Porsche Boxster Spyder Review
When the Porsche Boxster Spyder hit the market it generated plenty of questions from Porsche enthusiasts. Its “Boy Scout tent” roof was as unconventional as anything on the market but since it was an homage to the iconic 550 Spyder (albeit in spirit more than reality), most were prepared to forgive it.
Will Yang from Newport Beach, CA saw the car as the perfect foundation for a modem open-air track car, and perhaps something Porsche Motorsport should have taken a closer look at.
So when he took possession of his Spyder, the first goal was to realize the potential of the 3.4L engine. And there was only one shop he would entrust the work to: Loren Beggs’ 911 Design in Montdair, CA.
Loren and his team set to work fabricating a one-off exhaust system. From the headers to the flush-mounted tips, each piece was formed to give a race-inspired exhaust note. Listening to the car run, there’s no doubt it was built to race!
Next on the checklist was an aluminum IPD Competition intake plenum mated to a GT3 RS throttle body and BMC filter. This would ensure the motor breathed deeply once the engine had software from OE Tuning.
If you check out YouTube you can find footage of Will putting a late-model 911 to shame off the line, proving the crew at 911 Design knows something about performance tuning. After all, the shop dominated the 2012 Pirelli Driver’s Cup Gold Class Championship as well as various Porsche Club of America Cup series.
With the motor worked over, Will aimed his attention to the aesthetics, and this is where yours truly came into the picture. Will repeated how he wanted to take the Boxster Spyder to the next level and make it something Porsche Motorsport itself might have concocted.
Initially, he was inspired by Rauh-Welt Begriff widebodies but realized the car would be under the knife for a long period of time. I quickly discovered Will doesn’t like waiting to drive his cars, preferring to get on the track or cruise to Cars & Coffee at the weekend. So after several meetings between Will, Loren and myself, we decided to source racing fenders from the Porsche Motorsport catalog.
A set of GT3 Cup front flares (with side marker delete) and RSR rears were ordered. Up front, we opted for a TechArt lip and a 911 Design carbon fiber hood with Aero Catch latches. Loren would even create the unique carbon fiber rear spoiler extension for added downforce.
Making more space for meaty tires isn’t to be taken lightly, especially if the car is part of a limited run in the US. Fortunately, 911 Design has a quality bodyshop on campus, so creating a car that looked as if it rolled off the factory floor in Carrera White wouldn’t be a problem.
Safety is a priority in any racecar; so 911 Design outfitted the Spyder with a host of options including carbonAevlar Cobra Suzuka seats, color-matched roll-bar hoops, Schroth harnesses and a quick-release Sparco steering wheel.
The radio and all other non-essential items were removed, and a lightweight Voltphreaks lithium battery added to shed more weight. Once complete, the 2811 lb Boxster would eventually tip the scales at only 2600 lb.
Of course, fitting a widebody can be disastrous if the wheels, tires and suspension aren’t right. Again, Will spared no expense and specified two-way adjustable JRZ Pro coilovers for each comer. Once dialed-in, his custom 18×10″ and 18×12″ Avant Garde F130 wheels (finished in brushed Grigio) were wrapped in sticky Toyo Praxes R888 tires (265/40 front, 335/45 rear) and tucked under the new bodywork.
Ready for the track, it was only two weeks later that Will tackled his first track day to assess the car’s grip and agility. With its reduced mass and massive tires, the car was nimble and fun. “From the moment you squeezed the throttle, the car wanted to push you into the seat and search for g-force through the corners,” Will enthused.
Its nice to know you can still take a factory performance car and hand it to a championship racing team to eek out an even more exhilarating experience than the manufacturer intended.