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Porsche Brand Ambassador visits the Porsche Centre Mayfair in the lead up to Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova called in at Porsche Centre Mayfair last night, ahead of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Pre-Wimbledon Party, for a ride in the latest Porsche, the mid-engined, two-seater Boxster Spyder.

For Maria Sharapova it was like an ace in Wimbledon: ahead of the traditional Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) pre-tournament party in London, the Porsche Brand Ambassador paid a visit to the Porsche Centre Mayfair on Thursday before taking the new Boxster Spyder out for a test drive. The purist sports car celebrated its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show in April and is the lightest yet most powerful Boxster that Porsche has ever made.

Available to order since being unveiled in April, but not arriving officially in showrooms until July, this left-hand drive Boxster Spyder is visiting the UK for a few days only. The Spyder made its world debut at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, and is the lightest and most powerful Boxster yet built by Porsche.

Four days before play starts in earnest at the year’s most important Grand Slam tournament, the superstar from Russia treated herself to a quite special driving experience with the new top model in the open two-seater series. It retains the independent character of the previous Spyder which has already attained cult status. The classical fabric roof is still opened and closed by hand and the sports car is only available with a manual transmission.

A sensational purist roadster, the Boxster Spyder offers a traditional sports car driving experience combined with contemporary performance. It features a classic fabric roof, opened and closed by hand, and is available only with a manual transmission. The new car also features a 20 mm lower ride height, powerful brakes taken from the 911 Carrera, and a 3.8-litre, 375 hp engine that is capable of 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds, with capability to achieve a top speed of 180 mph.

Tipping the scales at 1,315 kg, the lithe, powerful roadster can be driven precisely and with great agility; the perfect accompaniment to an athlete of Sharapova’s status.

Maria Sharapova piloted the Porsche Boxster Spyder around the streets of London’s Mayfair district and was visibly impressed. “This is huge fun – truly thrilling,” said the five-time Grand Slam winner after the test drive. “I love that this new Boxster Spyder is like a classic sports car, but at the same time feels so modern and sophisticated. It’s a fantastic car and I need to get one!”

The distinctive design of the Boxster Spyder includes stylistic elements that recall the legendary sports and race cars from Porsche. For example, as a tribute to the 718 Spyder from the 1960s, the new Boxster Spyder has two prominent streamlined bulges that extend down along the long rear lid behind the headrests. The partially manually operated, lightweight top is suitable for everyday use and brings to mind roadsters from the past, while the fins that stretch back to the rear lend the vehicle’s silhouette its characteristic design.

The new Porsche Boxster Spyder is on sale now in the UK and Ireland, priced from £60,459 RRP. Customers will also be able to explore the potential of their new car by participating in a complimentary course at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.