The Porsche Boxster lineup saw the addition of a new member last December at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Boxster Spyder will tip the scales at 2,811 pounds becoming the lightest model in the entire Porsche range with sales beginning in February 2010, starting at $61,200. The Porsche Boxster Spyder is inspired by the legendary 550 Spyder, the first sports car from Stuttgart developed specifically with racing in mind that was also homologated for road use. The new sports car features a lightweight soft top, has a lower center of gravity for enhanced as well as an all new sport tuned suspension.
Mounted in the midship position, Porsche has placed a 3.4 Liter direct injected flat six ahead of the rear axle that delivers a total of 320 HP, 10 HP more than the current top of the line model in the Boxster lineup, the Boxster S, while still getting as much as 30.4 MPG. Like all the other current Porsche models, the Boxster Spyder comes equipped with a seven speed PDK gearbox and a Sports Chrono Package. This allows the Boxster Spyder to sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 166 MPH.
Updated 01/29/10: Porsche revealed the official promotional video for the Boxster Spyder that will go on sale next week. Enjoy it!
Updated 03/24/2010: Porsche USA announced prices for the new Boxster Spyder: $62,150 including destination charge. Option list includes: Bi-Xenon lighting system with dynamic cornering lights for $1,560; 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) $3,420, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) $8,150; Sport Exhaust System $2,500 and PCM 3.0 including Extended Navigation $3,110.
UPDATE 08/08/2011: Check out our review of the Porsche Boxster Spyder by clicking here!
Press release after the jump.
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is introducing a new top version of the Porsche Boxster, a light mid-engined roadster making its world debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show in December.
Weighing just 1,275 kg or 2,811 lb, the Boxster Spyder is the lightest model throughout the entire range of Porsche cars. Clearly recognisable right from the start, this new mid-engined roadster represents the true, purist form of the Porsche sports car – light, powerful, consistently open, and very efficient.
This is precisely the formula already applied in creating Porsche’s most successful road-going sports and racing cars, ranging from the legendary 550 Spyder all the way to the RS Spyder so successful in motorsport today.
The Boxster Spyder now continues this clear-cut philosophy with full homologation for the road, thus reflecting a common wish expressed by Porsche customers. The new model is entering the market in February 2010 as the third version in the Boxster range, joining the Boxster and Boxster S.
The new member of the Boxster family stands out clearly at very first sight from the other versions of Porsche’s mid-engined roadster. Quite simply because the Boxster Spyder has been developed first and foremost for driving in the open air, the low-slung, light soft top extending far to the rear serving exclusively to protect the driver and passenger from bright sunshine, wind and weather. When closed, the soft top, together with the extra-low side windows and the two striking bulges on the single-piece rear lid, boasts a stretched and sleek silhouette reminiscent of the Carrera GT.
Significantly less weight than the Boxster S, a lower centre of gravity and an all-new sports suspension give the Boxster Spyder the right kind of driving dynamics clearly reflecting the unique look of the car.
The Boxster Spyder features a 3.4-litre six-cylinder with Direct Fuel Injection upfront of the rear axle. Maximum output is 320 bhp, 10 bhp more than in the Boxster S.
Equipped with PDK Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe and the Sports Chrono Package, the new Spyder, using Launch Control, accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Again with optional PDK, fuel consumption is a mere 9.3 litres on 100 kilometres (equal to 30.4 mpg imp) in the NEDC New European Driving Cycle. Top speed, in turn, is 267 km/h or 166 mph – with the roof open.
In terms of its fundamental concept, the entire Boxster family is the successor to the legendary 550 Spyder built back in 1953, both models sharing the same mid-engine roadster concept, low weight, back-to-the-roots lifestyle, and supreme agility combined with equally outstanding driving pleasure.
The 550 Spyder was the first sports car from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen developed specifically for racing but also homologated for the road. In the years following its production, this unique Spyder weighing only 550 kg or 1,213 lb, scored numerous victories on race circuits and in the road races so popular at the time.
The 550 Spyder was followed by other extremely successful Porsche Spyders such as the 718 RS 60 in 1960.
In 2004 and 2008 Porsche dedicated a limited edition of special Boxsters bearing the additional name Spyder to these legendary racing cars. By contrast, the new Boxster Spyder is a regular, specially developed and upgraded production model with far-reaching modifications versus the Boxster and Boxster S.
