This very special 2004 Porsche Boxster S Limited Edition 50 Years of the 550 Spyder was designed to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder. Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early January 2004, the new "50 Years of the 550 Spyder" Boxster S reflects the spirit of one of Porsche's most famous models.
The Boxster is styled after the 550 Spyder, with similar bodylines, mid-engine roadster configuration, low weight, excellent agility, and a high level of driving pleasure. The new commemorative Boxster S further reflects this classic Porsche model with performance enhancements and additional styling cues not previously available on Boxster models.
For added performance, the new Boxster S edition is equipped with the most powerful engine ever offered in the Boxster model line. Rated at 264 horsepower (SAE), the 3.2-liter flat-six cylinder power plant propels the car from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.7 seconds, and to a top track speed of 165 mph (266 km/h). Sportier suspension settings, 5 mm-wide wheel spacers on all four wheels, and standard 18-inch Carrera wheels improve handling, while a 15 percent shorter shift travel in the standard six-speed manual transmission provides quicker gear shifting.
As most 550 Spyders were painted silver, the new special edition Boxster S is finished in GT Silver Metallic, a color only found on the Carrera GT and "40 Years of the 911" models. The soft top is in Cocoa, a dark brown color used by Porsche for the first time. For additional visual emphasis, wheel spokes are painted in Seal Grey, a colored Porsche crest adorns each wheel hub cover, and the monoblock brake calipers have an aluminum paint finish. Other exclusive exterior styling features include silver-painted grills above the rear strut openings, a specially created stainless steel tailpipe, chrome plated and polished Boxster S lettering on the rear deck lid, and safety bar padding that matches the car's interior.
Cocoa and GT Silver dominate the car's special interior with matching carpet and floor mats featuring the Porsche script logo. The center panels of the standard heated seats, handbrake lever, gear lever gate, ball-shaped aluminum gearshift knob, inside door handles, and padded sport steering wheel are covered in Cocoa colored leather. The rear section of the center console, handbrake lever, grooved bar on the dashboard, switch panel, and the back of the safety bars are painted in GT Silver Metallic. Instruments are uniquely styled with black faces surrounded by chrome plated decorative rings.
Other standard features include Porsche Stability Management (PSM), an on-board computer, Litronic headlamps with dynamic beam angle adjustment and a cleaning system, and a wind stop.
Named after its corresponding internal design project number, the 550 Spyder was the first Porsche sports car created exclusively with racing in mind. Among its numerous racing successes was a class victory in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana - the famed Mexican road race. Triumphs such as this contributed to the Porsche brand fame and its current familiarity among the general public.
Production of the new Boxster S edition was limited to 1953 units to commemorate the 550 Spyder's introduction at the 1953 Paris Motor Show. A limited-edition plate on the center console indicates the Anniversary car's production number. The new Boxster S model went on sale in the United States and Canada in March 2004 at a price of $59,900 US and $85,300 CAN.