Thinking out of the box

Motoring Guru Danny Cobbs test drives the powerful new Porsche Boxster Spyder and enjoys the pure driving experience of the affordable sports car

For far too long the Boxster was considered a pastiche; a dumbed-down Porsche built to a sell to the masses and devoid of any sense of its own identity. Conversely, the new Boxster Spyder represents something thrillingly new. It’s relevant, contemporary and seductive, and probably the prettiest car Porsche has built in decades.

It delivers some noticeable performance figures too, thanks in part to its 3.8-litre engine – the same found in the current 911 Carrera S. Driven in a straight line and the Spyder will trounce over many of its rivals, yet it’s far more than just a quick car.

motorsWhat makes this Boxster so impressive is not the fact it takes a mere 4.5 seconds to reach 62mph, or that it’s more than happy to cruise along the autobahn at 180mph. Obviously they all help. What makes this two-seater convertible so special is the way it takes 370bhp of power and then turns it into speed.

By removing anything deemed unnecessary and using lightweight materials in its construction, Porsche have shaved 30kgs off the weight of a regular Boxster.

Now, with a greater power-to-weight ratio, wider rear wheels, a lowered sports suspension and a mechanical differential, it becomes amazingly precise and surefooted with an unyielding and endless enthusiasm to please.

Streamliner’s behind the headrests – a stylisation which evokes the Porsches’ of a bygone age – transform this version into an easily recognisable and instantly different car from the one it’s been based upon.

Unlike its predecessor, this Boxster looks equally as good with its hood up and it does down. Lowering the Spyder’s roof does require a little bit more effort than just pushing the centre console release button.

To begin with, none of it can be done from inside the car, so you need to get out, then detach the end ‘fins’, open the rear deck, stow the hood, before finally closing the cover flaps. It’s actually a lot faster and less complicated than it first sounds.

The basic package costs £60,495, which includes a six-speed manual transmission, race derived carbon-shell seats and Porsche’s Sports Chrono package. And although you don’t now get air conditioning or an audio system as standard – far too heavy for this car – they are both available from the options list.

Put simply; this Boxster is sleek, slick and full of intent and succinctly demonstrates the difference between nearly good and really good.

Engine: 3800cc Flat Six
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power: 370bhp
Torque: 310lbs
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 180mph
Fuel Consumption: 28.5mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 230g/km
Price: £60,459

About Danny Cobbs
Each month our motoring guru Danny Cobbs takes to the road in the newest and most exciting new vehicles and he tells us all about it.