Here at What Car? we tend not to comment on looks but come on, in the case of the Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder — a car designed to be prettier than a new-born foal — they’re somewhat impossible to ignore. It’s an arresting thing, but before you start thinking “Yeah, style over substance” this is a proper sports car beneath its svelte skin.
That’s because the Spyder is mechanically identical to a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, and that’s a proper bit of kit — built for the road but with track-day use in mind. And that means the Spyder inherits the GT4’s 414bhp 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six engine, which removes in a fell swoop the biggest criticism of the regular 718 Boxster — its coarse four-cylinder turbocharged motor.
The adaptable suspension is also taken directly from the GT4, and that contains numerous components from the previous 911 GT3, with the whole setup sitting 30mm lower than the standard Boxster. You also get bigger brakes than a regular Boxster’s, with the option to upgrade them to lightweight carbon ceramic discs.
In fact, the only thing that marks it down as less of a purist’s performance machine is the loss of the GT4’s massive fixed rear wing. That’s to keep the Spyder’s flowing lines unsullied, and it makes do instead with a pop-up spoiler that rises above 74mph. It still gets other effective aerodynamic aids, though, including a front splitter and rear diffuser to Hoover the car to the ground and create yet more grip from the sticky Michelin tyres.
Right, that’s enough chit-chat. Is the Boxster Spyder the best convertible sports car you can buy for the money? You could of course be thinking about anything from a Jaguar F-Type Convertible or Audi TT RS Roadster to a BMW Z4 M40i.
Keep reading to find out, and once you’ve made your decision check out our New Car Buying page to see what deals we can arrange for you without the need to haggle.