The reason this Boxster Spyder is so special is because it’s the most pure modern Porsche hands down, but it’s no fluke. They’ve done all of the right things to make this the definition of the modern roadster.
Yes, the 3.8 litre flat six from the Carrera S is fitted here and it makes a wonderful 375 horsepower and a 310 pounds of torque – and it’s the torque that makes all the difference. This Spyder has almost 40 more pounds feet of torque than the last Boxster GTS we tested. Unlike the lesser Boxsters, the additional torque gives you the flexibility to simply leave the shifter in a taller gear. There’s no need to downshift. And there’s a classic, mechanical limited slip diff, too.
Brakes are borrowed from the 911 as well, I guess for a bit of overkill because the Boxster already has robust brakes.
It is the lightest Boxster in the range, by only about 30 kilos, but with the additional power, lookout, because this thing is quick. Zero to 100 km/h in 4 and a half seconds and tops out at 290 km/h – and that’s with the top down because it’s only good up to 200 km/h. And apparently it does a lap of the Nordschleife in 7 minutes 47 seconds. That’s cool if you believe in that sort of thing.
It’s not the GT3 front end exactly like Porsche’s done for the Cayman GT4, but think of it as GT3 light. The suspension is actually based on the sport suspension from the Boxster GTS and sits 20mm lower than standard. It rolls on 20 inch wheels, and the rears are unique to the Spyder as they’re a half inch wider than any other boxster wheel.
The steering sets an example for feel, quickness, and precision, and perhaps that’s because it’s derived from the 911 Turbo. Brilliant. The smaller diameter steering wheel is simply icing on the cake. The six speed manual is a delight to shift – and, sorry, if you can’t drive a manual transmission, you’re going to have to learn. PDK isn’t available.
Unlike other Boxsters, the top is all manual and it’s a heck of a lot easier to operate than the 987 Spyder, but you’ll want to keep it down as much as possible, even if it’s just to listen to the sound this thing makes. In fact I’ve only had it up once during my test and that was simply for security’s sake when I parked it in a public space.
This test car is nearly the perfect spec, too. Carrara white metallic looks perfect on this car – and there’s no air conditioning fitted. There’s a basic sound system, and climate controls are basic, too. Just perfect.
The GT3-like front bumper cover and spoiler gives the Spyder a distinct look and it really looks the business, but that spoiler sits a little low so you’ve got to be careful going in and out of driveways. Is that my only complaint about this car? I think it is.
This is certainly the best 2016 model year Porsche and it should go down in the annals of Zuffenhausen history as one of the greats.
2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder
Base Price: $93,700
As Tested: $100,055
Notable Options: Carrara white metallic paint, $820; Leather and alcantara interior, $2,470; Contrasting stitching, $1,190; Bi-xenon headlamps, $790
Drivetrain: 3.8-litre flat six, 375 hp, 310 lb-ft, six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 0-100 km/h in 4.5 sec; top speed 290 km/h
VVUZZ Recommended: Unequivocally, but like every outstanding sports car, this one is long sold out. If you want one, start looking in the second hand market.
Images courtesy of the author.