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Car and Driver test the 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

The best-handling Porsche is also the most brazenly handsome.

Porsche icons don’t die, they just develop carburetor trouble. Media types attending the Boxster Spyder launch near Monterey, California, got rides in an original 1950s Porsche 550 Spyder—until it broke down. So we drove the new Spyder three hours south to desolate Cholame, close by the marker where James Dean died in 1955 at the wheel of his own 550 Spyder. That was cheerful.

With the Spyder, you pay more for less of everything except performance. It’s a marketing cow Porsche has milked many times, usually to enthralling effect. Organic steering and the brassy flat-six wail are Boxster earmarks, but the Spyder’s extra grip creates a g-force pile-on—and, oh, the stability!

The Spyder is suckered to the road and unflinchingly neutral, with none of the bounding and steering washout that haunts all rear-engine 911s. This is the best-handling stock Porsche, period.

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