Porsche’s world debut of the Boxster Spyder at the NYIAS had people scrambling about, stepping on each other and photographers snapping away, just to get a good look at the tent-top Boxster. The Boxster Spyder is basically a hardcore, stripped out Boxster S, with the engine from a 911, cloth straps for door pulls and no air conditioning. It’s like a medieval torture device with wheels and telepathic steering.
Needless to say, people loved it. Enthusiasts were drooling over it, proclaiming it to be the best automotive creation since the Ferrari F40, without ever driving it. Now, it probably will be very good, the Boxster S is a wonderful machine, and stripping away all the unnecessary bits will make it drive even nicer. The problem is, that the Boxster Spyder is very close, in pricing, to its fan-favorite big brother, the Cayman GT4.
The Cayman GT4 is the purist’s Porsche, ditching the companies famous PDK gearbox for a proper 6-Speed, and losing weight while gaining go-fast bits. People who’ve driven the GT4 step out of it, mouth agape, spewing superlatives until they run out of breath. And because of the instant success and demand for the GT4, Porsche is toying with the idea of merging two of its most desired automobiles — the GT4 and Boxster Spyder, to make a Boxster Spyder GT4.
It’s not all that hard for Porsche, as the Cayman and Boxster share a platform and the tooling for the Cayman GT4 is already designed and paid for. It’s almost plug and play. Cost might be an issue, as stated before that the Spyder is already in striking distance of the GT4. But if Porsche can swing the bean-counters over in Wolfsburg, the a Boxster Spyder GT4 could be made and the world debut of such a car could get violent.
While the Cayman GT4 is stealing headlines, BMW has been hard at work creating the M4 GTS to combat it. While the two cars approach the game a bit differently, one’s mid-engined the other’s front-engined, they are fundamentally the same; stripped out versions of the respective company’s small sports car.
BMW is sparing no cost in taking aim at the GT4, with the GTS getting all sorts of lightweight goodies and even a fancy water injection system. It should be a very interesting fight, as the two are very fast and capable cars, with the GT4 being more about finesse and the GTS being more powerful.
But if Porsche is toying with the idea of making a Spyder GT4, a convertible version of what is mainly a track car, should BMW make a convertible GTS?
While the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 are indeed designed for the track, the majority of buyers will get as close to a track as Honey Boo-Boo gets to a salad. Spyders and GT4s are very expensive and the owners most likely won’t want their very pricey new Porsche on a track where it can get damaged. So the majority of Spyders and GT4s will most likely spend their days soaking in the sun in some of the world’s most beautiful regions.
Unofficially, BMW claims the M4 GTS is mainly going to be a track car. This is true, as the GTS was designed primarily for the track, much like the Spyder and Cayman GT4. However, like both Porsches, it’s more likely that GTS cars will spend their days on public roads doing just a tad over the speed limit. So with that in mind, is an M4 GTS Convertible warranted? I would think so, purely on the fact that Porsche is considering a Boxster Spyder GT4. Sure the M4 ‘vert is a folding hardtop, which is much heavier than the Spyder’s manually-assembled tent roof, but it makes up for it with far more power. Plus the folding hardtop might sway buyers who prefer to press a button to raise the roof, instead of getting out and assembling one, if caught in the rain.
The M4 GTS Convertible would be for an extremely small niche buyer, but so is the standard M4 GTS and the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4. If Porsche can do it, it seems only logical that BMW can too. It’s just a question of whether or not it will.