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.