2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

Episode 3006
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Ever since the brash Cayenne utility hit dealers in 2003, Porsche purists have been understandably uneasy, and with the arrival of the front-engine, four-door Panacea earlier this year, perhaps more so now than ever. But the new Boxster Spyder should be reassuring. With bare bones styling from the iconic 550 Spyder, it’s a 100% classic, but modern, Porsche.

The Boxster’s basic sports car shape is becoming iconic in its own right, but the 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder cranks it up a notch. Carrera GT-style twin-hump fairings aft of padded roll bars replace the Boxster’s simple deckled. A nicely done stoplight bridges the gap between the fairings.

And for even more fun, a Spartan two-piece manual soft-top gives the Boxster Spyder a definite ‘50s speedster look. And those vintage rocker panel stripes, especially on our sleek black tester, are easily as cool as the ones you get on the 911 GT3 RS. The stripes connect lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels that are unique to the Boxster Spyder.

The Spyder’s front fascia gets only a subtle freshening from the regular Boxster. While, out back, there’s a fixed spoiler and rear fascia borrowed from the Boxster S. But the Boxster sits 8/10ths of an inch lower than the S, and is 176 pounds lighter. Without the power top, and with new aluminum doors and trunk lid, the Spyder is the lightest of current Porsches.

Top down reveals much of the same cozy two-seat cockpit we’ve come to expect in a Boxster. But a closer look reveals red seatbelts, and more weight saving details like GT3RS-style pull-strap door releases, doors stripped of their storage bins, and a gauge cluster stripped of its shroud.

Seriously track-ready Alcan Tara-trimmed, well-bolstered bucket seats prove more comfortable than they have any right to be. Radio and cupholders are no-cost options, but you’ll have to pay for the privilege of A/C. Like any Boxster, there’s meager trunk space split front and rear, displacing 9.9 cubic feet, total.

The sole engine is a direct-injected 3.4-liter horizontally opposed six borrowed from the tintop Cayman S. Output is the same, at 320 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. And we’ve gotta say, the Spyder’s exhaust note is pitch-perfect.

A six-speed manual transaxle is standard, but Porsche’s excellent seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic is a worthy, quick-shifting alternative. Both transmit power through a mechanical locking differential.

Running through our manual Spyder’s precise ratios at the track resulted in a 5.1-second sprint to 60. That’s the same as the last Boxster S we tested.  A result we blame on our tester’s heavy option list. But the quarter mile arrived quicker—13.5 seconds at 106 miles per hour, even with an unavoidable last-minute shift into fourth gear.

The Spyder was much happier in the slalom. The Boxster’s mid-engined layout allows near perfect 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, and the Spyder adds to that a lower center of gravity, not to mention tires pumped to a lower PSI for more grip. The high-speed lane change couldn’t faze this chop-top Boxster, either. Inputs and outputs were near-telepathic. The Spyder is the best handling production Porsche we’ve ever driven.

Braking was also impressive, with stops from 60 averaging a concise 113 feet with firm, short pedal travel and very little nosedive. Credit for all the fade-free stopping goes to our Spyder’s large rotors and four piston calipers.

The Boxster Spyder’s short, stiff springs, anti-roll bars, and dampers tuned to near bone-jarring levels of sportiness never let you forget that this car is most at home on the track.

Government fuel economy ratings for the Boxster Spyder are as good or better than its less focused Boxster stablemates.  The automatic rates 20 mpg city/29 highway, while the manual rates 19 city/27 highway. We averaged a respectable 23.9 miles per gallon on premium gas.

Including destination, the 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder starts at $62,150. That’s four grand more than the much better equipped S. But then the Spyder is much rarer.

So, less car, but more performance, and more head turning, for more money. That’s the Porsche way, and we can’t help coming back for more. Plus, the 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder is a total reassurance that Porsche is still committed to building true, and cozy, sports cars.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.4-Liter Six
  • Horsepower: 320
  • Torque: 273 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.1 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.5 Seconds @ 106 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 113 Feet
  • EPA: 19 MPG City/ 27 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 23.9 MPG
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

Genesis Waves Their Magic EV Wand Yet Again

Episode 4303
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Genesis Electrified GV70 is not only the 3rd all-electric vehicle offering from Hyundai’s luxury division, but it’s also the first Genesis model to be built here in the US. You know, the GV70 was already a big hit with both critics and buyers, so let’s find out if a big pack of batteries and American workers can take it to the next level.

