Porsche Introduces New 718 Spyder RS

Thirty years after the presentation of the Boxster concept car, Porsche is launching the most powerful version yet of the popular mid-engine roadster: the new Porsche 718 Spyder RS, the automaker announced.

For the first time, the high-revving naturally aspirated engine from the 911 GT3 powers an open-top, mid-engine sports car.

“With an engine taken directly from racing, the 718 Spyder RS offers a driving experience like no other,” says Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “Slicing around a tight corner with the top off and the engine soaring to 9,000 rpm is an experience you will never forget.”

The new 718 Spyder RS is a counterpart to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The same lightweight powertrain with its high-revving engine characteristics also powers the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing car. It is paired with a standard lightweight stainless steel sport exhaust system and the distinctive combustion air inlets on the sides behind the headrests.

The powertrain of the new 718 Spyder RS is identical to that of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS coupe. The four-liter six-cylinder boxer engine revs to 9,000 rpm and generates up to 493 hp and 331 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined with a short-ratio seven-speed PDK transmission, the six-cylinder engine propels the two-seater roadster from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Compared to the previous 414 hp 718 Spyder without the ‘RS’ designation, the 718 Spyder RS boasts an additional 79 hp, and accelerates to 60 mph 0.5 seconds quicker toward a top track speed of 191 mph, Porsche said. The new 718 Spyder RS is available exclusively with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung transmission (PDK) and gearshift paddles.

The standard front lid is made of CFRP and features a wide air outlet above the bumper to channel the airflow. Two NACA ducts enhance brake cooling without adversely affecting the drag coefficient, Porsche engineers said. Sideblades on the outer ends of the bumper contribute to downforce. Instead of a wing, the 718 Spyder RS features a ducktail spoiler that is both larger and reshaped compared to the 718 Spyder.

The new 718 Spyder RS comes with a manually-operated, lightweight soft top. It consists of two parts: a sunshield and a weather protector. Both are completely removable and can be stowed in the vehicle. The single-layer lightweight Spyder soft-top can be used with the sunshield alone, shading the driver and passenger. The passenger compartment remains largely open to the side and behind the passengers, Porsche said.

The 718 Spyder RS comes standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with sport calibration and has been lowered by 30 millimeters. It also features Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical rear limited slip differential, ball joint type suspension bearings and 20-inch forged alloy wheels. The ride height, toe, camber, and anti-roll bars are all adjustable. Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, spring and damper rates have been reduced to achieve a more relaxed, characteristically convertible-style set-up. Like on the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, customers can optionally specify a front axle lift system. As with the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, it raises the front end by 1.1 inches while driving up to 37 mph.

Inside, the Race-Tex covered GT Sport steering wheel features a yellow 12-o’clock marking. The standard Full Bucket seats are made of lightweight CFRP in a carbon-weave finish. The seat covers are made of black leather, while the perforated Race-Tex seat centers features a contrasting color with a black background. The contrasting colors are Arctic Grey and Carmine Red. A ‘Spyder RS’ logo in the respective contrasting color is embroidered on the headrests. The dashboard and trims are covered with leather. Available exterior colors include four standard and three metallic paints, including the new Vanadium Grey Metallic as well as the special colors Arctic Grey, Shark Blue and Ruby Star Neo.

An optional Weissach Package is also available for the Spyder RS. Optional forged magnesium wheels can be ordered in combination with the equipment package. When equipped with this package, the tailpipes of the sport exhaust system are made of titanium and are inspired by the limited-edition 935 from 2018. Further exterior highlights include an exposed carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber combustion air scoops on the sides, and a carbon fiber Gurney flap on the rear spoiler. A visual highlight inside the car is the upper part of the dashboard covered with Race-Tex. The seat headrests gain embroidered “Weissach” logos, and the cloth top gains an embossed Weissach logo.

Porsche Introduces New 718 Spyder RS | THE SHOP

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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