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    3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Guys,

    I'm currently looking for an early lightly used 3.4 987S and have the following minimum spec:

    1. Bi-Xenon lights
    2. Sports seats
    3. PASM

    Does anyone know:

    1. Whats the difference between Bi-xenon lights and standard lights - if it's just the Main beam that is in Xenon then it would not make much difference in normal driving?

    2. If I can't find a model with Sports seats, can I retrofit them? Think they are about £2.5k GBP, and if I can get a car cheaper by £2k then that might be an option.

    3. PASM - is it worth it? I like a sporty harsh racecar-like ride. Does PASM improve the handling by much? Is the stock handling that different / bad without PASM?

    Thanks in advance - looking forward to getting my first Porsche!

    Sonny.


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Hi, Sonny, I'll try and answer (some of) your questions based on my experience:

    1) I have standard lights on my 2006 Boxster S, and they are woefully inadequate.  In fact, I even changed the bulbs recently to Philips X-treme Power, but they also didn't make enough of a difference to measure up to Xenon.  It may however be possible to upgrade halogen bulbs to Xenon, but I'm not aware of the procedure or costs.  Check out www.powerbulbs.com and maybe send them an e-mail for more info.

     2) Don't know about this.  I ordered mine with Sports seats, and they are a more snug fit, with more support at the shoulder level, so that you don't 'fall over' whilst cornering esp on the track.  If you're too 'wide' Smiley then you'll find the sports seats uncomfortable.

    3) The PASM issue is much more personal.  Basically, with PASM you do get better handling (and a few seconds shaved off your lap time on track), but at the expense of ride quality.  The only way to decide is for you to drive a car without PASM, and see if you like the handling - it will only get better with PASM.  Mine is without PASM, and I just love the handling characteristics of my car. 

     Hope this helps!


    --
    "I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road without being questioned about their intent"

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Hi Sonny Smiley

    My own views on your questions are as follows :-

    1. Bi-Xenon lights are really superb. Accuracy of light "throw" and the daylight colour illumination very good. They ought to be standard. the "Bi" indicates that the xenons are both dip and main beam. I wouldn't buy a car without them.

    2. I've had both the non-adaptive sports seats and the electrically adjustable standard seats. I don't personally like the sports seats, nowhere near as good as the sports seats in my BMW 123d M Sport. The standard seats give more than adequate lumbar and lateral support. My wife found the sport seats so uncomfortable in our first Boxster it was a major factor in my decision to change the car. I wouldn't get hung up if the car you are looking at does not have them and I certainly wouldn't waste £2k+ retrofitting them.

    3. PASM gives the best of both worlds. You can have a very compliant ride with no roll or a very firm sporty ride that most people find too hard in normal use. It is handy to be able to switch between the two modes, when driving challenging roads in the North York Moors the car felt much more precise in "sport" mode. The ride height is also reduced by 10mm with PASM.

    Good luck with finding the right car - the Boxster 3.4S is a fabulous car and my own example which is coming up 2 1/2 years old and has done 15,000 miles has had no problems whatsover. Smiley


    --
    Boxster S 3.4 06 Cobalt / Ocean Blue BMW 123d M Sport 08 Le Mans Blue / Lemon

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Try a car with sports seats and one without because it really is personal preference.  I wouldn't go near a car with standard seats because I slide all over the place at the first sign of a corner.  The xenons are brilliant but if you like a taut ride, think about a standard set up and then change the springs and dampers, which isn't very expensive.

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Hi Sonny,

    I was in your place just over a year ago! Here are my two (or three) bits:

    As for headlights, I'm a big fan of xenons; the difference is like night and day. The xenons project light farther out, and the quality of light across the road is more uniform than halogen. Retrofitting Xenon headlamps into a Boxster is possible, but not neatly. You'd have to swap out the entire headlamp, and would likely need to power the new lights through a heavier duty harness with relay (xenon ballasts require more juice at startup).

     Sports seats are indeed a matter of personal taste. I was all set to order them with my car until I sat in one at the dealership. Since I have wider shoulders, I couldn't get myself to fit right. My car has the standard electronic seats and I like them just fine.

