Lightened drop top will swap turbo-four power for high-revving unit of its sibling

Development of the most driver-focused version of the Porsche 718 Boxster is now at an advanced stage, suggesting that the car is due for reveal later this year, before arriving on roads in winter.

The upcoming sports car has been caught on camera wearing almost no camouflage, showing that engineers are finalising the settings of the model, which will use a naturally aspirated, flat six engine in place of the regular Boxster's four-cylinder alternatives. Development cars have been spotted with the roof up and down, showing the bespoke roof and rear deck.

The next Boxster Spyder, which will be heavily related to the 718 Cayman GT4, will use a 911 GT3-sourced 4.0-litre engine in place of the current hottest engine in the 718 range, the turbocharged 2.5-litre flat four, in order to stay more closely aligned with its predecessors — which have all been hailed by enthusiasts as excellent driver's cars.

Our Verdict

Seat Arona

Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Porsche Motorsport has stuck to this formula, which has been integrated into Spyders since the special Boxster variant was introduced in 2009, to give the car an even more responsive drivetrain, with the intention of making it the most involving Boxster to be on sale yet.

“Natural aspiration is one of our main USPs,” Andreas Preuninger, head of GT car development at Porsche, told Autocar earlier this year. “At Motorsport, we think we can achieve throttle response and immediacy a little bit better with an atmospheric high-revving engine than any kind of turbo.”

Output for the 4.0-litre unit is rated at 493bhp at 8250rpm in the 911 GT3, but the Boxster Spyder’s power may be slightly down on this to leave breathing space for its more expensive and larger sibling.

The previous Boxster Spyder used a 3.8-litre flat six taken from the 911 Carrera of the time and was good for 370bhp. The recently launched Boxster GTS and related Cayman GTS use highly strung four-pot engines with 361bhp, so the new Spyder will need to produce more power to cement itself as the top Boxster. An output of around 425bhp seems likely.

To signify its driver focus, the car will be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but those after maximum on-track performance will be able to select the option of a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission.

The Boxster Spyder will also go on a hefty diet, ditching cabin insulation and even a radio and air conditioning. The Boxster’s electric folding soft top will also go, with a manually removable ‘tent top’ in its place. These weight savings will combine with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber to make the car the sharpest-handling production Boxster yet produced.

Much of the design treatment applied the Boxster Spyder will mirror those featured on the Boxster GTS. The Cayman GT4 will likely get the same adjustments, along with a more prominent rear wing to signify its even harder status.

More content:

BMW 8 Series

Land Rover Discovery long-term review

Join the debate


21 November 2017

The beautiful screaming Porsche flat 6 is why me & the Mrs will never replace our His & Hers Boxster S's with the 718 turbo 4.....

But I'd have this Spyder.....!!!

1 May 2018
That looks like a turd that has been stepped on.

21 November 2017

is this engine in an otherwise standard 718. I don't want no radio or no electric roof. Who would? The great thing about the Boxster is that it's a 24/7/365 kind of car. Going to the golf club? Check. Touring down to the South of France with luggage for two weeks? Check. A few laps at Ascari? Check. Dawdling down the Embankment at rush hour? Check. No-one outside an F1 standard driver can tell the difference in a few kilos and, let's face it, the chances of driving flat out, on the limit, have disappeared - so we buy these cars in a fog of nostalgia and for our egos as much as for the slim chances of driving them to the limits of their (or our) ability. I'll keep the 6 cylinder version I've got then. Shame.


21 November 2017
johnfaganwilliams wrote: this engine in an otherwise standard 718. ... we buy these cars in a fog of nostalgia and for our egos as much as for the slim chances of driving them to the limits of their (or our) ability....

Porsche want *you* to buy their 911, and contribute more profit margin. It’s a capitalist car vendor for successful capitalists (and, er, maybe leaders of socialism...).

21 November 2017

how the Spyder and GT4 will perform against the GT3 or even more exotic 911's around any race track. You got to admire Porsche's 'Bizarro Jerry" approach (for you Seinfeld aficionados) to bringing sports cars. Any other brand would consider its midengine cars the extra special ones, not the cars with the outdated engine layout... I'd even be curious how a GT4 would do in endurance racing (Le Mans). 

21 November 2017

All Boxster should be done with a NA flat 6.


21 November 2017

Even Porsche recongnize that the 911's architecture is outdated. The 911 RSR has got a mid engine !


21 November 2017
david RS wrote:

Even Porsche recongnize that the 911's architecture is outdated. The 911 RSR has got a mid engine !

Nurburgring production lap record = 911 GT2 RS; rear engined.

21 November 2017

The Boxster became second rate with the poxy four cylinders ,use more fuel than the flaT SIX BY ALL ACCOUNTS.i WOULD ONLY GET ONE NOW IF THEY HAD A SIX AGAIN OTHERWISE IT HAS TO BE AN F TYPE.eNGINE SIN ACAR LIKE THIS IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT.

21 November 2017

If anyone other than friends of their local Porsche centre could actually buy one...


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week