Turbocharged or all-motor? We don’t know yet, but it will be cool!

It’s been two years since Porsche updated the current Boxster, also giving it a "718" badge, and it seems that the German firm is finally working on a new iteration of the higher-performance Spyder model. First introduced in 2009 and relaunched in 2015, the Boxster Spyder is a modern tribute to the 718 Spyder of the 1960s, and the upcoming will be the first to actually wear the iconic "718" badge next to the "Spyder" lettering.

Introduced in 2016, the facelifted third-generation Porsche Boxster gained a couple of major changes compared to its predecessor. While the styling and interior didn’t change much compared to the previous roadster, the new Boxster changed its name to the 718 Boxster, a tribute to a sports car from the late 1950s, and switched to turbocharged engines for the first time ever. There isn’t a lot of information to run by as of this writing, but the spyder configuration is pretty obvious in the spy shots. First spotted in snowy weather in northern Europe, the upcoming sports car hit the Nurburgring track for some high-performance testing in April 2018. And we can see a few differences. The soft-top roof is different toward the back, while the engine hood features the famous flying buttresses. I also spotted a few changes front and rear. They’re not massive, but they do make the Spyder a bit more aggressive. Under the hood, it should get the most powerful engine ever fitted in a Boxster, but the nameplate’s switch to turbocharging makes things a bit complicated. We should find out more later this year, but until then let’s have a closer look at the spy shots in the speculative review below.

The new 718 Boxster Spyder could break cover in the summer of 2018.

Updated 06/15/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming 718 Boxster Spyder out for a new testing session, but this time with its top down.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder.

Spy Shots

June 15, 2018 - Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder caught with its top down

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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April 16, 2018 - Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder caught testing at Nurburgring

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Exterior Spyshots
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2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Exterior Spyshots
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March 15, 2018 - Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder caught playing in the snow

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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Exterior

  • Aggressive body features
  • New rear spoiler
  • Flying buttresses
  • Revised soft-top
  • Race-inspired rear diffuser
  • New exhaust pipe layout
2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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The spy shots suggest that the upcoming Spyder is a slightly more aggressive version of the Boxster

The spy shots suggest that the upcoming Spyder is a slightly more aggressive version of the Boxster it is based on. This means that it gets all the updates that Porsche introduced for the nameplate for the 2016 model year, starting with the wider front end with a new bumper section, thinner LED daytime running lamps, and new LED headlamps. Modifications for the Spyder model seem to include a more aggressive center vent, a new splitter, and a horizontal slat delete for the side intakes. The front end is definitely worthy of the "Spyder" badge.

Onto the sides, the roadster appears to be identical to the regular Boxster save for the slightly revised rear bumper vents and the new wheel design. You can also notice the already familiar Boxster design elements such as the clean door handles, the aerodynamically optimized mirror caps, and the muscular fenders. Of course, the side view changes significantly toward the back due to the flying buttresses on the engine cover, which give the car a sleeker look. The same is available for the top. While the Boxster looks similar to the Cayman when the soft-top is up, the Spyder gets a different, sportier profile.

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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The two-piece diffuser is decidedly more aggressive and features a new exhaust pipe layout

More changes are visible around back. Porsche redesigned both the taillights and the decklid for the latest Boxster, the new taillights have 3D LED technology with four-point brake lights, and a black strip with integrated "Porsche" lettering between them. The latter, however, wasn’t carried over to the Spyder. That area is now a decklid spoiler, so the stripe was removed altogether to make room for the aerodynamic element. It could find its way on the final version of the car though. The bumper is identical to the regular model, but the new diffuser sets the Spyder apart.

The two-piece element is decidedly more aggressive and features a new exhaust pipe layout. While the standard Boxster has a single, rectangular tip in the center, the Spyder uses two round pipes on each side of the diffuser. This is also a significant departure from the previous Spyder, which had a dual exhaust setup in the center of the bumper. The exhaust pipes are also larger, which suggests a bigger engine, likely borrowed from the 911 GT3.

Interior

  • Sports seats
  • Sports steering wheel with flat bottom
  • Radio and HVAC delete
  • Several new options
  • Cloth loops for the doors
2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS Interior
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Standard chronometer on the dash
Be on the lookout for sportier seats and a slightly smaller steering wheel with a flat bottom

Inside the Spyder’s cabin we should find the same features that were introduced as new with the regular the 718 Boxster. Look for the same dashboard with revised A/C vents, the updated instrument cluster, and a sportier steering wheel with new spokes and a new center section. Updates in the technology department compared to the outgoing model should include a standard Porsche Communication Management system with mobile phone preparation, audio interfaces, a 110-watt Sound Package Plus, and a navigation module with voice control. The Connect Plus module for access to a wide array of online services is optional on the Boxster, but it could be included as a standard feature on the Spyder version.

As for features that will set this model apart, be on the lookout for sportier seats and a slightly smaller steering wheel with a flat bottom. The radio and the air conditioning units will probably be removed from the standard package, but Porsche will offer them as no-cost options for customers who still want convenience features in their race-inspired sports cars. The cloth loops that replace the traditional door handles and the revised rear section for the new rooftop will further set the Spyder apart from the regular 718 Boxster.

