Porsche celebrates the 50th anniversary of its legendary sports roadster by launching its Spyder special edition
Porsche is celebrating the 50th birthday of the 550 Spyder by launching a powerful Boxster S special edition - limited to 1,953 units - and bearing the name “Boxster S Anniversary Edition”. It is to be premiered in Detroit, USA in January 2004, and it is expected to reach the UK in March 2004. The “Boxster S Anniversary Edition” will be priced at £41,700 including VAT in the UK.
The Porsche Boxster is a direct descendent of the legendary 550 Spyder dating from 1953: common to both are the mid-engined roadster concept, low weight, outstanding agility, timelessly elegant body lines and a high level of driving pleasure. Now as then, every part of the car is dedicated to the demands of the enthusiastic driver resulting in the Porsche Boxster already having become a modern classic.
Porsche engineers have worked to enhance the roadster driving experience still further and have given the special “Boxster S Anniversary Edition” a series of sought-after equipment details and technical features that have not been available for the Boxster so far. The output of the Boxster S’s 3.2-litre flat-six engine goes up by 6 bhp to 266 bhp (196 kW) at 6,200 rpm. The special edition has a top speed of 266 km/h (standard Boxster S: 264 km/h) and sprints from zero to 100 km/h in a mere 5.7 seconds (Tiptronic S: 6.4 seconds). Its maximum torque of 310 Nm is available at 4,600 rpm.
The exhaust system, which has a specially styled, stainless-steel tailpipe, delivers the typical Porsche sound. Porsche technicians have reduced the 6-speed gearbox's shift travel by 15 percent, a noticeable benefit that contributes to even greater driving pleasure whenever the car is accelerated. Tiptronic S, permitting driver selection of the chosen gear using toggle switches on the steering wheel, is an optional extra.
The car’s true roadster character is emphasised by lowering the body by 10 millimetres and by sports suspension settings. This sports suspension improves the car’s roadholding still further and permits higher lateral acceleration values. Porsche Stability Management (PSM) is installed as a standard to ensure optimum safety in all driving situations.
The brakes are another important safety feature. The cross-drilled brake discs have a diameter of 318 millimetres at the front and 299 millimetres at the rear. Exclusively for this special edition, the four-piston monobloc aluminum brake calipers have an aluminum paint finish. They are readily visible behind the larger 18-inch Carrera wheels (the standard model has 17-inch wheels). The spokes are painted in Seal Grey and provide additional visual emphasis. A coloured Porsche crest adorns each wheel hub cover. Five-millimeter wide spacers on all four wheels give the special “Boxster S Anniversary Edition” an even more powerful appearance and firmer road stance. Another feature that sets this model apart from the standard Boxster S are the grills finished in body colour above the openings in the rear struts, which recall the closed rear view of the 550. The Boxster S lettering at the rear is polished chrome plate. The colour of the padded front of the roll-over bars matches the interior. An on-board computer, Litronic headlamps with dynamic beam angle adjustment and a cleaning system are also standard.
Most of the original 550 Spyders were painted in silver. The special edition has therefore been finished in gleaming GT Silver metallic, a colour so far reserved for the Carrera GT and the “40 Years of the 911” model.
The soft top is in Cocoa, a dark brown colour used by Porsche for the first time on this special edition. The same two colours dominate the car’s interior, with matching carpet and floor mats with the Porsche inscription. Dark grey natural leather is available as an alternative; in this case the carpets and the hood are in black.
In both interior colours, the leather finish on the centre panels of the heated sport seats, the handbrake lever, the gear lever gaiter, the inside door handles and the padded sport steering wheel provide exclusive visual cues and tactile features that give the interior a special character. The seat back shells, the rear section of the centre console, the handbrake lever, the grooved bar on the dashboard, the switch panel and the back of the roll-over bars are all finished in GT Silver, achieving a striking contrast. The black instrument dials are framed by chrome rings. The ball-shaped gear-lever knob is made of aluminum trimmed with Cocoa leather. The (optional) Tiptronic S gear shift cover is highly polished as is the Boxster S lettering that stands out against the black door sills.
This Boxster S special edition bears a limited-edition plate on the centre console indicating each car's individual production number. Automatic air conditioning, the Porsche CDR-23 radio with audio package and wind-deflectors are all standard and complete the package.
Porsche presented the 550 Spyder to the public for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in October 1953. This fabulous two-seater was the first sports car from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen developed especially for motorsport. Weighing just 550 kilos or 1213 lb, the lightweight Spyder was destined to score numerous wins on racing circuits the world over and in road races so popular at the time. A particular highlight enthusiasts still remember to this very day is the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, Hans Herrmann finishing third overall behind two much bigger and more powerful sports cars, thus bringing home victory in his class in this fifth and last edition of the toughest road race in the world. This outstanding success was to be followed by a long list of further victories and successful entries in motorsport by both the works team and a number of private customer teams.
Incidentally, the type designation of the car was not derived from its weight as is sometimes assumed; it was, in fact, the 550th Porsche design project.
Report from 21/11/2003
* The latest Porsche models are designed to operate on fuels with an ethanol content of up to 10%. Data determined for standard specification and in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) in accordance with the Euro 5 (715/2007/EC and 692/2008/EC) measurement method. The figures do not refer to an individual vehicle nor do they constitute part of the offer. They are intended solely as a means of comparing different types of vehicle. You can obtain further information about individual vehicles from your Porsche Centre.
Consumption figures were obtained on the basis of standard equipment. Special equipment may affect consumption and performance.