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Old 12-10-2009, 03:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Des Moines, IA
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Video review of Spyder


Sample of write up below:

The 2010 Porsche Boxter Spyder

Looking back at the phenomenal success of the 550, Porsche has put together a new Boxster Spyder for 2010 that takes a firm less-is-more approach to sportscar design with the driving purist in mind.

It's based on the Boxster S, but in order to get the car down to 1,275kg, a lot has been taken away. The Boxster Spyder has no air-con, no stereo, no running lights, beverage holders or fog lamps. The motors that open and close the soft-top roof have also been dropped - making this a manual convertible that's made to be driven fast with the top down. Losing all this extraneous gear has saved about 80kg from the weight of the Boxster S, or roughly as much as your buddy weighs in the passenger seat.

While the Spyder taketh away in large quantities, it giveth in just one - the engine is naturally a horizontally opposed flat six displacing 3.4 litres, mounted beneath an aerodynamic twin hump arrangement in front of the rear axle. It's been slightly breathed on to rev higher than the S and develop 10 more horsepower, with final figures of 320 horsepower at 7,200rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at 4,750rpm.

The net result is near on 10% more horsepower per kilogram. It's worth noting that the engine here is the same as the one in the Cayman S. Now, there's a lot of people saying that this engine could do a lot more if Porsche would only let it - and that it's possibly been deliberately watered-down to protect the 911, Porsche's flagship model, from being embarrassed. If there's any truth to those rumours, a little aftermarket tuning could unleash a lot.

In stock trim the Spyder makes 60mph in just under 5 seconds, and can be pushed to a top speed of 166mph, or 267kmh with the top down if you need to get your hair dry pronto.

The engine can be upgraded to deliver power through the PDK transmission found on the top-line 911 and Panamera models. PDK stands for Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, and it's a beautifully sorted double-clutch sequential shift - meaning that there's actually two transmissions, one handling reverse and all the odd-numbered gears, the other handling all the even numbered gears.

What this means is that when you shift from third to fourth gear, the second clutch is actually engaging fourth at the same time as the first clutch is disengaging third. The end result is that you can have uninterrupted power delivery to the wheels as you accelerate through the gears. Quite nifty. You can also opt for launch assist, which brings your 0-60 times down by around a fifth of a second.

In terms of handling, the Boxster Spyder benefits not only from the 550's light weight focus, but from its low centre of gravity. A new, stiffer sport suspension package lets the Spyder ride 2cm lower than the Boxster S does.

The Spyder will hit markets worldwide in February 2010, with a US list price of $61,200. That's just a couple thousand up on the Boxster S, and within the reach of a lot of buyers. And that raised rear section does make it look a whole lot more muscular. It's certainly no racecar, and while it's austere by today's standards, it's nowhere near as light or focused as the 550 Spyder of old, but there's every chance that the back-to-basics Boxster Spyder will strike a chord.
Rich Belloff

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