    PASM with 19" wheels delivers a firm but still comfortable ride. I've heard that its softer (default) setting is actually more compliant than a non-PASM car with 19" wheels, but I have yet to verify that opinion. I added PASM to my order at the very last minute, and am glad I did. The car unequivocally feels and handles like the sports car it is. It also happens to sit 1 cm lower, and has a stance that goes well with the lower profile wheels.


    --
    2008 Boxster S

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    awai08:

    PASM with 19" wheels delivers a firm but still comfortable ride. I've heard that its softer (default) setting is actually more compliant than a non-PASM car with 19" wheels, but I have yet to verify that opinion. I added PASM to my order at the very last minute, and am glad I did. The car unequivocally feels and handles like the sports car it is. It also happens to sit 1 cm lower, and has a stance that goes well with the lower profile wheels.


    --
    2008 Boxster S

    PASM has another advantage in that the two settings (normal and sport) are not static but are constantly variable.

    So even if you are in normal/soft the car firms up during certain parameters if you start driving more quickly. Same for sport, if the road surfcace becomes rough it softens within its own parameters and becomes more forgiving.

    IMO, PASM is a must and a step forward in technology. 


    --
    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Thanks for all your comments guys - I've got a test drive booked for lunch time in an 08 3.4S.

    Sat in a Cayman last night and didn't get on with the Sports seats at all - they felt very uncomfortable around the shoulders (and I'm average build). Sat in Regular seats in a 997 and they had decent Lumbar support, though not sure how good they are going round corners... Will find out later today!

    So my spec has reduced a bit. Would still like the Bi-Xenons as I do a lot of night time driving, and I am not sure about PASM - but the test drive today is in a non-PASM car so that may help decide if I need it, if I'm still not sure then I will spec it anyway based on your comments! :-)

    1. 6 speed Manual box
    2. PASM
    3. Bi-Xenon lights
    4. 19" wheels
    5. Sub 20k miles

    Will let you know what happens! :-)


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    OK! I've been for a test drive - not in a Box but in a 08 Cayman S with Standard seats, PASM, 19s and standard exhaust. Great car without a doubt and enough power for everyday road use I think.

    1. PASM in normal setting was great, in Sport mode was quite rough over the bumps.
    2. The Standard seats suit me fine.

    So I have revised my spec as follows:

    Must have options:

    1. 6 speed Manual (not short shift)
    2. Bi-Xenon lights (I do a lot of night time driving!)
    3. PASM
    4. 19" wheels
    5. Any subtle Colours
    6. Standard seat
    7. Sub 20k miles

    Nice to have options:

    1. Cruise control
    2. Heated seats

    A "Sport Edition" model with Bi-Xenons would be perfect, but they are £30k+ at OPCs... Which is scarily into 996 Turbo, E92 M3, Good M3 CSL and Ferrari 355 money - not that they can be compared LOL!

    I have informed the good Indys of my revised spec and will sit and wait...

    Thanks for all the advice! :-)

    PS: If anyone has a suitable car for private sale in the UK feel free to contact me too!

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    boytronic:

    Must have options:

    1. 6 speed Manual (not short shift)
    2. Bi-Xenon lights (I do a lot of night time driving!)
    3. PASM
    4. 19" wheels
    5. Any subtle Colours
    6. Standard seat
    7. Sub 20k miles

    Nice to have options:

    1. Cruise control
    2. Heated seats

    In my personal opinion, Bi-Xenon is a mandatory feature on any performance car. Not only does it improve illumination at night due to a more convenient colour temperature which only the upcoming LED headlights can exceed, it is still a feature on more exclusive models or variants.

    Short shifter, seat variant and wheel size should be subject of personal preference since there one gets very mixed opinions about it. You can only be certain that one of the choices will fit you. Smiley

    Cruise control (for prolonged driving at speed limits) and heated seats are very necessary items in my opinion, the later without a doubt in a convertible and even more so at resale.

