The Rennsport formula has been applied to Porsche’s excellent 718 Spyder, bringing open-air GT4 RS thrills
Porsche has revealed the 718 Spyder RS, a new range-topping mid-engined drop-top to sit alongside the hardcore Cayman GT4 RS. Launched three decades since the original Boxster concept made its debut, the 718 Spyder RS is said to be the very last 718 model to feature a combustion engine. Order books open on May 10 with prices starting from €151,215 (c£133,707).
Mounted at its core is the 4-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six found in the Cayman GT4 RS, and all 992 GT3 models. Spinning to the same spectacular 9000rpm redline (1000rpm higher than the ordinary 718 Spyder) it produces 493bhp at 8400rpm, with its 332lb ft maximum torque figure achieved at 6750rpm.
The flat-six should produce a glorious noise thanks to a bespoke intake system and a lightweight stainless steel exhaust, and it also makes for some impressive performance figures. The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in the same 3.4sec as the GT4 RS, with the Spyder RS hitting 191mph flat out – 5mph faster than the standard 718 Spyder. As in the GT4 RS, the model is available only with a 7spd PDK gearbox, modified with shortened ratios for improved in-gear acceleration.
Perhaps the most notable design change from its GT4 RS sibling (aside from the lack of a roof) is the use of a low-profile ducktail spoiler. This produces less rear downforce than the GT4 RS’s towering wing, so Porsche has reduced the size of the front splitter to ensure proper aerodynamic balance. This aside, the 718 Spyder RS is near-identical to its Cayman relative, with the same NACA duct-equipped carbonfibre bonnet, wheel arch louvres and centre-lock wheels.
Like the standard 718 Spyder, the RS comes with a single-layer manual soft-top roof, but Porsche has made numerous changes to reduce its weight further. Now consisting of two parts, the roof weighs 7.6kg less than the 718 Spyder’s at 18.3kg, with an additional 8kg to be saved if you’re feeling confident enough in the weather forecast to leave the roof at home.
The Spyder RS utilises McPherson struts on all four corners as in the standard car, but geometry is new. Coming standard with electronically controlled Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), standard ride height is 30mm lower than the ordinary Spyder, but this – along with camber, track and anti-roll bar settings – is adjustable. Porsche has also reduced spring and damper rates over the GT4 RS for a more relaxed setup in-line with the typical use case for a convertible.
Behind its 20-inch wheels are six-piston calipers acting upon 408mm discs, with a four-piston, 380mm setup on the rear axle. This should provide ample stopping power, particularly as the Spyder RS weighs 10kg less than its Cayman GT4 RS counterpart at 1410kg.
The cabin is typically Rennsport, with unnecessary amenities swapped for a spartan ambience of carbonfibre and Race-Tex upholstery, Porsche’s Alcantara alternative. Exposed carbonfibre bucket seats are trimmed in black leather with a perforated Race-Tex centre, with embroidered Spyder RS logos in the headrests. The dashboard is leather as standard, but opt for the Weissach package and this is wrapped in Race-Tex to reduce glare.
If you’re lucky enough to secure an allocation, order books open on May 10 with prices starting at €151,215 (c£133,707), a £50,000 premium over the ordinary 718 Spyder and £10,000 more than the GT4 RS. Opt for a PTS colour, Exclusive Manufaktur options and the Weissach Package, and the figure will quickly rise from