The Porsche Boxster Spyder has been shown in the metal for the first time at today's Los Angeles motor show.
The new details confirm that the car is a far cry from the marketing-spun money-maker some feared it would be, but rather a fully redesigned and re-engineered sub-£50k performance special.
The Boxster Spyder will indeed run the same 315bhp 3.4-litre engine as the Cayman S. It’s a significantly different motor from the 305bhp unit in the Boxster S, however: it revs all the way to 7500rpm and features a different crankcase, engine mounts, oil pump and intake manifolds and a more sophisticated direct fuel injection system.
Weighing just 1275kg unladen, the Boxster Spyder will become the lightest new car that Porsche makes, and the fastest of its current crop of two-seaters; equipped with a seven-speed PDK gearbox and a Sport Chrono Plus package, it’ll crack 62mph in just 4.8sec. With its extra, overdriven seventh gear, the PDK car is also more economical than the manual.
The car’s 80kg weight saving over the standard Boxster S has been made via the fitment of aluminium doors (15kg), an aluminium rear deck (3kg), lighter bucket seats (12kg) and a lighter roof that weighs only 6kg all in. The car also comes without air conditioning and without a CD-radio as standard.
Contributing to a more focused dynamic character for the car is a chassis with a 20mm lower ride height, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars and firmer, fixed-rate dampers. The new dampers also have an additional rebound stop spring to reduce body roll still further.
The Boxster Spyder has wider tracks than standard – 4mm at the front and 8mm out back – and a centre of gravity 25mm lower than that of the Boxster S. Weighing less than 10kg a corner, its alloy wheels are the lightest that Porsche currently offers on any of its road cars, and they come with hi-tech tyres that can be run at lower pressures than is normal for the size, to the benefit of rolling refinement.
The new car also comes with a different steering ‘box from that of the regular Boxster – it’s lower geared around the straight-ahead and quicker off-centre – as well as 318mm drilled and ventilated front brakes and a limited-slip differential as standard.
And the bad news? You can’t drive it at more than 124mph with that canopy-like roof attached, and roof on or off, Porsche doesn’t recommend that you take it to an automated drive-through car wash.
Come back to autocar.co.uk on Friday to read our exclusive first drive verdict on Porsche's new lightweight Spyder.