    Good luck with your choices! Smiley


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    I couldn't recommend the short-shifter enough!!

    --
    "I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road without being questioned about their intent"

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Arshad:
    I couldn't recommend the short-shifter enough!!

    --
    "I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road without being questioned about their intent"

            Absolutely right - I retrofitted it on my car and it is so much more precise than the standard shift. But much like PSE etc this can always be retrofitted and not at a huge premium over factory fitted prices, whereas desirable items such as xenons and heated seats are not viable to retrofit.



    --
    Boxster S 3.4 06 Cobalt / Ocean Blue BMW 123d M Sport 08 Le Mans Blue / Lemon

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Would definitely get the heated seats. Makes top-down autumn night drives cosier.


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    It seems that you are getting some good advice all around, and I have no idea as to why you do not want a sport-shifter.   Personally I believe the car should come standard with one.  Yesterday, while my car was being serviced, I was given a non-PASM Cayman with a standard shift as a loaner, which made me appreciate PASM and the sport shifter all the more.  PASM is an incredible technology and no wonder that it comes standard on most all of Porsche's higher-end models.   Lastly, I am impressed that you actually went out and drove a car, as some people rely too much on the opinions of others.   Early on I was told, get the Sport Seats, and found out that it did not suit me, and I'm not broad-shouldered.   Porsche offers many different  options, and sometimes you may find the standard option suits your needs best.

    vincesf

    RearShot1-26-09large.jpg
     
     


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Your spec is looking very sensible, but i can't understand the sales guys taking you for a test drive in a Cayman - its a much stiffer shell, and the springs and dampers are hugher rated than the Boxster irrespective of whether its PASM'd or not.

     Given your initial comments about sporty ride, you may well find a 19" wheeled car on standard suspension is right for you.  Go elsewhere and try a non PASM BOXSTER on 19s would be my advice


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM




    Percymon may be spot on recommending a non-PASM Boxster, as the Cayman is set up a bit stiffer.   Coming from an S2000 and Lotus Elise with a sport package, the Cayman is a much more compliant set-up and the Boxster even more so.   While I really enjoy having PASM, if the standard suspension is better suited to what your looking for, by all means save the $1,500 option cost.   Again, what comes standard may be preferable to that which is optional, i.e. more costly. 

    vincesf

    DSCF1286.JPG
     

     


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Hi VinceSF,

     In a somewhat related topic, how are you liking PASM with 18" wheels? Any difference (pro and con) in performance? 


    --
    2008 Boxster S

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    With PASM and factory 5mm spacers, my impression is that the ride with 18" wheels/tires is virtually the same as with 19" wheels/tires, on smooth stretches of road, and as expected the 18" wheels/tires are smoother when the road conditions get rougher. All in all, if you must have the look of the 19" wheels and your road conditions are good, the penalty in ride compliance is not all that significant.  As for handling, the 18" wheels seem to make the car lighter on its feet, and a bit more tossable on the backroads, which I like.  As for looks, I like the 19" wheels/tires a little better.   In short, it's a toss up.

    vincesf 


    RearShot1-26-09large.jpg
     
    1228350304769DSCF1212.JPG



    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    I have reduced my spec to the following:

    1. 6 speed Manual
    2. Bi-Xenon lights
    3. 19" wheels
    4. Standard seat
    5. Heated seats

    HOWEVER... Along came a M3 CSL, and I am having a test ride in it tomorrow hopefully! Wasn't planning on putting a spanner in the works, but at a similar price I feel I need to try the CSL before I buy anything else - just to make sure I am buying the most FUN car for my money!

     I shall report back here after my ride!

    Thanks again...


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    boytronic:

    I have reduced my spec to the following:

    1. 6 speed Manual
    2. Bi-Xenon lights
    3. 19" wheels
    4. Standard seat
    5. Heated seats


    My input would be that on UK roads if you have to have the look of 19" wheels then you need to have PASM or you will feel every flaw in our increasingly flawed roads, if not save a bit of money and (probably) widen the choice by sticking with the standard non-PASM + 18" wheels.

