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Serious question.

I like the Spyder. Why do some people have an issue with the top?

I have never owned a ragtop, but I have owned four Targa tops including a 911. In each case, the weather, or the fact it was a manual process to remove or replace the top, never stopped us from enjoying the sun. Sure, you had to stop, unlock some latches, open the front trunk, physically lift the top off, place it in the trunk, make sure it was secure, close the trunk, and off you went. It took time. The tops were bulky. Over time, you were lucky the rain didn't come in. One of those was a t-top, two pieces. So it takes time ... Big deal. You all got some place better to be? So it takes a minute or two.

It was certainly not anything to be concerned with. Back in the day they had these things called "weathermen" who let you know when the rain was coming. Today, there's an app for that. Did we ever get caught out in the rain? Of course. Once in Yellowstone while driving with the top down, a quick hail storm starting coming down. So what? Stuff happens. So I don't get it. A manual top would never be a consideration to stop me from buying this car.

What's more, those GT4 buyers who will be DD and the car never see routine track days really got screwed. Not joking here. This is my opinion. The Spyder buyers get essentially the same power and all that mumbo jumbo about GT3 suspension bits will never be used on the street. There will be "basically" no difference in performance between these two cars on the street. But beyond that, the Spyder doesn't get the hassle of those sports cup tires in the winter, scraping, wider and more expensive tires to replace, or that huge wing always in the way of backing up (although my wife still wants to hang the laundry on it). In the meantime, the spyder owners get a "classic" sports car that will never go out of style and always be in demand.

IMO, the GT4 buyers who won't routinely track their cars as a hobby got screwed (haha, just kidding .... well maybe not :eek:;)).

So seriously, what's the big deal? Has society become so used to instant gratification we all can't manually put a top down? What about the millions upon millions of ragtop owners past? They did just fine. And today new owners can't. This car is fantastic. To miss out because the top is manual. :eek::(
 

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The best feature in the Boxster is the top goes up or down in 8 seconds, while driving up to 30 MPH. It takes significantly longer for the garage door to open.

It's triple lined/baffled and quiet as a coupe.

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I get what you're saying but the hump trunk and the top don't do it for me. I am very happy with the GTS. Would 45 more horsepower make me happier? I actually don't know. Maybe after my DE in May I will. I can say that if I had the chance to get 375 in the GTS I would have taken it. But I imagine I will be just fine
 

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There is nothing wrong with it.
Blame it on the Pussification of society

I think it makes the Spyder unique and more of an 'event' car.

Not everyone wants the hassle I guess. I find that most people want the gizmos, tech, and ease of use
Different tools are required for different purposes.
 

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I have a 2011 Boxster Spyder and have never minded the manual top. Once you do it a few times you get fast and efficient at it. I haven't timed myself but my guess is 1.25 to 1.5 minutes. I like the option to leave the back window off, it gets some airflow through the car on a very hot day and you get a bit of an open top feeling without fully baking in the sun.

Porsche did the car a horrible disservice by publishing a video of how to put the top up and down when the car came out. The video was 8 or 9 minutes long and made it look like 50 steps. Their intent must have been to teach people but it was at glacial speed and the guy must have walked around the car 10x which is completely inefficient.

Since manual roofs are rare I think it is just unfamiliarity with the process that makes people pause to think about a manual roof, I could also see that a salesperson who does not know how to work the top would cause more confusion at a dealership.

I had a Lotus Elise before the Spyder, the same manual roof discussion happens on the Lotus forums.
 

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Convertibles in general are falling out of favor. Even the ones that sell, how often do you see them with the top down? Next month it'll start hitting 70F where I am. Absolutely perfect convertible weather for everyone, yet I bet 9 out of every 10 convertibles or roadsters I see will have the top up. I've actually asked people about this, and the most common responses are.

1) It's not warm enough out (despite being 70F).
2) It's too warm out (despite being 80F).

