Ever since the first Boxster prototype debuted in 1993, it has been a shining jewel in the crown of Porsche's sports cars. The German marque's new 718 Spyder RS – an open-top, mid-engine sports car incorporating a naturally aspirated engine from the 911 GT3 – is no exception.
With its lightweight construction, performance-centric design, and efficient suspension, this fantastic machine offers a great driving experience. One Porsche refers to as 'Unfiltered driving pleasure'.
Engine and performance
The same four-liter flat-six engine as the 911 GT3 and 718 Cayman GT4 RS powers the 718 Spyder RS, which generates 493 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque at revs of up to 9,000 rpm. The result? A 0-60 mph time of just 3.2 seconds.
Like all other Porsche RS models, the 718 Spyder RS includes a short-ratio seven-speed Porsche Dopplekupplung Transmission (PDK) — a state-of-the-art hydraulic double-clutch transmission system — that alternates power to the engine using two separate driveshafts, depending on the gear. Expect fast shifts, rapid acceleration, and enhanced comfort. The Porsche 718 RS includes shift paddles plus a traditional gear selector lever, giving drivers the flexibility to choose between the two (sorry purists, there is no real manual transmission option).
The 718 Spyder RS uses the tried-and-tested Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, which has been lowered by 30 millimeters. Combined with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), a mechanical rear-limited slip differential, and ball-joint suspension bearings, you can be sure you'll have a smooth ride in this stunning sports car.
With a more powerful engine, a PDK transmission system, and a sporty suspension, you would be forgiven for thinking that the 718 Spyder RS would weigh more than its predecessor – but that's not the case! Porsche's latest model is 59 pounds lighter than the 718 Spyder. These weight savings improve this model's handling and efficiency across the board, further enhancing the driving experience.
Unsurprisingly, the 718 Spyder RS shares many design features with its coupe counterpart, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The CFRP-constructed front ends of both cars maximize aerodynamic efficiency by channeling airflow through a wide air outlet atop the bumper.
Further aerodynamic features, such as NACA ducts and side blades, optimize brake cooling and generate downforce. Like the 718 Spyder, the 718 Spyder RS features a ducktail spoiler instead of a rear wing, with Porsche reshaping the RS model's spoiler to improve aerodynamic balance.
The manually operated soft top included with the 718 Spyder RS can be split into separate sun shield and weather protector components, ensuring you're never caught short by a sudden change in weather conditions. Both parts are lightweight and can be stowed within the vehicle when not in use.
However, in 2023, the lack of an automatic soft-top deployment system puts a damper on what would otherwise be a truly adaptable vehicle.
Owners can choose from four standard and three metallic exterior paint options, including Porsche's new Vanadium Grey Metallic shade. If you're looking for a more aggressive look, you can select the Weissach Package which comes with exposed carbon fiber parts, including the trunk lid, side air intakes, and exterior mirrors. You also get titanium tailpipes as part of the package.
Being an RS model, you'll find a minimalist approach to the 718 Spyder RS' interior, incorporating nothing but functional and ergonomic essentials. Racing-inspired elements — such as the Race-Tex covered GT sport steering wheel and carbon weave-finished CFRP full bucket seats with Race-Tex seat centers — create a visually striking and bold cabin, complemented by contrasting accent colors of Arctic Grey and Carmine Red.
Oh, we shouldn't forget the 'weight saving' signature RS cloth door-pull straps you'll be stuck with in this car. Regardless of how much of a difference this makes in weight savings, at least you'll appreciate that it's a standard feature on RS models. Perhaps, that's enough to keep you from being tempted to do a thorough weight difference analysis.
The Porsche 718 Spyder RS will retail at $160,700, and US dealerships can expect a Spring 2024 arrival. In the meantime, this gorgeous machine will make European public appearances at Porsche's 75th-anniversary celebrations in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this summer.