For the 2023 model year, the Genesis GV70 utility has gone electric. And like the Electrified G80 sedan before it, Genesis has integrated an all-electric drivetrain into its existing platform seamlessly and effectively.

Now, it may look almost exactly like the sleek and sophisticated internal combustion powered GV70 SUV that arrived just last year. But packed underneath it all, is the GV60’s next-gen propulsion system that uses a pair of electric motors delivering standard all-wheel drive and 429-horsepower. Both the front and rear-mounted electric motors are 160-kW and produce a combined 516 lb-ft. of torque, relying on energy from a 77.4-kWh battery. Full 350-kW charging capability will get the battery to 80% in just 18-minutes. The Electrified GV70 is rated to travel 236-miles between those charging sessions.

But based on our driving loop, we’d say more is easily possible as we were on pace for over 250-miles; making it an overachiever, much like the G80.

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The approach to the interior is not so much a heavy-handed blast of over-the-top luxury, rather just a soothing blend of high-quality metal and leather materials with soft tones, subtle ambient light, and an airy feel that ultimately delivers a very comforting experience.

There’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a 14.5-inch touchscreen that houses standard navigation, and it also has a rotary style control on the console if you prefer that, just don’t confuse it with the rotary gear selector like we did. Lexicon audio, quilted leather, and a suede headliner come with the Prestige package that also includes active noise control and white brake calipers.

Regen braking paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel allow for adjusting amounts of regen up to full 1-pedal driving; or you can let Smart Regen take control, gathering data from past driving history, navigation, and road conditions to determine the appropriate amount of braking. Drive modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom, and Genesis has added some additional sound deadening for this EV.

Based on the incredibly quiet, smooth, and steady highway ride we experienced, we weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled this GV70 up to the line at our Mason Dixon Dragway test track.

Well, not much calmness or serenity here, as this thing absolutely blasted off the line like a rocket, hitting 60 in just 3.9-seconds. That’s almost a full 2-seconds quicker than last year’s 2.5-liter turbo-equipped GV70. It’s hard to beat performance-tuned EVs when it comes to torque delivery, and like the GV60, there’s a boost button on the steering wheel that delivers an additional 54-horsepower for a thrilling 10-seconds, helping us clear the ¼ in 12.4-seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.

The low center of gravity, an electronically controlled suspension, and a Disconnector Actuator System that allows for 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive operation depending on circumstances, helped keep the Electrified GV70 well-planted through our handling course, and provided a livelier feel than the ICE version.

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Substantial side bolstering of the front seats kept us settled in place very nicely. Great steering feel, very little body roll, and only minor amounts of understeer at its limits. Brakes were equally as sporting, with good feedback and stability, despite the noticeable nosedive that typically accompanies stopping 5,000-lbs. of utility vehicle in just 111-feet, 6-feet shorter than the standard GV70.

There are some subtle changes outside for this Electrified version of the GV70; it gets unique 20-inch wheels, and as in the G80, the signature crest grille gets an aerodynamic makeover, nicely integrating the charging port. Same 2-line lighting theme up front, and in back, where the rear bumper is reshaped now that there are no tailpipes. Cargo area is well finished with thoughtful use of space; at 28.7 cubic-ft. with a max of 56.5, capacity is down a tiny bit, but a small storage bin up front under the hood more than makes up for it.

At 37-kWh/100 miles, the Electrified GV70 rates a good efficiency score. Pricing starts at $66,975, about 20-grand over a base ICE GV70, and 3-years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations is included.

Genesis is slowly but surely electrifying their lineup, and the 2023 Electrified GV70 is not just another step in the process, but further proof that carmakers can progress to EVs without upsetting the entire apple cart of their brand. Forward thinking but staying classy, just what we’ve come to expect from Genesis.

Specifications

  • Motor Setup: Dual 160-kW Motors
  • Horsepower: 429
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg)
  • MW Range: ~254 miles
  • Battery Size: 77.4-kWh
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.4-seconds at 112 mph
  • EPA Range: 234 miles
  • Efficiency: 37 kWh/ 100 miles