Then you get people worried about rain that won't happen. Or being inconvenienced by having to take 20 seconds after they arrive at their destination to quickly fix their hair. Or complaining about wind noise. Or complaining about the noise of all the other cars... Yet they all pause before they answer. As if they changed their answer. I genuinely think people are too damn self-conscious in addition to being too damn fussy. Moreover, it removes the shield of anonymity a fixed roof provides. You now have folks projecting a carefully chosen image on social media -- an open topped car cuts right through that (albeit, to people outside their network) and goes straight to reality. Additionally, people like their isolated cocoons so much we're now playing engine noise over the speakers in BMW M cars and Mustangs.

I drove my Miata top down about 98 out of every 100 drives. The times where it was up was because I wasn't going fast enough and it was raining. Rain was irrelevant at highway speeds, and I enjoyed people looking at me like I was nuts. I've driven it top down during snow. Hell, in winter I found with the heat on it got too warm inside the car with the top up, despite wearing a T-shirt and a light jacket -- so top down it'd be at 10F in January. If I was cold I'd roll the windows up.

People would ask me about it too: "Wow, how can you do that? Isn't that slightly inconvenient and barely uncomfortable? Aren't you worried about what other people think about you?"

-----

Me?
I liked the two-piece top. No pain, no gain (in weight reduction), right? Makes it bit more special. Makes me look like that much more of a nutter. Granted, I still think the Z-folding manual soft-top of the NC and now ND Miatas were the best in the biz. The Boxster's top may be automatic, but it's not faster, and requires just as many hands.
 

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Goofnik -

I'm also puzzled by people with tops up on perfect convertible days. I guess there are "diehard" convertible owners and "casual" owners. I'm a diehard too but will admit that when it is over 100 I've got my top up with the back window off.
 

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Goofnik -

I'm also puzzled by people with tops up on perfect convertible days. I guess there are "diehard" convertible owners and "casual" owners. I'm a diehard too but will admit that when it is over 100 I've got my top up with the back window off.
People like the image associated with many cars, but not the occasional inconvenience that may accompany the reality. Want to have their cake and eat it too.

Or sometimes, another image is preferable. Sports cars -- especially convertibles/roadsters -- are showy and immature. Yet something like an M5 isn't. It's responsible, grown up and mature (and suitable for kids, which everyone must have, etc). Clients won't notice that it has an engine capable of turning the earth backwards and won't bat an eye.

Meanwhile, going out to lunch with a group at my current client next week. I'll probably end up taking their CTO (since there's stuff to discuss) in my Cayman GTS, and yep, exhaust in loud mode as always.
 

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Because the 981B's standard top mechanism is just drop-dead incredible. It's the fastest, the quietest, and (IMHO) the best-looking power convertible top on the market. It appears to be reliable so far, in that we haven't seen a lot of posts about leaks or other major failures. It is also fairly lightweight, going by the minimal weight difference between similarly-equipped Boxsters and Caymans.

So I'm left asking what the point is in a Spyder top. What exactly are we gaining in return for the obvious compromises that Porsche is imposing? What problem is being solved by going back to a manual top, now that the power convertible-top problem has been solved in the general case?

I never had the chance to operate the 987B's roof, so I don't know how it compared to the current generation. Maybe the 987B Spyder's top was a genuine improvement in one or more respects. I just don't see it here.
 

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Speaking as the former owner of some 914's and an ancient MGB (try putting the top on THAT in the rain), here are the reasons:

Sometimes it rains when you don't expect it.
Sometimes you're tired or in a rush, and you end up leaving a manual top up on a nice day.
Somtimes it gets too hot /cold and you needlessly tough it out for convenience
Putting it up/down at 30 mph is cool, like you

Looks are subjective, but I do like the regular top better. Good thing.
 

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The beauty of the 981 is the fully automatic retractable roof in 8 seconds. I opened it in the comfort of the cabin when I leave my garage while rolling, I raised it when I park at work. I lower it again when I leave work, during this time of year, it does rain, I lower and raise while rolling several times if necessary. I raised it again when I parked it in the garage. I would never do that if it a manual top, it would rarely leave the garage. Plus, I laughed at a few solstice and sky's owners getting drenched trying to manually put their tops up, whist I drove by raising the roof at 30mph, giving them a smirk. I heard karma's a b1tch so I would try to avoid karma biting me in the @ss. :) But honestly, I'm not going to pay 90K for a car that I have to manually put the top up. A roadster is about cruising and enjoying your surroundings, not fumbling with the top. If I want a light and track focus sports car, I would get the GT4.
 

