Thirty years after the presentation of the Boxster concept car, Porsche is launching the most powerful version yet of the popular mid-engined roadster: the new Porsche 718 Spyder RS.
This is the first time, the high-revving naturally aspirated engine from the 911 GT3 is being deployed in an open-topped mid-engined sports car and also the first open-top car to get the RS sign-off.
The roof has been replaced with a removable and manually operated fabric roof which weighs just 18.3 kg (40.3 lbs) helping lower the total weight of the new 718 Spyder RS to 1,410 kg (3,108 lbs). It consists of two parts; a sun sail and a weather deflector and can be stowed in the vehicle.
The exceptionally lightweight and purist-pleasing manual soft-top roof of the 718 Spyder RS makes the highly evocative sound of the engine an even more compelling experience. The effect is further heightened by the standard lightweight stainless steel sports exhaust system and the distinctive process air inlets on the sides behind the headrests.
The 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine can scream all the way up to 9000 rpm and can punch out 368 kW and 450 Nm of torque. This allows the Spyder to hit 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds (non-RS 3.9 seconds) and 200 km/h in just 10.9 seconds.
Like every modern RS model, the new 718 Spyder RS is available exclusively with the Porsche PDK transmission to maximise performance.
The front end of the new Porsche 718 Spyder RS is almost identical to the front end of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The standard front bonnet is made of CFRP and features a wide air outlet above the bumper. The two NACA ducts enhance brake cooling without adversely affecting the drag. Sideblades on the outer ends of the bumper increase downforce. The front spoiler lip is slightly shorter than on the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which in conjunction with its large rear wing produces higher overall downforce on the Cayman and therefore requires a larger spoiler lip to achieve aerodynamic balance. Instead of a wing, the 718 Spyder RS features a striking tear-off edge shaped like a ducktail.
Porsche has given the Spyder RS a slightly different setup for the springs and dampers to achieve a more comfortable ride to better fit the customer’s expectations from a convertible.
Available exterior colours include four plain and three metallic paints, including the new Vanadium Grey Metallic as well as the special colours Arctic Grey, Shark Blue and Ruby Star Neo.
A Weissach Package is also available for the Spyder RS as an option. The exceptionally lightweight, optional forged magnesium wheels can be ordered in combination with this particularly performance-focused equipment package. The sports exhaust system tailpipes here are made of titanium.
The new Porsche 718 Spyder RS celebrates its public premiere in June at the festivities marking 75 years of Porsche Sports Cars in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Shortly afterwards, it will make an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Porsche South Africa has confirmed that cars will arrive in Q2 2024 with a base price of R3,024,000 (including a 3-year Driveplan). If you are reading this and fancy one of these, the chances of getting one are pretty much non-existent as it copies the GT4 RS and will be limited by production.