I write-up a lot of Porsches, but very rarely post about the Boxster. And most of those very infrequent examples are of the Boxster Spyder. So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that this Boxster post also is a Spyder.
Given that I actually am a big fan of the roadster genre it’s a little strange that I don’t feature the Boxster more often. After all, I own a 2-seat convertible and I love it. These are cars that tend to be light and nimble, almost always rear-wheel drive and with a manual transmission. And while they rarely have been the most powerful cars on the market there’s typically enough power on tap to get some serious enjoyment out of it.
The Boxster, being a Porsche, has long been one of the more luxurious roadsters on the market. It’s also suffered seemingly endless criticism for basically being not as good as a 911. Whether it was the nature of the car or simply a function of purposeful decision-making by those at Porsche, the early models probably could have been sportier. Over time those criticisms either have dwindled as the Boxster was made a better and more powerful car or they shifted to the Cayman where the “not as good as a 911” remarks make more sense.
The Spyder, released by Porsche for the 2011 model year, sought to solve most of the criticisms through the tried-and-true performance method: remove weight (a 176 pound reduction) and add power (up to 320 hp, 10 more than the Boxster S). In a roadster this is an especially important formula since the entire experience was to center on no frills sporting from the outset. The Spyder does that very well.
Here we have one of the rarely seen color options: a Guards Red 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder, located in Texas, with 50,391 miles on it.…
I really don’t feature the Porsche Cayman often enough. It’s not that I don’t like them, I like them a lot. I think they just fall into that world of newer machines that we see so many of that it becomes easy to pass them by for more rare alternatives from earlier years. The same happens with the 911 since I’ll feature very few of the water-cooler models and when I do it is almost always the 996TT or GT3.
When I come across a Cayman R the decision is much easier as these possess the sort of rarity and performance that immediately makes us take notice. The R provides a glimpse of everything the Cayman could be and serves as a precursor to the current GT4. As a lightened and more powerful version of the Cayman S, the R takes an already well-balanced machine and turns everything up. Creature comforts are a little more limited though for those who like A/C and a radio they can be added back. Even still the R makes for a wonderfully fun drive and hell I think they look pretty great too!
The one we see here comes in a really pretty Basalt Black over Red combination and sits with just 12,000 miles on it. The asking price is quite high, but the option list is quite extensive so if you’re looking for one that checked a lot of the boxes this may be it.
Model: Cayman R
Engine: 3.4 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 12,000 mi
The car is black with red full leather and has a manual transmission, bucket seats, sports exhaust, sport chrono among many other options. Currently has a little over 12,000 miles and I am the original owner.
While the Porsche 986 Boxster might have been the car that saved Porsche with its massive popularity, the 987-derived Cayman was what made the mid-engine design popular with track enthusiasts. Especially in more potent “S” form, the Cayman is a giant killer with sublime vehicle dynamics and plenty of punch even without a turbo. The 987 refresh in 2005 fixed many of the perceived visual faults of the 986 Boxster design with a slant towards a more aggressive look. The Coupe added a smooth, flowing hatchback line to the 997-inspired exterior, creating a lightweight, 7/8ths scale mid-engine 911. That it was less expensive than the traditional flat-6 lineup didn’t hurt, either. It was, and remains, a hit.
It was no surprise then that immediately these Caymans became popular with track enthusiasts and racers alike, spawning their own race series in the PCA. But you don’t need to fork over $100,000 for one of the rare Napleton Interseries cars to have a lot of fun at the track, as Kachel Motor Company proves with this duo of Cayman S racers:
As Spring 2017 officially kicks off today, my thoughts inevitably turn towards the track. While race series at Daytona, Sebring, Formula 1 (final testing, at least) and even Goodwood have already commenced, as I look out my window there’s still a layer of snow covering the ground and temperatures have barely crept past freezing. It certainly doesn’t feel like Spring yet, but that doesn’t mean that preparation for heading to the track can’t begin. And though I dearly love tracking my Audi Coupe GT and it’s racked up some serious mileage on the race courses of New England, I can’t help but think that maybe it’s time for something newer. Maybe something like a Porsche Cayman, the “affordable” way into a track-friendly performance Porsche:
Porsche history has always been intrinsically linked with racing since before they were even a company. From Mercedes-Benz to Auto Union and later Cisitalia, Porsche offered world-beating designs prior to establishment of its own independent racing heritage. Since the 1950s, they’ve never looked back, and every successive generation has their own legends that were born. For my father, it was the 908 and 917, while I grew up with the turbocharged whistle of the 956 and 962 dominating race tracks. To capitalize on this nostalgia, coupled with more gentleman drivers heading to the track every weekend than there ever have been, Porsche’s lineup has increasingly focused on track-biased cars. But that hasn’t stopped some from going a few steps further, and Napelton Porsche launched an interesting idea just before the turn of the decade.
Why not create a race series of equal cars, slap historic liveries on them, and hit the track? The Interseries was just that, with door to door action pitting the iconic color combinations of Porsche history at the hands of mere mortals. From the Salzburg 917 that first took Porsche to the Le Mans title to the unmistakable Rothmans colors, each of these cars wore a bit of what made the marque a legend for so many people. Everyone has their favorite design, so this series offered Porschephiles a veritable cornucopia of visual pleasure. Today, one of these cars has come up for sale:
From seemingly the moment it released the Cayman Porsche was criticized for holding it back so as not to outclass the 911. As we often heard, the Cayman’s inherently better balanced mid-engine layout should easily be able to outperform Porsche’s icon, if only Porsche would truly unleash it and give it a proper engine. Regardless of this criticism, the Cayman has been widely praised; it followed in the long footsteps of Porsche’s racing history providing excellent performance and refinement in the same package. With the release of the Cayman R criticism was abated. With the new Cayman GT4 we have a glimpse of what the Cayman truly can be. Here we have an example of the former, a Speed Yellow 2012 Porsche Cayman R, located in Texas, with 12,726 miles on it. The Cayman R didn’t really add much in the horsepower department – gaining only 10 hp over the standard Cayman S – but when combined with its lighter weight – some 120 fewer pounds than the Cayman S – the results began to take shape. Marry extra power and lighter weight with more performance-oriented suspension tuning and the Cayman R stood apart from its mid-engined siblings and finally bit at the heels of the 911. Was the R akin to the 911 GT3 RS in its track focus? Not quite, but it pointed in that direction and gave many critics what they had clamored for.
The 2008 Porsche Boxster RS60 Spyder we featured back in November remains up for sale. I said in my original feature that the price appeared to be on the high end, but this seller has ignored that – while also ignoring that previous ads have failed to result in a sale – and raised the asking price of this Boxster by an additional $1K. It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off.
The below post originally appeared on our site November 24, 2015:
We know that Porsche likes to remember its successes. And, of course, the best (and generally most lucrative) way for a marque to showcase that remembrance is with a special edition model. Typically, Porsche produces these special editions for the 911, but there have been a few for the Boxster as well and we saw quite a few of them as the 987 model run neared its end. Of the various special editions of the Boxster released at this time the Boxster RS60 Spyder was the one that Porsche used as a commemoration. In this case it was to commemorate their victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1960. The winning car that day was the Porsche 718 RS Spyder. The 718 was an important racer for Porsche capable of competing with the more powerful Ferraris in the Targa Florio and further establishing Porsche’s name among racing’s elite. For its commemorative model, production was capped at – you guessed it – 1960 units and like many of Porsche’s special editions the “specialness” primarily came in the guise of a unique GT Silver Metallic exterior over a Carrera Red interior that was intended to match the look of the 718 RS Spyder itself. These cars did receive a bump in power thanks to a new exhaust – bringing power up to 303 hp, 8 more than the standard 295 hp of the Boxster S – but overall there were no significant alterations to power or weight. For fans of Porsche’s racing history the RS60 Spyder provides another opportunity to experience that connection, even if only in its most basic sense.
The cynic might remark that the Porsche Cayman R is exactly what the Cayman could, and should, have been from the very beginning if Porsche hadn’t neutered it so as to protect the 911. The optimist might simply look on with joy and celebrate the arrival of a Cayman that has been allowed to flourish. Whichever side you’re inclined to lean toward the result is the same: the Cayman R is a fantastic machine that sharpens and hones all of the Cayman’s edges to provide a driving experience to rival any other car in the Porsche stable. Including the 911. Of course, there exist iterations of the 911 that can easily handle a Cayman R (though the new Cayman GT4 looks to close that gap considerably), but those 911s cost significantly more money. At a starting price of around $67K the Cayman R represented a very nice value for Porsche enthusiasts and even the most die-hard 911 fan could no longer turn his nose up in disdain. I always have liked the Cayman even if it lacked those 911 quirks that made Porsche’s leading light so revered. It was a relatively light and compact car blessed with impeccable balance and enough power to quickly get you into trouble. It definitely could have been better, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t good. With the R, the model had finally begun to approach its zenith and show its true form. The example here is a Carrera White 2012 Porsche Cayman R, located in Indiana, with 18,300 miles on it. While the R was available with a 6-speed manual this one has had the PDK 7-speed automatic transmission selected. It’s not my ideal choice, but depending on your intended use that transmission can make sense. It’s faster, if arguably less fun and less engaging.…
The Porsche Boxster has been with us for nearly twenty years now and while it initially was derided as being somewhat soft Porsche gradually applied corrections and enhancements, most notably releasing the Boxster S, and at this point the Boxster makes for an excellent open-top performer. Even still the Boxster has never really been Porsche’s go to performance car. Much of that has been reserved, quite naturally, for the 911, but also for the Cayman, which debuted around half way through the Boxster’s current life. The Boxster has first and foremost been a roadster. Following along in that tradition the release of the Boxster Spyder was long overdue. The traditional roadster was meant to be a relatively simple machine. Granted, with the passage of time that formula has shifted toward higher degrees of refinement, but there remains within the ethos of any open-top two-seater that basic sense of sacrificing practicality in the name of oneness between driver, machine, and environment. In that manner, in producing the Spyder Porsche scrapped more than 100 pounds from the Boxster S through a variety of weight saving measures, most visibly through the sacrifice of the standard convertible top for what really is little more than a sun shade. Additional savings were found through aluminum doors and lighter wheels along with a host of deletions from the interior, including the use of carbon-fiber sport seats. All together we are left with one of the lightest cars in the Porsche lineup, but still with plenty of power to compliment that lighter weight. The example we see here is a Carrera White 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder, located in Texas, with Red leather interior and 10,244 miles on it.