By Nick Jones
Of all the small cabriolets out there, the Porsche Boxster has to be the pick of the rag-top crop in the used market.
Not only is it a Porsche, it’ll be well looked after, drive nicely and be as happy on a run to the shops as sitting on a continental European motorway.
Yes, you may have to pay a decent money for a good one, but it’ll last you forever, and when the sun shines it’s the flick of a button and instant sunshine.
And some early used ones can be had for £10,000 now, well within a spending budget.
So when Porsche released the Boxster Spyder, my thoughts first thoughts were “what’s it going to look like given that the Boxster is a soft top anyway”.
I needn’t have worried, it’s a masterpiece of Porsche design.
And it certainly adds spice to the current Boxster while paying more than lip service to the lines of the GT which costs shed-loads more.
What Porsche have done is not add anything to the mix, more take out, if you get my drift; to the tune of 80kgs, apparently.
Then they’ve upped the power from the 3.4-litre flat six engine to nudge 320bhp, but lowered it in the car, making for a better drive.
And the good news is it can be had with the PDK gearbox, which actually switches the manual cogs quicker. New also is the launch control system, which comes as standard with the Sports Chrono package, and a button to open the baffles in the exhaust, making for a concerto conducted by the right foot.
Top speed for the Spyder is 166mph but, unusually, that is achieved only with the roof down and not up – should you have the non-electric roof up, it can only manage 124mph.
The 0-60mph sprint time is 4.8 seconds.
I can’t see many people choosing one as a company car so I’ll not mention the emission figure, but the fuel consumption is pretty good at 30.4 miles to the gallon.
The Spyder is visually rather attractive, and shouldn’t – not for the Porsche fans anyway – be mistaken for a ‘normal’ version.
It looks pretty stock from the front, truth told, but certain changes here and there give it a more sporting pedigree.
Things like the subtle decals down the sides, larger unique alloy wheels and unmistakable twin bulges on the rear deck (behind the heads of both driver and passenger) enhance that low-slung silhouette.
With said bulges in place, there’s no electric movement of the roof, instead it’s get out and fiddle for 10 minutes or so with handle pulls and anchor points – great if it’s sunny, but should the shower come it’s a nightmare.
The Spyder will go head-to-head with the likes of the Audi TT RS and the SLK AMG Mercedes-Benz. For your £46,000 the Spyder is a good car to buy, certainly in this company, and there will be no shortage of buyers for it.
In many respects the Boxster Spyder is much more than a special edition that Porsche has bought out to make more money; the 550 Spyder, from where it takes its heritage, was an iconic model back in the 1950s and I can see this model achieving as much cult status as that one – it’s such good fun, believe me.