This was going to be a very straightforward assessment of a car that is a Porsche Cayman GT4 with its roof replaced by a slightly impractical fabric hood that requires you to stop the car and get out before it can be folded away. And I’d probably have said it was worth it for being the only member of the Boxster/Cayman clan with six cylinders.
But no longer. Porsche has binned its unlovely flat four from all but its cheapest models and made a new GTS with a slightly detuned version of the GT4/Spyder four-litre flat six. Filled with goodies, the Boxster’s roof is automatic, the car is 15kg lighter than the Spyder, trades just one tenth off the 0-62mph time and costs £7500 less.
It does appear to have weakened the case for the Spyder. It’s still mesmerising to drive, although I’d prefer a Cayman GT4 because cars with this level of performance are almost always better as coupés, but the Spyder is structurally superb and on difficult roads gives little away to its closed compadre. With front suspension derived from the 911 GT3, it will probably flow a little better and be a touch quicker point to point than the GTS. And it looks meaner.
Subtlety of appearance is another point for the GTS. The Spyder is a fine car, but I have a suspicion that, all round, the GTS may be the one to have.
Porsche 718 Spyder
Engine 4.0-litres, 6 cylinders
Power 414bhp at 7800rpm
Power to weight 118bhp per tonne
Transmission six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive 0-60mph 4.4sec
Top speed 187mph
Verdict Consider the Boxster instead