The combustion engine is systematically being culled, and in some scenarios, it seems more tragic than ever. The current Cayman and Boxster ranges represent the last combustion-engined versions since Porsche has confirmed that future 718s will be all-electric, and many a gearhead will be mourning the loss extensively. And so, we've been waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the Porsche 718 RS Spyder as a fitting tribute, singing the song of a naturally aspirated flat-six engine once last time. This car is expected to share its engine and various other components with the Cayman GT4 RS, and that can only be a good thing with close to 500 horsepower on the cards. While the automaker hasn't given us anything concrete just yet, here is what we know so far.
We don't have an inkling of a release date for the Porsche 718 RS Spyder in the USA, but with recent spy shots seemingly showing the un-camouflaged drop-top at a photo shoot, it's likely that press materials are currently being compiled. We hope this means the 2024 718 RS Spyder will still be coming out before the end of 2023.
As far as the new Porsche 718 RS Spyder convertible's price goes, we only know it will be a six-figure sum. But since there's no concrete cost info, we can speculate. The 2023 718 Spyder starts at an MSRP of $103,400 at present, but naturally, it comes sans the ferocious RS powertrain. The difference between the 718 Cayman GT4 and its RS variant is more than $42k, though, so it's not unreasonable to expect the 718 RS Spyder to cost upwards of $145k.
There aren't many direct rivals for this car, as there is no equivalent BMW Z4 or Audi TT Roadster that can hope to keep up with the 718 RS Spyder. For less money, though, one has to consider the incredible Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible. It's a much larger car so probably won't feel quite as agile as the Porsche, but that V8 is something special.
As is expected of an RS model, the 718 RS Spyder will wear a more striking outfit than the standard Boxster models, and the customary bits and bobs that indicate the performance-minded focus have been spotted on spy shots of the German drop-top around the Nurburgring and a photo shoot. The fabric manual-folding roof is a given, so there's no giant rear spoiler on this model. What we can see in the pictures is a new hood featuring NACA ducts, new fender vents up front, an aggressive front splitter, new air intakes ahead of the rear wheels, and a pair of intakes mounted on the arch of the haunches. All of these hark back to the GT4 RS, which gives us some idea of what else we can expect.
Exterior spy shots of the 2024 Porsche 718 RS Spyder show it equipped with the Weissach Pack, which aims to reduce overall weight by fitting carbon fiber elements in place of the standard trunk lid, air intakes, exterior mirrors, and the like. This will likely be a pricey optional extra, as on the Cayman GT4 RS. We expect 20-inch forged aluminum wheels as standard, with possible options including forged magnesium items for even less weight when hooning it around the track.
As for the Porsche 718 RS Spyder's colors, the standard Porsche palette will likely do duty here, with a few no-cost standards like Racing Yellow and Guards Red, while the regular spate of metallics and special colors will set you back extra. As is customary, Porsche will likely let you paint the rainbow for a substantial fee, courtesy of the Paint to Sample service.
Porsche hasn't released official dimensions for the 718 RS Spyder, but it's not likely to be too different to the standard variant. The 718 Spyder's measurements include a length of 174.4 inches, a width with mirrors folded of 70.9 inches, and a height of 49.5 inches. The wheelbase comes in at 97.8 inches. RS variants tend to sit lower to the ground, though, so some figures may be a little different.
The regular 718 Spyder has a curb weight of 3,273 pounds with the PDK transmission, so we're likely to see the RS - considering weight reduction measures - just a smidge under this.
In the 2024 Porsche 718 RS Spyder, the engine isn't just crucial for its motivational power or as a swan song to the ICE 718 lineup - for enthusiasts, the aural thrill of an RS-spiced Porsche is just as vital, and this one will likely be even sweeter. The 718 RS Spyder is expected to share its engine with its GT4 RS sibling, and the naturally-aspirated mid-mounted 4.0-liter flat-six isn't unfamiliar. It's also been used in the 911 GT3 and is as beloved for its roar as it is for that 9,000-rpm redline.
Outputs are 493 hp and 331 lb-ft, the latter peaking at 6,250 rpm. It's this setup that allows the GT4 RS to hit 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. As in the raucous RS coupe, the RS Spyder will have a seven-speed PDK, which we love for its split-second downshifts when needed. Sending power to the rear wheels, the setup should see the 718 RS Spyder make the 0-60 mph sprint only fractionally slower than the GT4 RS.
Don't let its leisurely drop-top designation fool you, though; there's a reason Porsche has spent hours at the Green Hell perfecting the RS Spyder. It's likely to be as thrilling a track toy as the GT4 RS, although the latter has the added downforce benefits of that gigantic wing. Large six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes are likely to do duty here to ensure the RS Spyder comes to a stop when it should.
No official gas mileage specs are available, but we can base figures on the GT4 RS, with which it shares an engine and a similar curb weight. The 718 GT4 RS manages 15/19/16 mpg on city/highway/combined cycles, so the 718 RS Spyder should be just about one mpg worse off on each cycle.
A 16.9-gallon fuel tank is standard fare on the 718 range, so expect to get about 250 miles to a tank - if you drive without giving into temptation and unleashing the six-cylinder's wail.
The RS Spyder will sit atop the 718 drop-top range, and while it's certainly focused on performance and driving thrills, it doesn't mean it'll be short on comforts and conveniences inside. Expect two full buckets seats in the Porsche 718 RS Spyder, both with partial power adjustment as in the GT4 RS, and a cabin strewn with model-identifying embroidery. It's quite likely the instrument dials will be bespoke in terms of color and logo. We expect a combination of leather and Race-Tex to be the primary upholstery and an RS-specific steering wheel to feature. Matte carbon fiber accents and trim will likely be standard, with even more added under the Weissach specifications, but this will all be confirmed once we see first images of the Porsche 718 RS Spyder's interior.
Features like automatic climate control, cruise control, park assist with a reverse camera, a 4.6-inch color instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay and HD Radio, and the RS-bonus Track Precision App are likely to be included as standard. You'll probably still have the same upgrade options for the sound system as you'd have in the regular 718 Spyder, meaning Bose and Burmester setups are available. We'd be quite happy to hear nothing but the flat-six.
As for cargo space in the Porsche 718 RS Spyder, it should mirror the 718 Spyder closely. That means a luggage compartment front (5.2 cubic feet) and rear (4.2 cubic feet), along with storage space in each door, and two cupholders. It doesn't really matter, though, as no one will be buying one of these to carry any cargo, other than the helmet and gloves you need for a track day.