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2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder First Impressions

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Luc Gagné
Ready to tackle the road... and the track!
And what about these new racing buckets? It sure takes a good deal of flexibility to get past their massive bolsters. Gymnasts will love it! Fortunately, Porsche left the tilt-telescopic steering wheel of the plebeian Boxster untouched.

With a 20-mm lower, sport-tuned suspension, the Spyder has all the ingredients to deliver the kind of handling performance drivers look for on the track. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/

Obviously, not all potential buyers of the Spyder dream of becoming racing champions. So, in order not to scare these people away with a bare-bone kind of look, the company offers to keep the standard seats, stereo and cupholders at no extra cost!

Top or no top?
Inspired from some older Porsche race cars, namely the 550 Spyder and 718 RS 60 of the 1950s and 1960s, the 2011 Boxster Spyder does not come with a power-retractable top — it’s designed to be driven topless as often as possible.

But while the conventional top may seem rudimentary, putting it on can be done single-handedly. Laurance Yap, Public Relations Manager at Porsche Cars Canada, expertly showed us how during our test ride of the new Boxster Spyder at the Calabogie Motorsports Park (Northeastern Ontario). Watch the video to learn the technique.

Once in place, the roof highlights the reduced size of the side windows, while its shape looks like a natural extension of the bulging single-piece rear hood, giving the Spyder an improvised Carrera GT silhouette.

Improved performance
The car features a six-speed manual gearbox or, optionally a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission called PDK. A shorter-throw sport shifter ($1,050) and a sport exhaust system ($3,410) are available, too.

The PDK-equipped Boxster Spyder with Sports Chrono Package accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, whereas the manual-equipped variant takes 5.1 seconds. Top speed is rated at 267 km/h with the top down and 200 km/h with the top up.

By the way, Porsche makes a point of warning future owners that the roof design prevents the Spyder from entering a car wash!

The company offers to keep the standard seats, stereo and cupholders at no extra cost! (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/
Luc Gagné
Luc Gagné
Automotive expert
  • More than 30 years of experience as an automotive journalist
  • Over 59 test drives in the past year
  • Attended over 150 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists