Oh Ruby Star – a color that would draw attention at a clown convention. Some look at it and say it’s a lighter shade of red, while others will tell you it is straight up pink. To me it sure seems to brush right up against pink, but others will disagree. Personally, I love that this color exists and applaud Porsche for keeping it in the paint gun over all these generations of cars. Today, we have one of the hottest new Porsches, the 718 Spyder, sprayed in this very expensive paint-to-sample color. Although, I’m not sure I love it on this body. Let’s take a look:
For the past 20 years or so, Porsche hasn’t been shy about the special editions. Most of the time they pick the non-911s as it is easier to be a little be creative with the models. This special edition, the 2008 Boxster RS60 Spyder, was made to commemorate their victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1960. The car used there was the Porsche 718 RS Spyder, which is suppose is an ancestor of the current Boxster, or at least Porsche wants you to imagine that. Just 1,960 units were made in a unique GT Silver Metallic exterior over a Carrera Red interior that was intended to match the look of the 718 RS Spyder itself. There was some other special trim as well as a sport exhaust, which raised output to 303 horsepower. Values have been surprisingly strong believe or not, and they don’t seem to be getting any cheaper. Worth it?
Introverts need not apply! This is a 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder finished in Python Green. Don’t get your snakes mixed up, as this is a slightly different shade than the always favorite Viper Green. Believe it or not, this is a not a $12,830 paint-to-sample color, but rather just a “special color” for $2,580. That’s a bargin if you think about it. It is a tough color to pull off, but if being flashy and noticeable is what you want, tough to go wrong here. The problem is, it seems like this specific car is priced like the paint has little flakes of gold embedded in it.
I think sometimes I take for granted the freedom Porsche gives us on configuring cars. When it comes down to it, they’ll basically give you anything you want for the right price, and then even more if they really like you. In the modern era of lean manufacturing and just-in-time production, doing one-off builds for customers probably doesn’t make sense on paper. Yet if someone wants “Kills bugs fast.” on a door sill, they’ll do it. It gets even more complicated and time consuming when it comes to interiors with order special leathers then having someone hand-stitch the turn signal stocks. The ROI has to be enormous for Porsche both in profit and customer loyalty to continue this practice in 2020.
However, it is one thing to do it when customers are paying extra for it, and another when doing it on dealer stock cars. This 2020 718 Spyder on a dealer lot in California has a wild Bordeaux Red and black interior that is mirrors the interior of the previous Boxster Spyder nearly 10 years ago. Truth be told, this color combo isn’t for everyone.
With the launch of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, we were also offered a topless version with the 718 Spyder. We’ve seen the Boxster Spyder before, but never like this. This Spyder was developed under the guidance of Porsche GT boss Andy Preuninger from the GT department, thus making it a real “GT car,” just not badged as such. It literally is just a Spyder version of the 718 GT4 with the same suspension, engine, and tuning, just with the little folding top similar to that of the GT3-based 991.2 Speedster. So if you want a GT4, but also want the open-air feeling, here you go.
If you’ll allow me to indulge a little bit I’d like to present this…which is insane. Here we have one of the more unique ideas when spec’ing a Porsche. This Liquid Metal Chrome Blue 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder was built to replicate the look of the 918 RSR Concept, which Porsche showed at the Detroit Motor Show back in 2011. A lot of concept cars are conceptual for a reason, but the 918 RSR, since it was to be the racing version of the production car, was truer to the look of the real thing than some over-the-top concepts tend to be. Thus, why not go for that look? And they’ve done a heck of a job of it too! Even the interior color appears to replicate that of the Concept.
Of course, they aren’t identical. The RSR was a fixed-roof version of the 918 and the one we see here remains in the standard Spyder configuration. The aero isn’t quite as pronounced either, but this car was meant to be driven on public roads so we can excuse that. Oh, and it has been driven. This 918 has 10,363 miles on it!
I complained yesterday that the Arctic Silver over Graphite Grey color combination of that 911 Turbo S was too bland for such a performance machine. Here we can see a similar exterior utilized to much greater effect. The key is in the details. Well, the details along with one of the best interiors I’ve seen in a modern Porsche.
This is a 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder. That’s a great base with which to start. The exterior is GT Silver Metallic. I don’t want to parse Porsche’s various silvers and which might be better than which, but this is a fine color for those who enjoy silver. It’s contrasted by Porsche script along the doors and what I believe are White Gold Metallic painted wheels. While subtle those wheels provide a nice shift in color that gives the exterior just a little more style. The interior is where things really pick up:
One last car without a fixed roof. Moving ahead 50 years from the 356C Cabriolet I featured over the weekend we come to possibly the best of Porsche’s open-top machines. From my first glimpse I immediately loved the new design of the 981 Boxster and Cayman when each debuted. While I’d generally liked the Cayman from its inception I cannot say the same of the Boxster. I was fine with it, but I can’t say it ever really wowed me. That feeling remained fairly constant throughout its first 15 years of production until the 981. Porsche finally seemed to have gotten things right. This new design struck the right balance between aggressive styling and elegant looks. It’s a modern Porsche so it shouldn’t be too shouty, but it also should make clear its sporting aspirations.
Like with the Cayman GT4, Porsche also allowed the Boxster to borrow a 3.8 liter flat-six engine from the 911 for the Boxster Spyder. Gone are much of the Boxster’s criticisms about a general lack of performance. 375 horsepower tends to help with that. So does a well-balanced mid-engine chassis with the power directed to the rear. The Boxster always has had a pretty good chassis. Now it had a complementary engine.
I’ve periodically had my eye out for the latest Porsche Boxster Spyder to feature. They don’t come up for sale all that often and most times when searching I have come up empty. The few times I have come across one it either sold very quickly or I came across an auction just prior to its end. My luck has finally come good.
The Spyder is the Boxster version of the Cayman GT4 and each serves as the swan song for these naturally aspirated Porsches. Like the GT4 it borrows its 3.8-liter engine from the 911 and in this form produces a nice 375 hp all routed to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. For me it’s also the best looking Boxster Porsche has produced thus far.
Here not only have I finally found a Spyder I like, but I found two of them! Obviously, they had to be featured together. Both are paint-to-sample non-metallic blues and are very bright. I ran a similar feature a while back with two PTS GT3 RS in blue and now we turn to another of Porsche’s limited-production models. The overall spec of these Spyders is pretty similar so really it all comes down to the exterior: Voodoo Blue or Mexico Blue. Which to have?
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.