Market introduction of the new Porsche Boxster Spyder will start worldwide in February 2010. The base price in the Euro countries is 53,100 Euro. Including 19 per cent VAT and national specifications, the market price of the new Porsche Boxster Spyder is 63,404 Euro.
"Carving through the tight and twisted sections of Highway 1, we find that the reduced weight of our six-speed-manual Spyder—at about 3000 pounds, it’s the lightest in the entire Porsche fleet—is easily apparent. The 0.8-inch lowered suspension includes shorter and stiffer springs, firmer dampers, modified front and rear anti-roll bars, and a slightly wider track, and it all combines to noticeably improve the Boxster’s already stellar handling. The car is just itching to turn in at every corner, and the steering is effortless, as if it had been engineered just for this road. Well, that impression could also be because the suspension work did lighten the steering, but the rack is quicker and even more communicative than before, allowing us to feel the pavement texture more intimately. The Spyder can tackle 25-mph switchbacks at double that speed. The grippy seats hold you in place and the body shows no signs of pitching or rolling, yet the ride is never harsh. Traction into and out of the turns is hardly lost, with the standard mechanically locking differential enabling high exit speeds." (CarAndDriver)
"We drove the standard six-speed manual, as well as the PDK with ’push/pull’ paddles, and the same ’box with traditional Porsche paddles on the steering wheel. The PDK seems to get better and better with every new application. And here, the Spyder’s CO2 emissions are so improved with it that the car drops a VED band, saving £400 in first year ’showroom tax’. It’s happy to chase a high gear during relaxed driving, but will jump down as many gears as necessary in less time that it would take you to move your hand to the gear lever, never mind make the change. Still, we’d opt for manual. Old argument (and the second cliché of this review) but it’s still more involving. The PDK arguably leaves more brain space to concentrate in steering, braking points, exit speed and all that other track stuff, but on the road, when you just can’t drive legally at 11/10ths, the manual feels better. That’s so because, despite a ride that might be slightly too firm for some day-to-day, one of the Spyder’s appealing traits is that it can make mundane driving feel slightly special. Any corner, at any speed, feels good in this car." (CarEnthusiast)
"This is a magnificent sports car. Steering is as good as it gets, with every seam of the road and every link to lateral cornering g delivered faithfully to your fingertips. The engine shoves you into the seat with gobs of torque and spins with a gorgeous howl. Despite the added tautness of the suspension, the Spyder doesn’t feel rough over rotten roads; in fact, it does an amazing job of keeping its tires planted. And the six-speed manual...well, you can get the Spyder with the PDK (which, happily, now uses conventional shift paddles instead of the previous, ridiculous pushbuttons), but the manual is so light, smooth, and precise, it’s hard to imagine shifting this car any other way. This has to rank as one of the top manual transmissions on the planet." (MotorTrend)
The Audi TT-RS is powered by a 2.5-liter engine with direct gasoline injection that produces 340 bhp and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. The TT RS Coupé makes the 0 to 100 km/h sprint (0 to 62 mph) in 4.6 seconds, and the Roadster needs a tenth of a second longer. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), but Audi offers an option to raise the limit to 280 km/h (174 mph). The car is not available on thr US market.
The 2010 BMW Z4 is also offered in two different versions: a Z4 sDrive30i and a Z4 sDrive35i, priced at $46,00 and 51,900, respectively. Both versions are using the same 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder engine. The sDrive30i has 255 hp, and the sDrive35i uses twin-turbos (one turbo designated for three cylinders each) to upgrade to 300 hp.
The Nissan 370Z Roadster is powered by a 3.7 Liter DOHC V6 making 332 HP, up 26 HP from the old VQ35 engine thanks to the new Variable Valve Event and Lift control (VVEL) which manipulates the motor’s breathing too ensure optimum respiration and allows for the car’s redline to be raised by 1000 revs all the way up to 7500 RPM while returning an estimated fuel economy of 18 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. The engine is mated to either a seven speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching or a close ratio six speed manual with throttle blipping SynchroRev Match for perfectly matched heel toe downshifting. Prices range from $36,970 to $43,320.