2011 PORSCHE BOXSTER SPYDER — SCROLL TO READ
The Itsy Bitsy...
Written by Nicolas Bates
By now, Porsche's line of automobiles can genuinely be called eclectic. From utter street-legal racecars, to performance SUV's—and now sedans—Porsche seems to have quite a few markets covered. And just recently, the roadster market received a little present from Porsche: The 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder. Well, what's different from the new Boxster Spyder and the Boxster S model? Oh…a lot.
I suppose the question most will pose is: Well, why another model on that platform? I suppose the dear old folks over at Porsche felt there was an enthusiast who was looking for their roadster, but with a slightly heftier punch. What they came up with is a car with 10 more horsepower, pulls its torque lower in the rpm range and weighs 176 lb. less. Eh, not too shabby.
The Spyder steals its powerplant directly from the Cayman S's direct-injected, 3.4-liter flat-six engine, which is good enough for 320 hp—10 more than the Boxster S—and 273 ft-lb. of torque at 4,750 rpm. The Spyder also had its redline bumped up by 800 rpm's to 7,500. And although the Spyder only makes 7 more ft-lb of torque, it can be found 1,200 rpm's lower. Stock, the car comes with a 6-speed transmission and limited-slip differential (key in putting any power straight to that asphalt). Porsche claims a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds; however, when equipped with the PDK transmission and Sports Chrono package, Porsche's claim shimmies on up to 4.6 seconds. And if you've got the straights in which to accomplish it, the Spyder will hit a top speed of 166 mph.
One of the most notable elements of the new Spyder is the weight reduction the car underwent to achieve its new, low curb weight of 2,811 lb. Nothing was really spared, and this includes the radio and A/C (although, as everyone knows, Porsche'll make it how ya want it). For a savings of 33 lb., its doors are made from aluminum—a feature found on higher-end models like the 911 GT3—and the seats were replaced with lighter, bucket-style seats. The Spyder's top, manually opened and closed, weighs 46 lb. less and the car's 19" wheels are the lightest to ever fit over a Porsche's rotor. Even a lightened battery (for $1,700!) can be purchased.
Being a Porsche and all…the Boxster Spyder comes with a myriad of options and add-ons. Standard equipment includes: stability management, engine drag torque control, brake pad wear indicators and tire pressure monitors, among others, of course. But the special parts exist in the optional list: 7-speed PDK automatic transmission (no fun, but reduces 0-60 second time by 3-tenths of a second), self-dimming mirrors and rain sensor, park assist system, heated front seats and other amenities that only seem to add to the weight of the car. So who wants those?
All and all, Porsche seems to have done a great job giving someone that little extra "umph" with this keen, little roadster package they're calling the "Spyder." I mean, it's no GT2, but it also doesn't claim to be. And don't get me wrong, with 320 hp and weighing 2,811 lb., the Spyder will scoot you along at a steady pace through the twisties. And you can even do it with the wind blowing through your hair/toupee!
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