Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

Intelligent Porsche Performance

A three-quarter front view of a silver 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

In short: A bold and intelligent high-performance roadster.

Porsche Boxster Spyder Review

The smart Boxster Spyder constitutes a true third model in the Porsche Boxster line-up and should not be confused with a special edition. It's not an alternative fuel vehicle, either; instead, engineers have assembled a roadster they believe to represent Porsche Intelligent Performance. What that means is that you get a higher-performing car, mostly thanks to an improved power-to-weight ratio, which will benefit from fuel savings. Tinkering exercises led to a careful study and selection of each component for higher efficiency. By dumping the air conditioning unit and radio in the base model and adding lighter wheels, a featherweight, highly-manual top, and aluminum doors, weight gain totals 176 pounds, while power is up 10 horsepower to 320 from the Boxster S model.

The interior of the 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

Our Arctic Silver Metallic modern-day speedster hugged the twisty Southern California canyon roads like a go kart, flying effortlessly from bend to bend. You are connected to the road and in touch with the elements...who needs a radio anyway? Inside, black Stan leather and Alcantara lend the would-be racer an element of luxe, though the collapsible cup holders are an option. Automatic transmissions have become smart enough that they prove to be more fuel-efficient, so choosing between the 6-speed manual versus the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) will be an arduous task. We thought the carbon fiber support seats did an amazing job of cradling us without harshness, and we did not even feel the need to hold on to anything else in the car during our intense testing session.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

Considering all of its characteristics and performance, the Porsche Boxster Spyder offers true value; however, the main drawback is that it could be a bit of a challenge as a daily driver in inclement-weather-prone areas. The simple solution for a perfect car experience, then, is to move to a location with a gentler climate.

Related Content:
2014 Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster S

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile limited new vehicle warranty; 12-year limited anti-corrosion warranty.

Base Price: $61,200 / As tested: $68,530

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door roadster

Engine: 3.4-liter horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder
Horsepower: 320 hp @ 7,200 rpm
Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 4,750 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission

Curb weight:
2,811 lbs
Wheelbase: 95.1 in
Length/Width/Height: 170.9/70.9/48.5 in

4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and active brake differential
Suspension: independent MacPherson front and rear struts with coil springs and stabilizer bars

Traction: Porsche Stability Management; traction control

0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 166 mph; with top on: 125 mph

EPA City:
19 mpg
EPA Highway: 27 mpg

Safety: dual advanced front airbags; head and thorax side airbags; supplemental safety bars; side-guard door beams

Likes: performance; build; handling

Dislikes: not a car for everyone for every day


Check out other Porsche models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Porsche website

Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW060410 (Updated 08/07/13 NW)