Next month's LA Auto Show will host the world debut of an all-new production version of the best-selling Porsche Boxster called the Boxster Spyder.
Tracing its name back to the 550 Spyder of 1953, the new model is essentially a lighter, more powerful version of the current Boxster S, with a pared back roof designed for sunnier climes.
Porsche has done away with the Boxster's regular electrically folding hood in return for a lightweight item that is raised and lowered manually. Thanks to this, and other weight saving measures, the Spyder's weight has been reduced to 1,275kg, making it the lightest road-going Porsche available.
That alone should enable economy and performance improvements, but Porsche has also uprated the Boxster S's 3.4-litre engine, with the result being peak power of 320bhp - 10bhp more than in the S. Fitted with the optional PDK (dual-clutch automatic) transmission and the Sport Chrono Package, the Spyder accelerates from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 166mph - with the roof open...
The Spyder should corner as well as it accelerates in a straight line too, as it has a lower centre of gravity than the (already impressive) Boxster S, along with new sports suspension.
If you're more into show than go, you won't be disappointed by the Spyder either. A new single-piece rear deck features two bulges and a fixed rear spoiler, which gives the Boxster a hint of the company's Carrera GT supercar, while inside there are fabric door pulls and a body coloured centre console.
Although the Boxster Spyder will command a premium over the S model, the good news is that it is not a limited edition, instead joining the regular line-up in the showroom when it arrives in February 2010. Prices for Britain and Ireland have yet to be released.