By default, the inside is as spartan as the outside is fabulously pretty. At 1315kg, the Spyder is not only lighter than a GTS but it’s also marginally skinnier than a GT4. Some of this weight loss is clearly accounted for by the stripped-back roof and the requirement for you to do the heavy lifting, folding and lid slamming yourself (a doddle - but a two minute, walk-around one). Some of it, though, is in the doctoring or deletion of kit.
When it comes to the marvelous slimline bucket seats and fabric door pulls, that’s a good thing, but when it means the removal of the infotainment and the air conditioning, it's less so. Returning them is a no-cost option (mercifully) although it does come with the guilt-laden acceptance of a 15kg weight penalty.
Nevertheless, doing so is recommended, especially as, initially, the Spyder makes little discernible virtue of its abstinence. Lighter on the scales it may well be, but as it requires more heft at the smaller wheel, a leg-press thrust to operate the clutch and dogged determination to engage a gear, it’s clear that Porsche’s idea of unfiltered driving pleasure doesn’t necessarily translate into an immediate ease of use.
Unexpectedly, this extends to the acceleration. Torquier the new motor may very well be - to the healthy tune of 45lb ft over the GTS - but the nature of the flat-six is unchanged, which means you won’t see the 310lb ft peak until nearly 5000rpm is showing on the tachometer. In and around town, and even on the tight Tuscan switchbacks of our test route, a shortage of space and the gearbox’s longish ratios mean you’ll be lucky to encounter the engine’s tastier sweet spot.
Consequently, just as the Spyder’s salacious body wants for a backdrop of unbroken blue, so its underside hankers for the sweep and surge of wide open spaces. Here, starting on the autoroute, the 3.8 begins to roll out its charm. The standard Boxster knee-jerk shift into fifth for outside lane overtaking is all but redundant, the sixth cog now producing a steady stream of energy on request.
It gets better. Pitched onto the Italian equivalent of a B-road, the Spyder bites down like no Boxster before it. Here the steering reveals its additional meatiness to not be meatiness at all, but rather a honed and carefully hewn rack that allows bends to be skewered with tiny, ego-flattering wrist movements. The ride, inevitably a little pinched around town, settles where it is permitted into a wonderfully controlled ebb and flow, seamlessly connected to the road, yet resistant to anything that might unsettle its stellar body control.
Then there’s the power. Yes, it makes the Spyder fast. Fast in that cheek-puffing way that no Boxster has ever managed. Fast in hugely loud, high-rev moreish doses. Fast enough, in fact, to make the mere seven-second difference between the open-top’s Nordschleife time and the Cayman GT4’s seem entirely reasonable. But the real boon is the enriching effect it has on the Boxster's chassis, where a suddenly biddable and gung-ho back-end is helped no end by it wearing 265-section tyres in place of the GT4’s 295s.