Porsche Boxster Spyder (2016)

Porsche Boxster Spyder

Porsche Boxster Spyder marks a new edition of the purist roadster. The new top version of the two-seat convertible retains the independent character of the previous Spyder, which has already become an automotive icon.

For instance, the classic fabric hood is once again operated by hand, and the car is offered with a manual transmission exclusively. In the lightest yet most powerful Boxster of all times, driver and passenger alike can thus look forward to a genuine sports-car experience that fears no rival. The unwavering standard of the North Loop of the Nürburgring proves this convincingly. It takes seven minutes and 47 seconds for the Boxster Spyder to come around to the starting/finishing line again.

The most powerful Boxster: 375-hp six-cylinder from the Cayman GT4

Mounted in front of the rear axle of the Boxster Spyder is a 3.8-liter six-cylinder direct-injection engine that was adapted from the 911 Carrera S and also powers the Cayman GT4. In the mid-engine roadster, the unit delivers 375 hp (276 kW) at 6,700 rpm, which is 45 hp more than the power output of the 3.4-liter engine in the Boxster GTS. Its 420 Nm of torque, which is available between 4,750 rpm and 6,000 rpm, is also higher than the 370 Nm of the GTS engine. The purist roadster accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, which is half a second faster than the Boxster GTS with a manual transmission. The Boxster Spyder can reach a top speed of 290 km/h - even with the convertible hood up. The car's combined NEDC fuel consumption is 9.9 l/100 km.

The distinctive design of the Boxster Spyder includes stylistic elements that recall legendary sports and race cars from Porsche. For example, as a tribute to the 718 Spyder from the 1960s, the new Boxster Spyder has two prominent bubbles behind the headrests - known as streamliners - that stretch over the long trunk lid. The new roll-over bar trim creates harmonious styling. The manually folding hood recalls earlier roadsters. The fins that extend rearwards give the side profile its characteristic design. The front and rear sections of the Boxster Spyder come from the Cayman GT4 and underscore the vehicle's status as a high-performance sports car. They make the new top roadster ten millimeters longer and eleven millimeters lower than the Boxster GTS. Particularly striking are the three large air intakes with black screens at the front that supply cooling air to the three heat exchangers behind them.

Sports bucket seats: interior designed for drivers with sporty ambitions

More so than in any other Boxster, the interior of the Spyder conveys an atmosphere of pure driving pleasure.

As was the case in the previous model, the driver and passenger sit in lightweight sport bucket seats with large lateral supports that let them directly experience the outstanding transverse dynamics of the new top roadster. The steering wheel, with a diameter of 360 mm, has already proven itself in the Cayman GT4, and the shorter gear shift lever enables very rapid gear shifts.

In keeping with the model's purist design, standard equipment includes neither a radio nor an air conditioner in order to reduce weight. In place of a radio, there is a compartment for storing small items. However, any of the optional Boxster audio systems - up to a Burmester sound system - is available to customers as an option. An air conditioner can also be ordered as optional equipment, as can the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with all of its special features, for instance.

Exclusive optional features: Spyder Classic package in red leather

The color black defines the interior ambiance with many elements in Alcantara. The door opener straps are reminiscent of classic race cars. Trim strips are painted in the exterior color - customers can select from a total of ten colors. Particularly striking among the optional equipment features is the Spyder Classic package, which Porsche has bundled exclusively for the top model of the Boxster family. In this package, garnet-red leather is used to upholster the top of the instrument panel, the seats and the sides of the center console.

Manual work is fun: lightweight hood and manual transmission

As a genuine roadster, the Boxster Spyder offers a traditional sports-car driving experience at today's performance levels.

This means that it features a stiff sports suspension with a 20-mm lower ride height, a manual six-speed transmission, climate control solely by using the heating unit or opening the convertible hood and the mid-engine as the only sound system. The roadster package is completed by a lightweight design hood, which is manually opened and closed and is only latched and unlatched electrically. Putting the hood up is a cinch: you simply open the rear top compartment lid and fold out the hood. The driver inserts the fins on the trunk lid and simply pushes a button to pull the top tight to the windshield frame. To take the top down, these steps are performed in reverse order.

Systematic lightweight design ensures outstanding driving dynamics

The purist equipment features of the Boxster Spyder are the result of a systematic lightweight approach. At 1,315 kilograms, the Spyder is the lightest sports car in the Boxster family.

