Porsche Boxster Bergspyder Is a Roofless, Single-Seater Concept That Never Made it to Production
The Bergspyder would have been a tribute to the featherweight 909, but concerns over the car’s legality led to its cancellation.
The broom closets at Porsche's Stuttgart headquarters are stuffed with concept cars and prototypes that never saw the light of day. On occasion, Porsche will treat us with a glimpse of one of its secret products, and over the weekend, the company did just that. Have your first look at a special-edition Boxster that would've been called the Bergspyder and sold in limited numbers, were it not for the car's questionable legality.
See, the Boxster Bergspyder's raison d'etre was as a tribute to the 909 Bergspyder ("mountain Spyder"), a 1968 hill climb racer. Sometimes referred to as the "plastic Porsche," the 909 was the lightest race car ever built by the automaker, with a wet weight of just 847 pounds. This ultralight car was powered by a 2.0-liter flat-eight making 275 horsepower, which gave the Bergspyder an outrageous power-to-weight ratio of 649 horsepower per ton, and put its gnarliness in modern hypercar territory.
Fast forward 47 years, to 2015. With the 909's 50th birthday approaching, Porsche's board approved a sports car project based on the then-current 981 Boxster, one meant to be even more potent than the lightest Boxster of them all, the Spyder. To make the 981 worthy of wearing the Bergspyder badge, Porsche had to bring its weight down drastically. To do so, Porsche ditched the windshield, door handles, roof, and most of the interior—the Boxster Bergspyder would've been a one-seater.
And it would've been a fast one-seater at that, with a curb weight of just 1,099 kilograms (2,423 pounds) and the 3.8-liter flat-six from the day's Cayman GT4. Porsche estimated that 375 horsepower would have been good for a 0-to-60 sprint of just over four seconds, and a Nürburgring lap quicker than 7:30.
So with the Boxster Bergspyder close enough to production that Porsche could've tested those benchmarks, what went wrong? Porsche wasn't confident that the totally roofless, windshield-free car would have been registrable in some of its target markets, which could have relegated it to being a track car. Porsche already sells its share of track toys, so it decided not to pursue the Boxster Bergspyder, instead putting the car on private display until its public reveal on Saturday at the 2019 Gaisberg Hill Climb.
Was the Boxster Berdspyder's cancellation a lost opportunity for greatness? Or would it have turned into another debacle of limited-edition Porsche scalping? Going by the recent case of a 935 build slot flipper, we're inclined to guess the latter.