    Decisions, decisions!  Smiley

     


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    LOL Thanks Charles... Thought I had my spec about right - perhaps I need to test drive a Non-PASM car with 19" wheels now... I only want the 19s as I haven't seen any good looking 18" wheels out there. I will speak to the sales girl and see if she can arrange a test drive for me.

    As for the CSL ride - wicked car!! It's more my car than the Box, but I think the ownership costs will be more than the Box, and that I am more likely to lose my license in the CSL - which is important to me!

    Decisions! Will try and drive a non-PASM in the next week or so...

    Thanks!


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Followed a CSL home from work tonight by coincidence - couldn't believe the amount of tyre noise it generated (i could hear it with my windows firmly closed). If my experiences of the E46 M3 brakes are anything to go by, then if you like spirited road driving then you need to factor in improved brakes on an M3 (unless the CSL are already uprated).

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    My old 987S had 19" wheels non-PASM and I found it fine... even on our UK roads -and where I live they are baaaaad. The PASM is very impressive though, but I'm increasingly worried (for possibly no reason) about some of this trick suspension technology on 'older' cars..

    As per usual advice (and it seems to be your plan) drive one and see what you like....  and your spec looks great


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    My comments (Note: I have a 911, not a Boxster):

     1. Bixenons: a must.

    2. Sport seats: I have spot seats on my 997 and had standard seats on my 996. The standard seats are excellent and the sport seats are really no better. A matter of personal comfort. I will not get sport seats again.

    3. PASM: I definitely would NOT get PASM. It does not shave seconds off of lap times. Most people get better lap times with PASM in normal mode than sport mode. PASM limits your choices of aftermarket suspension modifications. I believe that only Bilstein is properly compatible with PASM, and there are plenty of cases of prematuer shock failure with other lowering springs. The standard suspension (on a 911 at least) is very good, and you can easily modify it if you don't like it. IMO, PASM is a gimmick.

    4. Heated seats: a must for a convertible.

    5. Sport chrono: you hadn't mentioned this but I thought I'd chime in on it anyways. TOTAL waste of money. The wart is f'ugly, and the stopwatch fxn is useless on the track (if you are driving well, there's no way to coordinate using it accurately). With manual transmission,   my opinion is that the different throttle maps are a pain, especially if you like to throttle blip on downshifts, because the amount of throttle you get for any given pedal position changes, so you end up picking one for consistency anyways. It might make more sense for a tiptronic.

    6. BOSE: I would definitely get the upgraded stereo, especially in a convertible. Its still not that great, but its much better than the standard unit.

    7. 18 vs 19 inch wheels: an aesthetic preference. 


    --
    "Rational arguments don't work on religious people, otherwise there'd be no religious people."-House

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Rich C (UK):

    My old 987S had 19" wheels non-PASM and I found it fine... even on our UK roads -and where I live they are baaaaad. The PASM is very impressive though, but I'm increasingly worried (for possibly no reason) about some of this trick suspension technology on 'older' cars..

     I was concerned as well, but in talking with a few tech's, PASM is less complicated than the power-retractable roof.

     vincesf RearShot1-26-09large.jpg
     

      

     



            


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    In relation to sport chrono, it is one of my favorite options and provides another dimension to the performance characteristics of the car.    

    vincesf 


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    In relation to sport chrono, it is one of my favorite options and provides another dimension to the performance traits of the car.    

    vincesf 


    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Guys see my other post on "24hours in an RS60" as that car has helped me decide the following must haves: 1. PASM 2. Sports seats 3. Bi-xenon lights 4. 19" wheels 5. PSE - can retrofit 6. Heated seats 7. Thicker steering wheel - can retrofit Actually having the loan car for 24 hours helped me decide that these are the options I really want. I have placed a deposit with the OPC to find me a suitable car by mid-June, as that is when I will be able to pay for it and enjoy the rest of the summer! Thanks for all the advice!!

    Re: 3.4 987S buying advice - Sports seats & PASM

    Excellent choices, and am looking forward to reading about your ownership experience in your new car.

    vincesf 


     
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