At the New York Motor Show last week, Porsche unveiled its new Boxster Spyder. If that name sounds familiar it’s because this is the second Boxster Spyder, the first being based on the 987-generation Boxster. In essence it’s a stripped out, more hardcore version of Porsche’s popular roadster. This new one is even more hardcore than before.
Like its hardtop counterpart, the Cayman GT4, the Boxster Spyder is based on the GTS. Instead of using the same 3.4-litre flax-six engine as the rest of the Boxster range, the Spyder does with a bigger 3.8-litre unit from the 911. In the Spyder this engine develops 370bhp/272kW and 420NM of torque. 0-100 km/h is done in 4.5 seconds and it maxes out at a shade under 290. Those numbers are similar to the GT4’s though that has 10 more bhp and a few more torques. But it’s safe to think of the Spyder, then, as the Boxster equivalent to the GT4.
Whereas the Cayman GT4 was developed by the GT car division of Porsche Motorsport, the Spyder doesn’t actually feature any GT parts. It’s more a heavily upgraded GTS. That said, the GT division were used as “consultants” on the Spyder. But it still has some serious upgrades. Sports suspension has been fitted that’s 20mm lower than in the GTS. There’s also been a 30kg weight reduction now tipping the scales at 1390kg.
Inside it’s stripped out to the bare minimum. There’s no radio, no air con, and no leather though they can all be optioned back on if you prefer it that way. There’s lightweight sports seats with “large side bolsters” to keep the driver in place when he or she are tackling many G’s. While it does forgo some creature comforts in the pursuit of lightweight and pure motoring, luckily the roof is at least a semi-electrically assisted one. The old Spyder’s soft top roof was 100% a DIY job.
Porsche say the Boxster Spyder’s design was inspired by the 718 Spyder, most notably the buttresses behind the seats. There’s also a ducktail spoiler and the front bumper is shared with the Cayman GT4. Overall though I have to say this one pretty looking thing. It’s easily my favourite Boxster and a prettier car than the last Spyder which seemed was trying too hard with its stripes. This one is much prettier and I’m a sucker for anything with a ducktail spoiler.
So that leaves the question of which Weight Watches Porsche to pick. Do you prefer your sports car motoring with a hard roof on, or do you prefer it topless?