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

Porsche is developing the most driver-focused version of its current 718 Boxster with the naturally aspirated, flat six engine of the latest 911 GT3 - and its now moved testing to the cold climates of the Arctic Circle.

The next Boxster Spyder, which will be heavily related to the 718 Cayman GT4, will use a 4.0-litre engine in place of the current hottest 718’s turbocharged 2.5-litre flat four.

Porsche Motorsport has stuck to the formula applied to the car’s predecessors, which have cemented themselves as the driver’s Boxster model since 2009, giving the car a more responsive drivetrain that will make it the most involving Boxster on sale.

“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 in order to leave breathing space for its more expensive sibling.

The previous Spyder used a 3.8-litre flat six taken from the 911 Carrera of the time that 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 Spyder will also go on a hefty diet, ditching cabin insulation and even a radio and air conditioning. The 718 Boxster’s electric folding soft top will also go, in its place a manually removable ‘tent top’. 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 GTS. The Cayman GT4 will likely get the same adjustments, along with a more prominent rear wing to signify its even harder status.

No arrival date for the Boxster Spyder has been set, but the newly launched GTS (which went on sale last month) suggests it could arrive later this year.

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?

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.....!!!

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:

...is 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.


I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

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...

1 February 2018

I'm no Porsche expert but this sounds like a manufacturer listening!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Mustang
    First Drive
    24 March 2018
    Sixth-generation Mustang gets a leaner face, revised suspension, improved safety equipment and a more power V8. We see how it fares on southern French roads
  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim