PORSCHE BOXSTER RS 60 SPYDER REVIEW
Porsche continues its special edition production line with the Boxster RS 60 Spyder aimed at celebrating the company's sporting success of the 1960's.
PORSCHE BOXSTER RS 60 SPYDER NEW CAR ROAD TEST Porsche is not a company that you would normally associate with special editions but a trawl through its previous model lists will reveal a surprising number of limited run variants. The RS 60 Spyder we're looking at here is based on the peerless Boxster S and designed to echo the classic motorsport era of the 1960s and in particular, the success of Porsche racing cars during that period.
With only 1,960 models planned for production, the RS 60 Spyder is assured of an exclusive label and each model will display a unique plaque on the glove compartment lid with a number denoting its place in the production run. It's priced at £45,400 but exclusivity like this was never going to be cheap. This represents a premium of £6,134 over the price of the standard Boxster S, so what do you get for your money?
The exterior of the car is distinguished by a subtle front spoiler and 19 inch diameter Porsche SportDesign alloy wheels which are augmented by special spacer plates that broaden the car's track. The distinctive GT Silver metallic paintwork is the only choice available on the RS 60 Spyder but customers can opt for an interior of natural leather in either Carrera Red or Dark Grey with roof colours in red or black respectively. Other RS 60 Spyder features include door-entry guards in stainless steel, a roll-over bar painted in the exterior colour and red tail-lights.
The interior leather trim is further enhanced with a textured finish on the centre sections of the sports seats and the centre door linings. This also extends to the steering wheel rim and handbrake lever.
Complementing the exterior appearance, the faces of the instrument dials have a GT Silver Metallic finish and with this model not having the usual hood over the instrument cluster, the large central rev counter and the two circular dials on either side bring something of the flair of a racing car to the cockpit.
Further features include the windscreen surround finished in black, as well as GT Silver metallic finishes for the centre console, the seat backrests and the roll hoops. Even the seat belts are finished in silver and a bespoke gear lever completes the customised interior.
". it'll still be worth a good deal more of its original asking price than any direct rival. "
The 3.4-litre flat-six engine has been fitted with a modified sports exhaust system and combined with dual tail pipes the power output is increased to 303bhp from the standard 295bhp. To enhance the sporting theme still further, Porsche has added its acclaimed 'Porsche Active Suspension Management' (PASM) system as standard. This is a specially adapted chassis control system which delivers positive road contact and precise performance across all road conditions. With actively adjustable dampers and a ride height lowered by 10mm compared with the standard Boxster, PASM allows drivers to select from a 'normal' or 'sport' setting. When sport mode is selected, the suspension is set to a firmer rating for a more dynamic driving experience.
If you haven't tried a Boxster since the second generation version was first introduced in 2004, you may also notice that Porsche have made a few other tweaks, although only the most ardent Porschephile will probably notice. Access for servicing has been improved for example. Plus, the coolant and engine oil filler caps in the rear luggage bay have been repositioned behind a neat access flap so that the boot space can be better utilised. This boosts the Boxster's already very good practicality, helped by a reasonably sized rear boot and one up front that's deeper than you might expect.
Safety has been well sorted in this car, even running to door-mounted airbags that work in conjunction with thorax bags to reduce the effects of a side impact. Twin front airbags are standard, as is the latest version of Bosch's four-channel anti-lock braking system and Porsche's PSM stability control system.
The great thing about the Boxster is that despite the power boost, it's still slower in a straight line than a BMW M-Roadster or a TVR Tuscan but will batter both of them down a B-road. You'll wait for the others to catch up smug in the knowledge that you're working smarter not harder, doing more with less. The way it steers and stops leaves you in absolutely no doubt that when it comes to building sports cars, Porsche simply know more than the rest - especially at the detailed level.
Likewise, when it comes to running the Boxster, you know that if you choose to sell it three years down the road, it'll still be worth a good deal more of its original asking price than any direct rival. This low depreciation, reasonable fuel economy and an ability to look after its tyres better than most means that once you've swallowed the initial upfront cost, the ongoing costs aren't exorbitant. The one thing to bear in mind, however, is the cost of Porsche options. Even in SP60 Spyder form, few customers will specify their cars in base trim and Porsche extras aren't cheap.
Still built by Valmet in Uusikaupunki, Finland, the Boxster continues to stamp its authority on the sports roadster segment. Though the range of rivals has steadily become more talented in the last decade, this car has seen them all off and remains the benchmark by which every newcomer is judged. Porsche obviously believes that special editions are a lucrative means of selling more cars and with its impressive track record it is unlikely that the Boxster SP 60 Spyder will be anything other than a runaway success.