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From the GRM Vault: Porsche Boxster vs. BMW Z3

This story comparing the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3 comes from all the way back in 1997, so we had to march back to our archives, pick out the magazine, and dig out the scanner.

To zoom in, hold down the CTRL (or Command on a Mac) key and then hit the “+” key.

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BMW Z3 and Porsche Boxster


BMW Z3 and Porsche Boxster


















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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Danny Shields
Danny Shields Reader
7/11/17 10:32 a.m.

Wow! Twenty years later, those are still two great cars!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/11/17 12:51 p.m.

I know, how time flies.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
7/11/17 8:29 p.m.

For all the comments about the interiors of 986/996 models, i think their interiors have aged FAR better than the Z3's! On the other hand, the Z3 continues to be visually striking on the outside 20 years later while the Porsche is very milquetoast when in the wrong colors, on the wrong wheels, etc. I've always thought that the Z3's achilles heel to coolness was that the majority of them weren't the 6cyl models. When i'd see one on the street i'd have a reaction but then cool off pretty quick when i realized the looks were writing checks the powertrain couldn't cash. Now that they're cheap enough to be project cars it no longer makes much difference. I can add performance myself, but i'm not among the incredibly small pool of talented fabricators that can add those curves!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/13/17 5:35 p.m.

Yeah, the Z3 made a statement. Its styling was so out there for the time. We were still living with the first-generation Miata. The S2000 wasn't yet a thing. The Z-car hadn't come back. Two more roadsters for us? Wow, it such was a major deal.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/13/17 6:06 p.m.
Vigo wrote: For all the comments about the interiors of 986/996 models, i think their interiors have aged FAR better than the Z3's! On the other hand, the Z3 continues to be visually striking on the outside 20 years later while the Porsche is very milquetoast when in the wrong colors, on the wrong wheels, etc. I've always thought that the Z3's achilles heel to coolness was that the majority of them weren't the 6cyl models. When i'd see one on the street i'd have a reaction but then cool off pretty quick when i realized the looks were writing checks the powertrain couldn't cash. Now that they're cheap enough to be project cars it no longer makes much difference. I can add performance myself, but i'm not among the incredibly small pool of talented fabricators that can add those curves!

maybe where you are, but the majority of them here are 6 cylinder cars. I actually tried to buy one of the 4 cylinder cars due to the better weight distribution, but the place wanted a premium on the 4 over the 6 because they were so rare.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
7/13/17 11:05 p.m.

Back when i used to actually see them, the majority were 1.9 and 2.3s. It's possible that the demographics in my low-wage area were constituted of a lot of 'i can afford a Z3, but just barely' buyers..

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