424 CD compartment
454 Automatic speed control
502 Produced at the Valmet factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland
567 Tinted windscreen
581 Front centre console
680 Bose audio system
692 Becker Porsche CDC-3 6-disc CD changer
26/10/06 – Centre Porsche Toulouse – 20,865 km
11/01/08 – Porsche Centre – Signatures 27,994 km
03/09/13 – Centre Porsche Erviti – 33,618 km
23/08/16 – Centre Porsche Erviti – 34 648 km
24/11/20 – Centre Imperial Avignon – 41,105 km
For more than 25 years, the Porsche Boxster has been the Stuttgart-based marque’s entry-level model. Presented for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show in 1993, it would be almost 3 years before it was available in dealerships.
At the end of the 90s, consumers’ automotive needs were changing and Porsche realised that it had to diversify if it was to survive. The brand was in a difficult economic situation due to falling sales. The decision was taken to launch a small, open-top, strictly two-seater sports car as a new entry-level model. The Boxster went through two main variants (Boxster and Boxster S), several special series and a total of 3 generations before being renamed the 718 Boxster in 2017.
When it came out in 1996, it was powered by the 6-cylinder flat engine so dear to the Stuttgart marque. This was the 2.5 litre engine developing 204 bhp in a central position. In 2000, Porsche decided to revise the Boxster’s engine by increasing the displacement of its flat 6 to 2.7 litres (220 bhp) and introducing a sportier version called the ‘Boxster S’. The latter is equipped with a 252bhp 3.2L flat 6. Porsche also took advantage of a restyling in 2002 to further increase the power of its engines: 228 bhp for the Boxster and 260 bhp for the ‘S’ version. Finally, a special Spyder 550 version, limited to 1953 units, left the Stuttgart factory in 2004.
To fully understand the car we’re offering, we need to look at the history of our special version: the Boxster Spyder 550. The name refers to the famous Porsche 550 Spyder, winner of numerous international 1.5L class races. The car is also famous in popular culture for being the object in which rising Hollywood star James Dean was killed in 1955 (Little Bastard no. 130). In short, with a tribute like that, our Boxster Spyder 550 had better be just right.
There are a number of aesthetic features that set this limited edition apart. First of all, it comes in a unique colour, Carrera GT Silver Grey. The bonnet is Cocoa colour, and special badges add to the discreet differentiation. As for the interior, two upholstery colours are available: Black and Cocoa. Our tester has the former, which is sober and elegant.
Let’s leave the cosmetics behind and talk about character, liveliness and responsiveness. Take a well-built, lightweight chassis. Add to that a 3.2 litre engine with 266 bhp (although this 6 bhp increase is anecdotal) and a firm gearbox that’s perfect for getting through the gears. Mix it all together. Give it a rest. And you get a distinctive, responsive car that’s best appreciated with its horses in the air. The 6-cylinder engine knows how to make itself heard, waking up around 3,000 revs and taking you up to 7,000 revs without flinching. If the double clutch is mastered by the driver, the pedals are perfectly suited to it and, at the risk of repeating myself, can be enjoyed without moderation and in an intoxicating way once the roof is removed. Beware, however, of the maréchaussée, who will remind you that fully exploiting these 266 horsepower is punishable by law…