Drivetrain

  • New engine with enhaned output
  • 911 GT3 or turbocharged mill
  • Close to 400 horsepower
  • Updated transmission(s)
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds
  • Top speed close to 190 mph
  • Rear-wheel steering
  • Suspension and brake system upgrades
2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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The new Boxster Spyder could a turbocharged engine

There’s no word as to what engine Porsche will use in the new Spyder and the fact that the Boxster went turbocharged at the last update makes it that much more difficult to guess. Even the GTS model went the forced induction way, using a beefed-up version of the twin-turbo, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This may be a hint that the Boxster Spyder will also get a pair of turbochargers, but some reports claim that the drop-top will remain naturally aspirated and use the same engine as the 911 GT3.

Some reports claim it will use the 4.0-liter flat-six in the 911 GT3

The latter borrows its drivetrain from the GT3 Cup race car, which uses a 4.0-liter flat-six. The unit is rated at 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, the same output as the old 911 GT3 RS. But don’t expect the Spyder to be this powerful. With the GTS, the most powerful Boxster available now, rated at 365 horsepower, Porsche can lower the output of the flat-six engine to around 400 horses. This would be 25 horsepower more than the previous Spyder and a solid update for a new-generation model. Some rumors claim that Porsche might even go with 430 horsepower.

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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Depending transmission and other updates, the Spyder could hit 60 mph in as quick as 4.1 seconds

The Spyder would obviously become the quickest Boxster yet. The previous model needed 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, so it’s safe to assume that the upcoming Spyder will achieve the benchmark in 4.2 seconds. Depending on the transmission and other updates, it could get there in as quick as 4.1 clicks. Top speed should grow to nearly 190 mph from the GTS’ already impressive 180-mph rating.

The transmission is also a mystery. The previous Spyder was a manual-only sports car, but Porsche could offer a PDK option for this one. Actually, the PDK could be only transmission, as it happened in the past. A manual would be great for purists, but the PDK model would be faster and more agile on the race track, so I guess that both options would be nice to have.

Chassis upgrades are also on the table, including a firmer sport suspension and a lowered ride height. The Spyder should also have more direct steering for the front wheels, a rear-wheel steering system for improved cornering at high speeds, and beefed-up brakes, likely borrowed from the Porsche 911 GT3.

Prices

The previous Boxster Spyder was priced from $82,100 back in 2015 and it’s safe to assume that new-generation model will fetch more than that. With the base 718 Boxster priced from $57,400, the new Spyder should fetch at least $87,000 before options, making it the most expensive Boxster model ever.

Competition

Lotus Elise Cup 260

2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Fastest-Road Legal Elise to Date

The Boxster’s niche is quite small with only a handful of sports cars available. But while the standard Boxster competes against the Lotus Elise, the Alfa Romeo 4C, and the new Alpine A110 (although not yet available as a convertible), the Spyder model has just one competitor, the Elise Cup 260. Unlike the Alfa Romeo 4C, the Elise comes in many forms. The British firm offers no fewer than six versions of the sports car, and the Cup 260 is the most powerful and the most track capable. The car’s exterior remains familiar, but many components were upgraded in order to improve aerodynamics. Lotus also replaced a few standard parts with carbon-fiber, dropping the curb weight by a few pounds. Around back, a new diffuser with a center-mounted exhaust makes the Cup 260 looks like a full-fledged race car.

The interior is actually a bit more spartan than the Boxster Spyder, so it’s better suited if you want a proper track car devoid of many modern features. Upgrades include carbon-fiber seats wrapped in Alcantara, custom stitching, gold accents, a sports steering wheel, and exposed aluminum and carbon-fiber elements. Power is provided by the supercharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine available in many Lotus vehicles, but it’s rated at 250 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque in this model. It might not sound like a lot compared to the 718 Boxster Spyder, but the extremely light Elise Cup 260 needs less than four seconds to hit 60 mph, significantly quicker than the German sports car. Pricing is also below that of the Spyder, but the downside here is that the Cup 260 isn’t available in the United States.

Read our review of the 2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260.

Conclusion

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder Spyshots Exterior
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The upcoming Boxster Spyder is shrouded in mystery as of this writing, but the fact that it was spotted on public roads in prototype form confirms that the nameplate is returning after another three years of absence. And this is great news no matter how you look at it. And while it would be a bit disappointing for the Spyder to ditch the naturally aspirated engine in favor of a turbocharged unit, we’d still get one of the coolest Boxsters ever built. Turbocharging is the way to go for every manufacturer that wants to survive in the current market and purists need to understand that Porsche must move forward. And if a turbocharged engine means more power and a quicker car, I don’t see why we shouldn’t embrace it. Even if it doesn’t get a manual transmission. Where do I sign up?

  • Leave it
    • * Turbo and PDK only?
    • * The Lotus Elise Cup 260 is a solid option

References

Porsche Boxster

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster.

2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder
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Read our full review on the 2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder.

2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder.

Update History

Updated 04/16/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Boxster Sypder out for a new testing session around the famous Nurburgring track.

Updated 03/15/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder out for a new testing session, this time during cold winter conditions.

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