Sam Philip05 November 2009

Boxster Spyder unleashed

Porsche reveals its most hardcore, lightweight Boxster ever – the car that’s faster than a 911 Carrera

Boxster Spyder

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Porsche has given us a first look at its ultimate Boxster: the lightweight, stripped-out Spyder, set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

This isn't some limited-run special edition: the Boxster Spyder will go on general release in the UK next February, with prices starting at just under £45,000.

Developing 316bhp from a tuned-up version of Porsche's 3.4-litre direct-injection flat-six engine, the Spyder is more powerful than the top-of-the-range Boxster S, which puts out 306bhp. In fact, its power output is identical to the Cayman S coupe.

There's 80kg of added lightness on board, too, giving the Spyder a better power-to-weight ratio than either the Cayman S or even the 911 Carrera.

Much of that weight-saving comes from ditching the Boxster's automatic roof mechanism: the system has been replaced with a simpler, manually operated canvas, which folds away under a new double-bubble rear canopy. We like the new double-bubble rear canopy.

There are further signs of anorexia in the cabin in the shape of a pair of lightweight bucket seats, and flimsy door pulls replacing the standard handles. The Spyder doesn't get air conditioning or a stereo system as standard, but you can choose to spec them if you're some sort of mod-con-addicted wimp.

We're guessing you want to know how fast the Boxster Spyder is, and the answer is: fast. Equipped with Porsche's launch control as standard, it'll crack 62mph in 4.8 seconds, a couple of tenths quicker than the Boxster S or even the Cayman S.

It'll top out at 166mph with the roof removed: leave the roof up on a v-max run and you'll be left with a messy heap of canvas and metal hanging off the back of your Boxster.

So, what do you think? Not to sway your option, but we'll happily confess to being in the ‘yes, love it, give us a drive now, please dear lord please' camp...

Sam Philip

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