The large trunk lid, for instance, is made of aluminum, and the lightweight design hood with its unheated polymer rear window weighs eleven kilograms less than the usual automatic hood of the Boxster. Lightweight sport bucket seats and less insulation also improve the vehicle's overall weight. The results are clearly noticeable to the driver. This car's center of gravity is lower than that of any other Boxster, and its weight-to-power ratio has been reduced to 3.5 kilograms per hp. This makes the Boxster Spyder handle as nimbly as a go-cart, yet it accelerates as vehemently as a high-performance sports car.

Hence, the mid-engine roadster from Porsche fully plays out the advantages of its driving dynamics concept. The wide 20-inch wheels, which are reserved exclusively for the Spyder, further enhance the lateral dynamic benefits of the modified sport chassis that is based on the suspension of the Boxster GTS. The front wheels are 8.5 inches wide, and the rear wheels 10.5 inches.

Maximum cornering precision: dynamic transmission mounts, PTV differential lock

The dynamic transmission mounts of the standard Sport Chrono package prevent movements of the engine-transmission unit, especially in alternating bends, which could have an effect on handling.

Power distribution to the two rear wheels is via a classic mechanical differential lock that is part of the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) system. The locking effect is 22 per cent under power and 27 per cent in overrun. In conjunction with PTV the system improves steering response and precision by targeted brake interventions at the rear wheel on the inside of a curve. The electro-mechanical power steering originates from the 911 Turbo and its setup is more direct than in the other Boxster models. The brake system has higher performance than systems in the other Boxster models. Brake calipers and rotors come from the 911 Carrera S.

Purist lightweight design hood with simplified operation

The newly developed, manual lightweight design hood of the new Porsche Boxster Spyder continues the purist design of the previous model with its characteristic open fins and rear lid with two distinctive streamliners. Operation of the hood was simplified and is faster, which enhances its everyday practicality.

Lightweight design prioritized over convenience

In the previous model of the Porsche Boxster Spyder, the hood was designed as an extremely lightweight emergency hood. Its everyday practicality was compromised by its manual operation in 15 operating steps, its limited suitability for automated car washing and a recommended maximum speed of 200 km/h when the hood is up.

Along with intelligent lightweight design, another top priority in the specification for the hood of the new Porsche Boxster Spyder was to correct the mentioned limitations of the previous model and upgrade the new Spyder hood to the level of other Porsche hoods. This meant no restriction on top speed when the hood is raised and the ability to run the car through an automatic car wash like the normal Boxster.

The newly developed, lightweight Spyder hood frame features a lightweight design consisting of magnesium, aluminum, plastic and - where necessary - high-strength steel. By using a polymer rear windscreen and omitting a hood drive system, insulation, rooflining and heavy acoustic hood material, weight was reduced an additional ten kilograms compared to the already lightweight Boxster hood. The specified targets of permitting automatic car washing and driving at top speed are fully satisfied by the use of full-fledged seals and by tying the hood cover material to every cross-bow.

The optional mesh-type wind deflector is inserted between the two roll-over bars. It reduces air draft when the hood is down and increases everyday practicality while preserving the purist, manual overall concept.

Simplified and faster operation

Hood operation is still manual, but it has been simplified significantly on the new Boxster Spyder compared to the previous model. It is no longer necessary to disassemble the hood from the vehicle due to the full-fledged, lightweight hood frame. The time needed to raise or stow the hood has been reduced from three minutes previously to under one minute now. This is accomplished by reducing the number of operating steps to fewer than half of the previous number, combined with more intuitive operation. Moreover, the electrically activated hood latch and the two pressurized gas springs of the hood frame reduce the manual operating forces required to raise or stow the hood.

The procedure for lowering the hood in detail:

  • Electrically unlatch the hood and rear lid by pushing hood button or using the vehicle key.
  • Manually detach ends of fins from the rear lid and insert them into the pocket provided for them on the hood.
  • Open rear lid.
  • Manually stow the hood.
  • Close rear lid.
  • Close hood cover flaps, left and right.

The procedure for raising the hood in detail:

  • Unlatch rear lid electrically by pushbutton and open manually.
  • Open hood cover flaps, left and right.
  • Raise hood manually.
  • Close rear lid.
  • Detach ends of fins from hood and insert them on rear lid.
  • Latch hood to windscreen frame by hood button or vehicle key.