Porsche has announced a radical new Spyder model, set to join the Boxster range in February 2010.
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A spiritual successor to the classic Porsche 550 Spyder roadster of the 1950s, the Boxster Spyder will be the lightest car in the modern Porsche line-up. Weighing just 1,275kg and powered by a 3.4-litre flat six engine that produces 320bhp, it speeds from rest to 62mph in just 4.8 seconds and on to 166mph.
New lightweight roof
The major difference between the Spyder and other Boxster models is its roof. The roadster has been developed to be driven ‘in the open air’, as Porsche puts it, so the regular folding fabric top has been replaced with a sleek, lightweight canvas cover that stretches over bespoke, reduced-height side windows and a pair of bulging fairings on the rear deck.
As a result, in silhouette, the new Spyder looks more like the Porsche Carrera GT supercar than a regular Boxster.
High speed, high technology
Meanwhile, revised suspension and that low kerbweight provide the sportiest Boxster driving experience ever.
Its impressive 0-62mph figure is achieved using the optional Porsche PDK gearbox and a launch control system. PDK, like Volkswagen’s DSG, is a twin-clutch semi-automatic transmission, which can act as a full automatic when required or be used as a manual with the driver changing gear via buttons on the steering wheel.
The Boxster Spyder is 10bhp more powerful than the current Boxster range topper, the Boxster S, yet it is also 80kg lighter. Together with the PDK gearbox and direct injection this enables it to return up to 30.4mpg officially, in spite of its ferocious performance.
Porsche is launching the Boxster Spyder at the Los Angeles Auto Show in California in December. Prices will start at £44,643 when it goes on sale in February 2010 – just under £4,000 more than the current starting price for a Boxster S.
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