2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder - Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche rolled out the 2010 Boxster Spyder, the third model in the Boxster lineup, for its world debut at the LA Auto Show, with an entirely new look and – we are led to believe – a driving personality nearly on par with the 911 GT3 RS.

Hidden deep and low in the belly of the Spyder is a tuned version of Porsche's 3.4-liter flat-six, rated at 320 hp (ten more than the Boxster S). While the added horses are welcome, it's the 176 pounds of mass lost that really raises our interest. To achieve these savings, Porsche has fitted the Spyder with a lightweight carbon fiber-ribbed soft top, unique rear decklid, low side windows, aluminum door skins and interior door panels with straps swapped from the 911 GT3 RS. Air conditioning, cupholders and an audio system have been left back on the factory floor (don't worry, Porsche will let you add them back for a price). With a curb weight of just 2,811 pounds, it is the lightest model in Porsche's lineup. With a power-to-weight ratio rivaling the Carrera S, the Boxster Spyder with a dual-clutch PDK transmission will now rip to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

However, that's only part of the enthusiast-oriented story. Porsche replaced the dampers with an all-new sport suspension, riding 20 mm lower than the other models, to drop the center of gravity and improve handling over the standard Porsche Boxster and Boxster S. Fitted with a standard limited-slip differential and lightweight wheels, the package looks just fine to us. As expected, the pure driving enjoyment of the Porsche Boxster Spyder won't come cheap – base pricing starts at $61,200 when it arrives in February 2010.


Related GalleryLA 2009: 2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder

[Source: Porsche]


PRESS RELEASE

Porsche Boxster Spyder Makes World Debut at Los Angeles International Auto Show

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2, 2009 – Today, at a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche – a company known for creating light and highly efficient and desirable sports cars – took the wraps off one of its most nimble and sportiest mid-engine cars ever: the 2011 Boxster Spyder.

This new mid-engine Porsche represents the purist form of the roadster sports car, meaning it is agile, powerful, open and efficient. Weighing only 2,811 lbs. and delivering 320 horsepower, it goes on sale in February 2010 and will join the Boxster and Boxster S that made their world debut here last year.

This exciting new member of the Boxster family stands out among other versions of the company's famous roadster. Almost reluctantly, Porsche's engineers equipped it with a lightweight manual soft top meant for protection only; it is there to be deployed on those occasions when the elements absolutely demand it. This utilitarian top, when combined with extra-low side windows and two striking bulges on the single-piece rear lid, provides the Boxster Spyder with a sleek, low-slung silhouette reminiscent of the Carrera GT.

"The new Boxster Spyder looks distinctly different from its Boxster siblings," said Klaus Berning, Porsche's executive board member responsible for worldwide sales and marketing, speaking at the Los Angeles Auto Show press conference today. "Our designers borrowed from the rich history of our mid-engine sports and race cars of the '50s, but under the skin it has our most advanced technology so that its performance matches the Spyder's looks, making it the quintessential purist Porsche."

The Boxster Spyder features a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine with Direct Fuel Injection upfront of the rear axle. Maximum output is 320 horsepower, 10 more than the Boxster S.

The combination of more horsepower, 176 lbs. less weight than the award-winning Boxster S, an all-new sport suspension that lowers the Boxster Spyder 20 mm, a lower center of gravity, a standard limited slip differential, and exclusive wheels provide the kind of driving dynamics that back up the unique look. Aluminum door skins and lightweight interior door panels from the 911 GT3 RS contribute to the weight reduction.

When equipped with Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission and the Sports Chrono Package, the new Spyder, using Launch Control, accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Top track speed is 166 mph – with the roof open.