LOS ANGELES -- Leave the air conditioner and radio out of a typical car and it's called a strippo -- a bargain-basement retail special.
Take the radio and air conditioner out of Porsche's newest model and it doesn't get cheaper. It actually goes up in price. But it gets faster.
In a bid to make the car faster, Porsche has shaved 176 pounds from its new Boxster Spyder, which goes on sale in the United States in February. The Spyder will retail for $61,200, Porsche Cars North America announced last week when it unveiled the car at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The base Boxster retails for $48,550. Both prices include shipping.
There will be no air conditioning system weighing down the car, and no radio. Porsche even has removed the car's inside door handles and replaced them with nylon pull straps, saving an estimated 2.5 pounds each.
It also has given the convertible a light canvas top, aluminum doors and trunk lid, and lighter windows, seats and wheels.
"We've gotten rid of everything that isn't necessary for speed," says Klaus Berning, Porsche's executive vice president for worldwide sales and marketing.
The model weighs in at 2,811 pounds, the company says. That makes it the lightest Porsche.
But does dispensing with all that content for the sake of saving 176 pounds really show up in the car's performance?
"Oh, my, yes," Berning responded as a crowd crawled in and out of the Spyder in Los Angeles. "There's no question that every pound matters in a car like this."
The Spyder has a 0-to-60 speed of 4.6 seconds, Porsche says. That's 0.2 second faster than the Boxster S.
Hans-Juergen Woehler, director of the Boxster product line, argues that the car's reduced weight allows drivers to brake later in turns, which, he says, is critical for driving enthusiasts and racers.
"We took out everything we could," Woehler says. "And the Boxster was already a very light car."