Last year, Porsche decided to bring back the famed Spyder name, and the fourth-generation 718 Boxster range has been blessed with this iconic moniker, making it infinitely cooler than it already was. The 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder gets access to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which makes this 414-horsepower 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-6 sports car even more capable, and puts it right on the heels of its better-known sibling, the 911. Porsche is asking a pretty penny for the privilege of owning one of these special machines. And while competitors such as Audi and BMW offer more performance at a lower price in the Z4 and TT RS, the Porsche is simply better.
The biggest change this year comes with the addition of Porsche's optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It adds $3,210 to the base price of the vehicle. Whereas lesser 718s get additional standard equipment this year, Porsche has kept the Spyder's spec sheet essentially unchanged, preferring to maintain the purity of this high-performance model.
See trim levels and configurations:
4.0L Flat 6 Gas
Forget about small-capacity, fuel-efficient turbocharged engines; Porsche has gone old-school with the 2021 718 Spyder. Under the engine cover, you'll find a hot-blooded, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter 6-cylinder gas engine that delivers 414 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque at close to 8,000 rpm. Going for the PDK transmission bumps the torque figure to 317 lb-ft. With the 6-speed manual transmission in place, the rear-wheel-drive 718 Spyder roadster will sprint to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, dropping to 3.7 seconds in the auto. The top speed is pegged at 187 mph in manual guise. The BMW Z4 M40i will do the 0-60 mph dash in 3.9 seconds and is far cheaper but doesn't offer the same visceral driving experience. The 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder is in a different league when it comes to immersive driving.
If you're in the market for a 2-door drop-top sports car, and you're even the slightest bit of a petrolhead, then some sort of Porsche will be close to the top of your list. The 718 model range is one of the best-handling platforms Porsche has ever produced, and the 718 Spyder roadster manages to thrill even more. On the road, it thrills like few other cars in its price range, and despite some competitors offering similar or superior performance at a lower cost, none can match the Spyder's ability to involve the driver. This is partly due to an amazing chassis and a lot to do with that roaring 4.0-liter flat-six engine that loves to make a noise and offers decent shove, too.
There is no official safety rating, since no US institute has put the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder to review, but the automaker is known for its superior build quality and reliability. Some downsides include a high asking price, limited standard features, and pricey options, but for the purist, these will be trifling. Porsche has built a legend.
There's only a single trim on offer, so you'll have to head over to the options list if you want a more tailored experience. If we were buying, we'd go for one in Guards Red and get the seven-speed PDK transmission for an additional $3,210. Options like two-zone climate control and seats with more adjustability are also offered, but we think it unnecessary. The price of the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder roadster in this configuration is $102,860, including a destination fee of $1,350.
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