Porsche Celebrates the Boxster Turning 25 With Limited Edition Model

By Colin Wood
Jan 13, 2021 | Porsche, Boxster

Way back in 1993, a then-struggling Porsche unveiled a concept that paid homage to a number of previous models such as the 718 RSK and the 500 Spyder. Porsche called it the Boxster, and it was powered by a flat-six engine mounted in the middle—not the rear—of the car. Perhaps the most interesting part of the Boxster was that it was going to be Porsche’s new entry model and would only cost $40,000.

That concept would come to fruition in 1996 went the Boxster went on sale to the public. The Boxster would end up becoming one of Porsche’s best-selling models, and is often credited as being the car maker’s saving grace after a number of economic factors cause sales of it front-engined models to decline.

Fast forward to today, and Porsche is celebrating the Boxster’s 25th birthday with this, the Boxster 25 Years Limited Edition.

Based on the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, the 25 Years Edition features a number of design details inspired by the original concept such as the Neodyme-finished wheels and exterior trim pieces. Available in Jet Black Metallic, Carrara White Metallic and exclusive GT Silver Metallic, all Boxster 25 Years are finished with a Bordeaux Red interior with a matching red top.

Mechanically, the limited-edition Boxster is similar to the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 upon which it’s based, rated for 394 horsepower that can be mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK transmission.

Porsche is taking orders now, with examples arriving in American showrooms later this Spring. MSRP starts at $98,600, and only 1250 units are being built worldwide.

Read the full press release below:

Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche Cars North America Inc. (PCNA) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Boxster family with a special anniversary model: the 2021 Boxster 25 years. Based on the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 model, and powered by a 394 hp naturally aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder boxer engine, the special production model is limited to 1,250 units worldwide. It incorporates numerous design features of the original Boxster concept car first shown at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show. The production version of the Boxster first launched in Europe in 1996 and in the U.S. in 1997, closely resembling the concept car. Today the mid-engine sports car is in its fourth generation, and more than 357,000 units have been produced thus far.

One of the most striking features of the new special model are hints of the original concept car, through the use of Neodyme, a copper-like color, which provided a unique contrast to the GT Silver Metallic color on the pioneering 1993 concept. On the anniversary 718 model, it appears on the front and side air intakes as well as for the lettering and the specially designed two-tone, five-spoke, 20-inch alloy wheels and in the special “Boxster 25” badge on the rear. Porsche is offering the Boxster 25 years in GT Silver Metallic, although Jet Black Metallic and Carrara White Metallic are also available. Another striking element can be found on the fuel filler cap, which is enhanced by Porsche script from the Exclusive Design range. The cap is painted in an aluminum look as are the high-gloss tailpipes of the Sport Exhaust system while the windshield frame is finished in black.

Staying true to the style of the historic original, the special model combines a Bordeaux Red leather interior with a red roadster top made of fabric. The roadster top bears embossed “Boxster 25” lettering. Both interior and top are also available in Black. An interior package in Brushed Aluminium, 14-way electrically adjustable sport seats, door sill trims with “Boxster 25" lettering and the heated GT multifunction sport leather steering wheel are also included as standard equipment on the special edition model.

The 4.0-liter flat-six engine, which is shared with the 2021 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 model, offers exceptional throttle response, power delivery and a rich exhaust note. The high-revving 394 hp naturally aspirated powerplant, which is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK), creates an especially emotional driving experience. The special-edition model reaches a top track speed of 182 mph with the manual transmission and, in combination with the PDK gearbox and standard Sport Chrono package, sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Other standard features include Porsche Active Suspension Management suspension (PASM), which lowers the ride height 0.39 inches as compared to a standard 718 Boxster, and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with mechanical limited-slip differential. They combine remarkable ride comfort and agile handling. The PASM Sport Suspension with a ride height reduction of 0.78 inches compared to a standard 718 Boxster and particularly sporty calibration is available as an option.

The new Boxster 25 years is available for ordering now and expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms this Spring as part of the 2021 model year with a starting MSRP of $98,600 excluding $1,350 for delivery, processing and handling.

A quarter century of pure driving pleasure: the Boxster family turns 25

The Boxster carries a very special meaning for Porsche as it marked a new orientation of the sports car manufacturer’s model strategy and provided a way forward through the difficult economic times of the mid-1990s. This was reflected in the first water-cooled production flat-six engine and also in the intelligent carry-over parts concept that started with the launch of the agile mid-engine roadster. This concept was incorporated into the 996 generation 911, which was launched a year later, and made it possible for Porsche to return to profitable production.

The attractively priced two-seater captured the hearts of new, younger customers right from the start. Visually, it incorporated features of the renowned history of the brand. The appearance of the Boxster concept car shown in Detroit rekindled fond memories of the legendary 550 Spyder and the 718 RS 60 Spyder racing car. It was received so well by the public in January 1993 that the Porsche Executive Board intervened in the ongoing design development of the production model and advised, without further ado: “Build the concept car just like that”. As time would tell, it was a wise decision.

When the production model was launched in August 1996, it bore a strong resemblance to the star of the 1993 Detroit Auto Show. Because it shared its front end with the 996 generation 911, there was no question about its lineage. The Boxster was a true Porsche. At the same time, its centrally mounted flat-six engine, which initially had a displacement of 2.5 liters and an output of 201 hp, was engineered to meet stricter emissions standards thanks to water cooling, four-valve technology and variable intake timing.

