2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder First Drive


Hawaii is a vibrant landscape with a beauty that approaches perfection. Something about the angle of the sun and the clear blue sky turns the grass that grows on the volcanic rock a glowing emerald green. The constant gentle breeze mixes with pervasive 80-degree temperatures to ensure the comfort of residents and tourists alike. And the sound of the surf provides a calming effect that really helps you let go of life’s stress and just relax.

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It is this environment that Porsche choose for the media drive of its 2016 Boxster Spyder. And it’s fitting because, like Hawaii, this German roadster approaches perfection.

Raiding the parts bin
It’s not like Porsche had to make a massive investment in engineering to build such a brilliant car. Aside from the top, there is nothing really new about the Boxster Spyder. Instead it’s a menagerie of parts bin parts. It’s also the closest a Boxster is going to get to the vaunted Cayman GT4, which donated the front and rear fascias.

Like the GT4, the Boxster Spyder lacks a radio and air conditioning (you can add them back in for free) and features the 3.8-liter flat six that most recently spent time in the 911 Carrera S. Here the engine makes 375 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, while revving up to 7600 rpm. That’s 10 fewer horses than the GT4, but the Spyder’s lighter weight should make up for that difference. Buyers get only one choice of transmission. It’s the same six-speed manual as found in other Boxsters, and it comes with a short-throw shifter.

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Similarly, while the GT4 gets the big honkin’ brakes from the GT3, the Boxster Spyder uses the Carrera S’s brakes, which employ 13.4-inch rotors up front and 13-inch rotors in the rear. Finally, the wheels and tires aren’t as aggressive as those of the GT4. The Boxster Spyder has Pirelli P Zero tires in size 235/35R20 up front and 265/35R20 in the rear, while the GT4 rides on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, 245/35R20 in front and 295/30R20 out back.

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