In Depth

Porsche Boxster 981 Bergspyder: everything we know about the one-off sports car

Lightweight prototype is finally revealed after four years in storage

Porsche has revealed that it once planned to launch a lightweight speedster version of its 981 Boxster sports car, only to ditch the project at the last minute over its “feasibility” as a production car.  

The one-off model, called the Boxster 981 Bergspyder, was inspired by the German carmaker’s 909 racing car from the late 1960s and bore the competition model’s iconic white and green paint scheme.

The Boxster 981 Bergspyder was commissioned by Porsche’s executive board in 2015, with the engineering team at its Weissach facility in Germany assembling the vehicle. It would be an ultra-lightweight version of the Boxster, with space for only one occupant and a sliver of glass for a windscreen.

However, PistonHeads says that the vehicle was “never marked for production” because its radical design raised “queries as to whether or not a retail version would be considered road legal in some countries”.

The one-off prototype was swiftly put into storage and was never shown to the public - until now. Porsche has released the first images of the car some four years on from its inception, giving fans a look at what might have been the most hardcore model in the Boxster range.

Design

DENIZ CALAGAN

Much like the 909, the company’s lightest racing car at just 384kg, the Boxster 981 Bergspyder features a minimalistic design in the name of keeping weight to a minimum. 

The Bergspyder silhouette is almost identical to the Boxster Spyder, although there are a few key differences. 

For example, the passenger seat has been omitted and is replaced by a storage compartment for a racing helmet, a cover for the driver’s seat and bits of luggage, Motor1 reports. A “faux leather” wind divider covers the storage compartment and extends around the driver, similar to hill-climb cars of old. 

Though it shares its underpinnings with the 981 Boxster, the Bergspyder’s interior has been carried over from the limited-run 918 hybrid hypercar, the motoring site says. This includes the driver’s seat and Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, as well as the trio of instruments ahead of the driver.

The lightweight cabin means the Bergspyder weighs only 1,099kg overall. This may be three times more than the original 909, but it’s notably lighter than the standard 1,340kg Boxster. 

Engines and performance

Behind the driver sits a naturally-aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six engine, which is the same as in the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4, says PistonHeads. It produces 393bhp, which is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. 

Porsche projected that the Bergspyder would be capable of lapping the 12.9-mile Nurburgring circuit in German in seven minutes and 30 seconds, which would have made it quicker than the 600bhp 997-generation 911 GT2, the site reports. 

Price

We’ll never know, unfortunately, as the car never made its way into production. As it would have been the most radical version of the 981 Boxster, we’d expect it to have cost more than the Boxster Spyder’s £60,500 price tag.

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