Porsche is known for producing sublime road cars, many of which have a racing heritage. Porsche’s latest model, the 2011 Boxster Spyder, is no exception.
In racing, Porsche is known for making its elite race cars topless. Evidence of this can be traced all the way back to the 1950s and the legendary 550 Spyder, and it carries all the way up to today’s RS Spyder, which competes in Le Mans. With its new Boxster Spyder, Porsche aims to take the racing significance of the Spyder body style to the road and create the purists’ Boxster.
Weight is the enemy in racing, so Porsche lightened the standard Boxster S by 176 lbs. to create a more nimble --and faster -- Boxster. With the reduction in weight, the Boxster Spyder tips the scales at a mere 2811 lbs., making it the lightest car in Porsche’s lineup. To go along with the lighter car, Porsche revised the suspension to give it even more grip.
Powering the new Boxster is an uprated version of Porsche’s 3.4-liter flat-six, the same engine found in the Boxster S and Cayman S. The version of the 3.4-liter engine found in the Boxster Spyder produces 320 hp instead of the standard 310 hp. The same six-speed manual and optional seven-speed PDK as found across most of Porsche’s lineup transfer the power to ground.
Combining the car’s increase in power and lightened weight equates to a faster car, as the Boxster Spyder with PDK will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, eclipsing the Boxster S by two-tenths of a second. The Boxster Spyder will keep accelerating to a top speed of 166 mph -- with the top off.
Looking at the Boxster Spyder, it’s immediately apparent the car is different from any other Boxster. The car’s styling clearly takes styling cues from Porsche’s venerable Carrera GT. It looks as though Porsche took the rear-end of a Carrera GT, shrank it, and attached it the front of a Boxster. The car looks as though it’s just begging to be driven -- and hard.
Porsche’s new purist Boxster makes its world debut at the L.A. auto show in December and goes on sale this February. It will command about a $3000 premium over the Boxster S, bringing the pricetag to $61,200.