What do you get when you cram the heart of a Porsche 911 GT3 into the middle of a roadster? The answer to that is the 718 Boxter Spyder RS, the brand’s open-top counterpart to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
While you’re likely pleased to know what’s under the bonnet, or rather the rear hatch, what you may not be so enthused about is the fact that this is the last 718 to feature an internal combustion engine before the model goes fully electric. However, it isn’t going out quietly considering this is its most powerful iteration of the model yet.
We’d usually start with looks but all this talk about engines has got us feeling revvy. Right in the middle of the Boxter sits the aforementioned lump from the 911 GT3 which if you aren’t already aware, is a naturally aspirated flat six-cylinder capable of revving up to 9000rpm, generating a healthy 368kW (59kW more than the non-RS Spyder) and 450Nm of torque. However, you won’t be rowing through the gears manually as the only available gearbox is a short-ratio seven-speed PDK gearbox.
When combined with the new model’s lower weight figure of 1410kg, compared to the 40kg heavier Cayman GT4 RS, a 0 to 100km/h sprint is achievable in 3.4 seconds while it can hit 200km/h in 10.9 seconds. Top speed comes to 308km/h.
Now comes its design. If you were to place the Boxter Spyder RS side by side with the Cayman GT4 RS, you’d be hard pressed to find any differences. There’s two NACA brake ducts on the carbon fibre reinforced plastic bonnet and a wide air outlet just below you’ll be familiar with, as well as a pair of sideblades mounted to the front bumper that increase downforce. Due to a lack of rear wing, the drop top doesn’t quite make as much downforce as the coupe but it instead gets a stylish ducktail.
With regard to the roof itself, it’s all manually operated in order to keep weight down – 18.3kg to be specific. There’s no fancy mechanism at play either as the single-layer soft top consists of two pieces, a sun sail and weather deflector. The driver (or passenger) can remove and stow them inside the vehicle or use the soft top as a ‘Bimini top’ to offer some shade from the scorching sun.
Underneath the Spyder RS is the same suspension as its hard-topped counterpart which includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that has been specially tuned to drop the car by 30mm. Adding to the driving fun is the mechanical limited-slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and a set of 20-inch forged aluminium wheels. The soft top model has also had its spring and damper rates reduced to provide a softer ride.
The interior has been kept relatively simple, featuring an RS sports wheel covered in Race-Tex with a yellow 12-o’clock marking, as well as standard carbon fibre bucket seats. Reminding you of what kind of experience you’re in for is the embroidered ‘Spyder RS’ logo on the headrests.
Exterior colour options consist of four standard and three metallic finishes, including the new Vanadium Grey Metallic as well as the Arctic Grey, Shark Blue and Ruby Star Neo special colours.
Customers can also specify their car with the optional Weissach Package which gives you a titanium sports exhaust system with tips that resemble those found on the 935, an anti-glare Race-Tex dashboard, and optional forged magnesium wheels.
The Porsche 718 Boxter Spyder RS is also available with an exclusive handcrafted watch made by Porsche itself to match the specification of the car its ordered with. Very nice.
Pricing and availability of Porsche’s latest roadster has yet to be announced for New Zealand but we shouldn’t have to wait to long before we hear about it. The hard-topped 718 Cayman GT4 RS is priced at $314,900 locally so we can expect the Spyder RS to hover around that price point.
The new model will make its first public appearance this June at the festivities marking 75 years of Porsche Sports Cars in Stuttgart, Germany before it heads to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.