The most treasured model in Porsche's history, the Spyder, is about to take to the road again! The German company has announced the release of a new lightweight, driver-focused version of the mid-engined Boxster, known as the Boxster Spyder.
Inspired by the 1954 550 Spyder, which stood only three-feet high and weighed a slender 550kg, the Boxster Spyder sports a new, low-slung silhouette with a lightweight, low-lying soft-top and windows.
Completing the look is a pair of humps which extend across the boot-lid to the rear spoiler and transform the normally awkward looking Boxster into something that more closely resembles the Carrera GT supercar.
Due to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show in December, the new car weighs in at just 1,275kg, which is 80kg less than the Boxster S and enough to make it the lightest Porsche on sale today.
Under the bonnet, the Spyder uses Porsche's tried and tested 3.4-litre 'boxer' engine, newly tweaked to put out 320bhp. The uprated engine can be paired with a standard six-speed manual gearbox or the PDK twin-clutch system, which has now done away with its counter-intuitive steering wheel mounted controls in favour of a pair of paddle-shifters.
Porsche claims that a Spyder, fitted with the optional PDK gearbox and Sports Chrono Pack will sprint to 60mph in a blistering 4.8 seconds, that's almost a second quicker than a PDK equipped Boxster S. Top speed is more familiar, with the Spyder's top speed of 166mph only 3mph more than the S.
Renowned for its responsive handling and excellent brakes, the original Boxster package is hard to improve, but that hasn't stopped the Porsche engineers from trying. A lower centre of gravity coupled with a slightly revised suspension set-up allows the Spyder to be even more agile than its predecessor.
However, the new Porsche isn't just about torque and tyresmoke; consumption figures of 30.4mpg, again with the optional PDK gearbox, should help cut down time spent at the pumps and should also save around £200 a year in road tax over the standard Boxster S.
The new Spyder will go on sale in February 2010 as a final farewell to the Boxster, which originally went on sale in 1996. Priced at £44,643 the Spyder is almost identically priced to Audi'd TT RS Roadster and undercuts the SLK 55 AMG by £5,000.
Included in the price is a chance for customers to test the limits of their new Spyder, by taking to the track at Silverstone with a special Porsche-run driving experience