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Boxster with a cause

Golden: 50th anniversary Boxster Spyder boasts more power and performance.

Porsche celebrates the 50th anniversary of a model immortalised by James Dean

26 Nov 2003

PORSCHE is marking the 50th anniversary of its 550 Spyder with a limited edition Boxster called the Spyder.

Due to be unveiled at January’s Detroit motor show before just eight examples go sale Down Under from March, it is based on the more powerful 191kW 3.2-litre flat six-cylinder Boxster S.

The Spyder’s power output rises slightly to 196kW, although maximum torque remains the same at 310Nm.

The 0-100km/h sprint time is rated at 5.7 seconds, while the Spyder’s maximum speed is increased by 2km/h to 266km/h.

Mechanical changes are limited to a revised stainless steel-tipped exhaust system, a 15 per cent decrease in the six-speed manual gearbox’s shift travel, firmer suspension settings and the standard inclusion of Porsche’s PSM stability control device.

Visually, the Spyder can be spotted by the 10mm-lower ground clearance, painted disc brakes through the larger, 18-inch, grey-finished Carrera wheels, 5mm-wider spacers on each wheel and prominent Porsche badges.

Fans of the 550 Spyder may also note the silver painted grills above the openings in the rear struts. Silver in fact is the only colour available in all 1953 units Porsche is building. All will be topped by a dark brown hood.

Hollywood actor James Dean was a big fan of the 550 Spyder, regularly racing the fledgling marque’s open racers before meeting his untimely death in one on September 30, 1955.

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