Porsche Boxster Spyder: driven - Cut to the bone

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  • New lightweight range-topper
  • 315bhp in a 1275kg car
  • On sale in February for £44,643
Porsche Boxster Spyder
Porsche Boxster Spyder
With the Porsche Boxster Spyder, it appears that the designers' brief must have read as follows: 'If it doesn't add to the driving experience, ditch it.'

Porsche probably didn't express it quite as bluntly as that, but that's what it amounts to.

Cut to the bone
The stripped-down design is all to do with reducing weight – the goal of motor engineers the world over. Weight wastes energy and hinders agility, and with the Boxster Spyder, Porsche wanted to get back to the feel of its white-knuckle sports cars of the '50s and '60s.

The air-conditioning and stereo found in other Boxsters have gone. The cupholders, too. Even the interior door handles have been sacrificed.

Comfort-hungry buyers, however, can put most of it back from the options list – with all but the air-con at no extra cost. The door handles, however, are gone for good – a couple of pull-straps will have to suffice.

The result is a car that weighs in at a pretty trim 1275 kilos and has the 315bhp 3.4-litre engine from the Cayman S to move it – a power-to-weight ratio of just 3.9 kilos per bhp.

Altogether, Porsche has shaved 80 kilos off the weight of a Boxster S by fitting a two-part manual cloth roof, making the doors and the new one-piece engine cover with its humps out of aluminium, reducing the size of the fuel tank and adopting lighter sports seats. There are also 19-inch alloy wheels to go with the cannibalisation of the cabin.

There's stiffer and lower suspension, and the option of six-speed manual or seven-speed semi-automatic gearboxes. Buyers can also have all of Porsche's electronic chassis tricks with the exception of adaptive shock absorbers.

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