2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder

There are at least a couple of ways to dissect the 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder. Depending on your point of view, it’s either a ludicrously high-dollar take on Porsche’s entry-level roadster or the latest shot at a hot rod by way of Zuffenhausen — the purest, most analog embodiment of what we might call the Porsche spirit offered new on the market today.

Thing is, you’re not wrong either way you slice it. The newest Boxster Spyder is both expensive enough to give you pause and so good that you probably won’t care. It’s the sort of car that hits all the right notes with the purists and seems destined to mine new brand fanatics on its way up the scale. But before you accuse us of gushing, take a look at the specs; they never tell the whole story, but in this case, they say a lot.

For one, you’re shoving what may be one of the 911’s last naturally aspirated gasps — the 3.8-liter flat-six yanked from the first-gen 991 Carrera S and also found in the Cayman GT4 — into the lightest platform in its stable, and pairing it exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Here, it’s good for 375 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque and a stated 0-60 mph of 4.3 seconds. Would a PDK be quicker around a certain German racetrack? Almost certainly, but that’s totally not the point of this car.

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