Made its debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the all new Boxster Spyder is the successor to the 2011 Boxster Spyder, as well as a tribute to the 718 Spyder from the 1960s. The Boxster Spyder preserves the unique and unmistakable character of the previous incarnations and injects it with some serious performance. I land in Florence, Italy, to lay down my hands on it!
What's the difference between the Boxster Spyder and the other derivatives?
The classic roadster top is still opened and closed manually by hand, and the car is only available with a manual transmission, benefiting both weight savings and driver enjoyment. It is lighter by 30kg, longer by ten millimeters and lower by 11mm when compared with a Boxster GTS. Behind those seats sits a massive 3.8 liter flat-six tuned to deliver 375 horsepower. That's just 10 hp less of the engine's output in the new Cayman GT4, a track-focused model from which many of the Boxster Spyder's components have been lifted.
It includes a firm sport suspension with a 20 millimeter lower ride height, a more aggressive aero kit with larger intakes, uprated brakes and more direct steering. The size of the steering wheel has also been reduced to 360 mm across like the GT4 Cayman and GT3 RS (down from 370 mm) to ensure the car can be driven precisely and with great agility. The standard seats are Porsche's Sport Bucket Seats Plus.
In line with the model's traditional roadster character, neither a radio nor an air conditioner is included to help shed a few extra kilos. However, both can be ordered as optional equipment at no cost especially around the Middle East and GCC. There is also the availability to add most of the Boxster's regular options such as a satellite navigation system and communications package.
On the rear axle is a mechanical LSD (22 per cent locking under power and 27 percent on the overrun), which is part of the Porsche Torque Vectoring system.
At the heart is a 3.8 liter six-cylinder engine from the 911 Carrera S with 375 hp and a six speed manual transmission. Zero to 100 kph in 4.5 seconds, top track speed of 290 kph. The highly responsive flat-six with its large power reserves guarantees driving pleasure on any road.
Difference is barely noticeable between the Boxster GTS and the Boxster Spyder. Although the engine is larger versus the GTS, gear shifting is even different even when cruising around and the exhaust sound is simply the same charming one that we've loved on other Porsches, with a unique popping when removing your foot from the gas throttle. The weight reduction is not that perceptible honestly, but on the regularly tight and twisting roads in Tuscany where we drove the Spyder, the quicker steering was felt. Every corner we got into it, we felt the change of direction and the precise turning point of the steering. The Spyder has a stunningly balanced feel versus the GTS with huge grip on asphalt, great self-control and compact input at the steering. Generally, this Spyder model is unquestionably the best Boxster in the range.
The biggest rival to the Boxster Spyder remains the Boxster GTS which actually cheaper in terms of price tag. Outside the Porsche box, the other very tempting rival is the Lotus Exige S Roadster. Suspensions are a bit stiff on poor and long roads; it can't be driven every day as the backrest of the seat cannot be adjusted. But all is all with the top and windows down; the Spyder is viewed with the cleanest lines and most stylish look!
Pros: lightweight, handling, steering wheel, gear shifting, braking, manual roof top
Cons: Cayman GT4 steering more cooperative, stiff suspension on poor roads
Rivals: Porsche Boxster GTS, Lotus Exige S Roadster
One word: top-down
Stars: 4 stars
Mid-engine, 3.8 liters, Boxer-6 cylinders, 375 hp @ 6700 rpm, 420 Nm @ 4750-6000 rpm
6 speed manual, RWD
Top speed: 290 kph, 0-100 kph: 4.5 secs, fuel consumption: 9.9L/ 100 km
Weight: 1315 kg