Porsche has released new pictures of its faster, lighter and more hardcore version of the Boxster, the Spyder.
The Boxster Spyder will make its motor show debut at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, before going on sale in the UK in February 2010. The location of its unveiling is a clever one; stripped-out ‘Speedster’ versions of the Porsche 356, and of various 911s, have found an eager following on the west coast of America over the years.
Based on the current Boxster S, the Spyder will become the third and ultimate version of the car; it’s no limited-run special edition. It gets modest power and torque hikes over the Boxster S, running instead the same 3.4-litre engine and tune as the current Cayman S, which develops 315bhp at 7200rpm and 273lb ft at 4750rpm.
Contributing just as greatly to this car’s improved performance will be the weight-saving regime Porsche has put it though. The Spyder is 80kg lighter than a regular Boxster S, and its 247bhp-per-tonne power-to-weight ratio compares impressively to that of a regular Boxster S (227bhp-per-tonne), a Cayman S (233bhp per tonne) - even an entry-level 911 Carrera (241bhp-per-tonne).
There are signs of that weight-saving programme all over this car. Up front, the regular Boxster’s daytime running lights and fog lamps have been removed and blanked off. At the rear, the car’s automatic roof system has been completely taken out, replaced with a lighter, manually-operated canopy-style roof and new “double-bubble” style rear deck.
Porsche’s weight-saving programme leaves an equally noticeable legacy inside the Spyder’s cabin. A pair of lighter and more supportive bucket seats take the place of the standard Boxster S’ chairs, and belt-like door pulls replace the regular car’s interior doorhandles. There is no air conditioning as standard and no CD/radio, although buyers will be able to option these systems. The car does feature electric door mirrors and electric windows.
Equipped with Porsche PDK double-clutch gearbox and Sport Chrono Plus package (which includes the all-important launch control), the Boxster Spyder will crack 62mph from launch in just 4.8sec – two tenths of a second quicker than a standard S. It’s slightly more fuel efficient than a Boxster S too, although because its roof must be removed for top speed runs, it has a higher co-efficient of drag and a slightly more modest top speed of 166mph.
The Boxster Spyder’s chassis will have a more focused, sporting specification and set-up than a Boxster S’, although exact details on that remain to be confirmed. Expect a lower ride height, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, and fixed rate dampers weighing less per corner than Porsche’s sophisticated PASM dampers.
Exterior design flourishes unique to the Boxster Spyder include restyled air intakes in its front valance and on its flanks, a new high-level brake light at the rear and an extended rear spoiler. On the inside, a body-coloured transmission tunnel and fascia accent set the car apart.