► Scooped: Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder
► Fly roof and nat-asp flat-six power
► New spy pics from the Nurburgring
The new Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder has been caught testing at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany - giving the fly, shallow canvas roof its sternest test yet. We've already spied the new Porsche special on test in the Arctic Circle - and now it's having to withstand high speeds, as well as low temperatures.
Due later in 2018, the latest 718 reintroduces a famous name from the sports car maker's back catalogue: Spyder. Last used in 2015 for a 370bhp 3.8-litre kick, our new spy photos from Germany prove there's a new one coming for the newly four-cylinder powered 718 range too.
Except this one won't use the boxer four-cylinder engine: instead, you can expect to see a flat six shoehorned amidships, on loan from Porsche's GT division. Which is a very good thing indeed...
These new spyshots capture the Spyder on winter test in Sweden; our photographer was able to get up close to the fly-topped 718 as it stopped for fuel, as part of a convoy of future Porsches.
So which flat-six is likely to power the Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder?
Think a roadster version of the Cayman GT4 and you're on the right lines. Word is the naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine will displace 4.0 litres and develop some 430bhp - slightly detuned from its 911 GT3 application, in other words.
'That could explain the fact that the exhaust pipes have grown and moved position compared to the last Boxster Spyder,' said our man with the long lens. 'We also noticed the same on the 718 Cayman GT4 prototype when we spotted it in 2017.'
Inside the new Spyder
We've also snuck a look inside the new Spyder, as drivers stopped off to refuel their prototypes on winter test.
Carbon-backed sports seats are visible in this example, plus an Alcantara-rimmed steering wheel and manual transmission lever. It's not too stripped out, however: full PCM sat-nav is present and correct.
Six-cylinder power is likely to recapture some of the fizz that made the original 2009 Boxster Spyder a firm favourite among Porschephiles. GT car chief Andreas Preuninger confirmed to CAR last year that nat-asp, high-revving engines would remain a core part of Porsche's most special cars for many years to come.
A six-speed manual transmission is on the cards, as confirmed by our interior spyshot above, and our photos also suggest that lighter alloy wheels, track-focused tyres, an aero package and brake upgrade will be offered on the 718 Spyder.
The lightweight, fly-off canvas roof - clearly visible in our spy photos grabbed when the Spyder pulled into a Swedish petrol station - is another obvious weight-saving tactic; expect the kerbweight to tumble somewhat from a regular 718 Boxster S or GTS.
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When can I buy a 718 Boxster Spyder? And how much will it cost?
There's no definitive answer on either question. Judging by the state of readiness of the prototypes photographed here, we'd expect to see the Spyder unveiled in mid 2018, pointing to customer deliveries in the autumn.
It's too early to call the likely UK pricing of the Spyder. With the GTS topping out at £62k, there's clearly more headroom for this six-cylinder special to head well north of £70k.
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