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I don't have a problem with the Spyder top per se... I just don't like convertibles at all.

I could list my reasons, but I won't bother... Different strokes for different folks.

But, if you like convertibles and want to own one, I don't see why the manual top on the Spyder should bother some you... It's a trade-off. You are getting a more hardcore car that is sacrificing some comforts for lighter weight / better performance. All the motors and everything that power the regular convertible top are gone and it probably shaves a significant amount of weight.

So I would think that it would be a welcome trade-off for some people who want the drop-top and the performance in one package.
 

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you're not wrong, you're just an asshole, Walter. ;)
 
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So imagine if they offered the normal Boxster roof as an option. (I know it might not fit with the humps, etc, but just imagine it were possible). Would you tick that option knowing it added, say, 25 lbs?

I think I would choose the normal roof, actually.


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As a current 914 owner, the targa is great because of the visibility: no blind spots. But a manual soft top would have blind spots, and be more hassle to open than the 981B. Worst of both worlds. Especially with SMARTTop.
 
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I have a 2011 Boxster Spyder and have never minded the manual top.
thank you

Convertibles in general are falling out of favor. Even the ones that sell, how often do you see them with the top down? Next month it'll start hitting 70F where I am. Absolutely perfect convertible weather for everyone, yet I bet 9 out of every 10 convertibles or roadsters I see will have the top up. I've actually asked people about this, and the most common responses are.

1) It's not warm enough out (despite being 70F).
2) It's too warm out (despite being 80F).
I know your area and have seen ragtops there probably before you were born. Nothing has changed. There were many Fiat 124, Fiat 850, Jag E types, Alfas, Midgets, MGB, etc, particularly with all the colleges in the metro Boston area, not to mention the myriad of convertible pony cars and muscle cars.

Your assessment is correct but its all about the weather there. It was rare to see the top down on any car - ever, so I'm going to write off the states deep in the snow belt as weather related. Even so, back in the day, people didn't put their convertibles away for the winter unless they had a beater. You just threw some snows on the rear wheels and drove.

But IMO your assessment is not true the farther south you go. I suspect they sell few Boxsters or Cabrios, in comparison, in your area. By the mid-atlantic I see the top down on convertibles all the time. I don't know about other brands but except in the Cayman's "heyday" (i.e., 06 and 07), once the honeymoon was over, Boxsters have consistently outsold Caymans in the last 7 years. Not sure about the 911 world about Cabrios vs Coupes. I might guess that the combination of Cabrios and Targas combined come close, but probably do not exceed, the number of coupes. But that is just a guess based upon the number of Cabrios I've seen at PCA events vice Coupes. I have no idea. Boxster vs Caymans numbers are easy to find. 911 Coupe vs Cabrio numbers are hard to find. In any case, convertibles are far from going out of fashion in the pcar world.

The most expensive of all the Porsche production sportscars are spyders, speedsters, etc. whether they be the 918, Carrera GT, speedster, or TTS Cabrio. A possible exception to that will be the upcoming GT2RS (and past GT2RS). IMO, you will not see the convertibles in the pcar world go away in our lifetimes.

I'm not sure how any of this got anything to do with my manual vs automatic top question though.
 

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Having driven an ’07 Miata GT PRHT for seven years before getting the Boxster S I echo some of the sentiments about the hassle of stopping to lower or raise the top. With the PRHT the Miata just had to be in neutral or park (6-sp Auto) and be at a near standstill to operate the top. Yes, you can pull over and raise/lower manual tops and some are talented enough to do it one-handed; however, the convenience of a power-operated top that can raise or lower in less than 9 seconds adds considerably to the frequency of top-down driving. Even with easy-open tops I see lots of 911 Cabriolets and about 80% of the time the tops are up. Even with the Boxsters I see about 2/3 with the tops up. I see the Spyder as a cool-looking track car that will thrill it’s owner on weekends; it’ll be interesting to see how often they are driven with the top down away from the track.
 
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