different. There, I could press into it from a street-start of about 5-10 mph. The S applied noticeably more pressure to my back than the base. Not tons more, like a TT, but noticeably more--I think just about anybody could have felt it.

When you're talking about how much you 'feel,' I think it is the torque you should examine, especially in the real world (i.e. not on the track). The question here, between the 3.2L to the 3.4L is a matter of 15 hp and 15 ft lb, which are +5.4% and +6.4% differences respectively between those engines. Compare those differences to those from my back-to-back driving impression above.

I'm not too sure that if you could take what I felt during those test drives, and divide that difference in half, that it would be all that compelling. So, I'm with CharlieG: my guess is that it would be incremental--at best. Questionable whether it would be a big reason to pick an '07S over an '06S, if that's what you're looking at.

--Brian

Edited by Q-Ship986
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Brian, your remarks remind me of exactly the same impressions I had when I owned a 2001 Base Boxster (217 hp) and drove a friend's then new 250 hp Boxster S. It was about a 15% difference...both on paper and in actual seat-of-the-pants feeling. You noticed it, but you wouldn't be wanting to trade up cars for it.

Seems like Porsche keeps us evenly baited so that we are happy for 2-4 years and then get the itch to upgrade! :)

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Intersting comparison and some nice calculations but the 2.7 has a completely different torque curve to the 3.2, so even if you drove both cars with the same 6 speed box , I'd expect to notice a difference. The Cayman and 3.2 are similar in torque curves , but again not identical , so depending on which gear you are in depends on what difference you will notice. To be honest , rather than spending lots of cash on a new model, if your existing car has done its depreciation , tuning may be a beeter bet. Techart offer a 45 hp increase for the 987 S for about 20K $. This equates to approximately 325 Bhp , not far short of a carrera and a car with substantially less weight.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So with the 2.7l Boxster now producing 245hp and the 3.4l in at 295hp...

How long before we see a Boxster S firmly on the sunny side of 300hp, not just 5hp but maybe ringing is at 320hp? From 1997 at 215hp(?) to 295hp now, it has been a slow climb!

Or are these kinds of power figures reserved for the more expensive Porsches?

I am currently in a my06 at 240hp, I'm happy but maybe in about 3 years... B)

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  • 3 months later...
(newbie here ...)

has anyone driven both? how much difference can you *feel* ?

I have a 03 S and an 06 S, I really like the bells and whistles on the 06, but it is a heaver car I think.

what about GVW V/S BHP? I don't know what the 07 weight is, but probably heaver that the 06.

I have an 07 on order that wife wants , I just hope I don't like it more that mine. Ouch

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(newbie here ...)

has anyone driven both? how much difference can you *feel* ?

I have a 03 S and an 06 S, I really like the bells and whistles on the 06, but it is a heaver car I think.

what about GVW V/S BHP? I don't know what the 07 weight is, but probably heaver that the 06.

I have an 07 on order that wife wants , I just hope I don't like it more that mine. Ouch

Here's some info on the weight and P/W ratios of the models you mentioned. These are basic curb weights with standard equipment.

'03 Boxster S 2855 lbs 260HP P/W=10.98

'06 Boxster S 2965 lbs 280HP P/W=10.59

'07 Boxster S 2987 lbs 295HP P/W=10.12

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Two days ago, I drove the new 3.4 and it was fairly impressive. However, I will echo what has been said elsewhere in this post.

It is not as noticeable as one might think. When looking at the weight per HP as posted you will get a good picture of the minimal increase. Don't get me wrong, the 3.4 is very nice but not gotta have. It is about .2 or .3 seconds faster then the 280 hp and that is about .2 or .3 seconds faster then the 260 hp in acceleration. Given a choice, I would like the 3.4 however I would not pay seven to ten grand to get it. When doing 0-60 or the 1/4 mile, a couple of tenths is not too relevant and can be made up by a good start or a good shift. I compared the 3.4 to a much earlier boxster and it did have more "seat of the pants" feel then the 250 hp. I would rather have the 3.4 then the 3.2 250 hp. but the 3.2 280 hp is very close in feel to the 3.4.

(newbie here ...)

has anyone driven both? how much difference can you *feel* ?

I have a 03 S and an 06 S, I really like the bells and whistles on the 06, but it is a heaver car I think.

what about GVW V/S BHP? I don't know what the 07 weight is, but probably heaver that the 06.

I have an 07 on order that wife wants , I just hope I don't like it more that mine. Ouch

Here's some info on the weight and P/W ratios of the models you mentioned. These are basic curb weights with standard equipment.

'03 Boxster S 2855 lbs 260HP P/W=10.98

'06 Boxster S 2965 lbs 280HP P/W=10.59

'07 Boxster S 2987 lbs 295HP P/W=10.12

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I think the "feel " of the car may as much depend on the variable cam timing and differences between the variocam on the 3.2 and variocam plus on the 3.4 engine. given the choice its better to start with the bigger engine and then consider power increases. The 3.2 engine in the 987 seems to top out about 320 bhp in fully tuned form unless you want wild cams. The 3.4 is obviously capable of higher figures , probably closer to 340 bhp. Having driven a 996 C4s I can honestly say that the reveered 911 is not much quicker than the 987 boxster s. Unless money is no object i still think the used 987S is the best value for money boxster / porsche on the market.

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