An increase in power and further model enhancements followed soon after. The first 986 Boxster generation received a larger 2.7-liter engine in the U.S. in 2000, initially with 217 hp and later with 225 hp. The newly launched Boxster S was powered by a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine with 250 hp, which soon became 258 hp. The 987 generation followed in 2004 with a new design, standard 17-inch wheels (18-inches on the S model) and a redesigned interior. For the first time, performance enhancing options from the 997 generation of Porsche 911 such as optional PASM with variable damper characteristics, PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) ceramic brakes and an optional Sport Chrono package were available. With unchanged displacement, the engines of the second generation Boxster delivered 225 hp and 258 hp, respectively. By the end of their production run, engine outputs had reached 255 hp from a displacement of 2.9 liters and 310 hp from a displacement of 3.4 liters. The optional PDK dual-clutch transmission also replaced the previously offered Tiptronic S automatic transmission. At the Los Angeles Auto Show 2009, the 320 hp Boxster Spyder model was introduced. Featuring a lightweight manual fabric top, shorter side windows and a unique rear decklid with striking bulges, it was the lightest Porsche available for sale at the time.

In 2012, Porsche presented the comprehensively restyled and visually sharpened 981 generation Boxster. Thanks to a completely new lightweight body and a fully revamped chassis, the newcomer was, more striking to look at, more capable in the corners and faster than ever before. The fully automated fabric roof did without a convertible top compartment lid, the axle overhangs were even shorter, and the windshield moved further forward. The updated boxer engines were equipped with direct gasoline injection and started out as a 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine developing 265 hp and a 3.4-liter engine putting out 315 hp. In April 2014, the first GTS variant of the Boxster followed with 330 hp, offering a performance value proposition with many performance enhancing features as standard that were optional on the S model. One year later, the lightweight Boxster Spyder was undoubtedly the highlight of the range, with a naturally aspirated 3.8-liter engine derived from the 911 Carrera S that delivered 375 hp, making the Spyder variant a particularly sensational car to drive – also because it was paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. It was the lightest Boxster of all 981 generation models.

The current 982 generation Porsche 718 Boxster models set a new course in January 2016, making their debut for the 2017 model year with four-cylinder turbo engines and enhanced styling. The 2.0-liter motor in the standard and T variants delivers 300 hp and the larger 2.5-liter boxer engine in the S model generates 350 hp thanks to a variable turbine geometry turbocharger. The 718 Boxster GTS followed shortly after with 365 hp. In mid-2019, the new 718 Spyder marked the top of the range. It shares a 414 hp 4.0-liter engine with the flagship Cayman model, the 718 Cayman GT4, and is the first Boxster model to be developed by the Porsche Motorsport department, sporting brakes and chassis components from the 911 GT3. Most recently, this six-cylinder engine also powers the 394 hp 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, which was introduced for the 2021 model year in the U.S.

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spandak HalfDork
1/13/21 1:03 p.m.

I want that

This must mean im officially a Porsche convert. The koolaid tastes good!

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/13/21 4:39 p.m.

Although I own it's hard topped brother and having just expounded on mine I will leave this in tribute:

"I've had mine (987.1) now since 2016. Amazing car! 


I have put 50k miles on it in that time (~92k total) which includes 4 trips across country between San Diego and Seacoast NH and one round trip from NH to Chattanooga, TN. It is quite the GT car for sure.

I have run the Tail of the Dragon twice and once on the Cherohola Skyway both in TN. Countless canyon runs in Southern California and the best the New England has to offer.

All told I have been through 28 states in the thing.

Issues/maintenance for 50k miles:

Regular Oil changes
More tires
A split "Y" on the fuel rail
A dropped headliner
More tires (get the picture? About 30k miles for the fronts, 15k for the rears)
Broken inner driver's door handle

Just ordered a complete exhaust from Soul Performance (soulpp.com). I cannot wait for it to get some singing lessons from that!

I'll say it again...amazing car!"

I am sure the 986 models will become quite like the miata for best bang for the buck open topped sports cars.

spandak HalfDork
1/13/21 5:35 p.m.
preach (fs) said:

I am sure the 986 models will become quite like the miata for best bang for the buck open topped sports cars.

Thats how I got here. My Boxster was cheaper than a comparable Miata.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/14/21 8:38 a.m.

BTW, if you are looking for some Boxster content, we have a 2001 Boxster S project car over on Classic Motorsports. We even made a buyer's guide if you are so inclined.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/15/21 11:28 a.m.

Somewhere I have a photo of an early Boxster wearing a hardtop that makes it look like a Cayman, had Caymans existed back then. 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/15/21 11:54 a.m.

I love those wheels, but they'd probably cost more than half the value of my Boxster.

wearymicrobe PowerDork
1/15/21 12:00 p.m.

It comes with the 4.0. That almost seems a bargin. 

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/15/21 12:44 p.m.

This make me feel old.  The Boxster is 25 years old!!!! I still think of it as a car that is a relatively recent Porsche model.  Dang.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/15/21 12:59 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

I just realized that I'm only a year older than the Boxster.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/15/21 4:31 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

A company called Zeintech made them.

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