Porsche’s glorious new hard-core Boxster Spyder is a 180-mph investment opportunity, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.
How come? Not only is this the most powerful version of Porsche’s much-loved mid-engined roadster ever, it’s the grand finale of the naturally-aspirated six-cylinder Boxsters. From now on, Boxsters will come with an eco-friendly, though still potent, turbo-4 under the hood and re-badged as the 718 Boxster. So think of the Spyder as the end of an era, the last of the last, the David Bowie, the Prince of sports cars!
But cast aside any thoughts of potential investment opportunities and look at this latest $83,095 Boxster Spyder for what it is; arguably the most thrilling, most exhilarating, most fun-to-drive open-top Porsche you can buy today.
See it in the metal and it looks rare and exotic. Inspired by those skinny-bodied Porsche Spyders from the Fifties and Sixties, this latest iteration is distinguished by gorgeous sculpted double-bubbles behind the seats - Porsche calls them streamliners - and a bold front-end with air-gulping intakes big enough to ingest small animals.
It comes with any transmission you like as long as it’s a six-speed manual. It has a manual cloth top that admittedly shaves pounds, but is so awkward in actuation, it will have you cussing like Kanye. And, in the quest to do a Jenny Craig, it jettisons proper door handles for the kind of flimsy nylon straps you find on a Whole Foods shopping bag!
And an exhaust that has more demon voices than that gal in The Exorcist, heightens the feeling of insane acceleration. As the flat-6 shrieks towards its redline, it sounds like a F-16 on full after-burner. Lift off the gas and it’ll snap and snarl, crackle and pop as vocally as a NASCAR stocker on the Daytona banking.
I could regale you with stories of how I explored the upper limits of the Spyder’s on-road handling, scything through curves on the ragged edge. But I’d be fibbing. Only on a racetrack can you come anywhere close to determining when the massive 10-inch rear tires relinquish their awesome grip.
You’ll want to drive the Spyder topless, mainly because it’s such a terrific experience. That, and the fact that the cloth roof is such a pain to raise and lower.
While it’s a huge improvement over the flimsy bimini roof on the last-generation ‘10 Boxster Spyder, this one still requires plenty of tugging and snapping and shuffles around the car. Someone who has ever used the one-hand-operation folding top on a $26-grand Mazda Miata would fall about laughing.
But that’s the smallest of prices to pay for a car that delivers so much. A future classic? You bet. Don’t make it a coulda, woulda, shudda. Invest in this thrill ride before it’s too late.