The 911 GT3-powered counterpart to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS has arrived.
Porsche has unveiled the ultimate and most likely final ICE variant of the long-running 718 Boxster, the 2024 718 Spyder RS. It's been 30 years since Porsche first showed the world its Boxster concept and with an all-electric successor on the way, this 911 GT3-powered roadster is the best way possible to end an era. Let's dig in.
The 718 Spyder RS, first and foremost, is the drop-top counterpart to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Like the coupe, power comes courtesy of the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder flat-six that revs up to 9,000 rpm and has a total of 493 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Only one gearbox is offered: the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch with paddle shifters for those who desire some manual shifting control.
Porsche says 0-60 mph requires only 3.2 seconds - that's 0.5 seconds faster than the previous Spyder which produced 414 hp. Top speed is 191 mph and Porsche managed to shave off 59 lbs from the regular PDK-equipped '23 718 Spyder.
"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."
Using the 718 Cayman GT4 and its slick aerodynamics as a template, Porsche says the 718 Boxster RS features a nearly identical front end and the front lid is now made from carbon fiber and boasts a wide air outlet above the bumper for improved airflow. A pair of NACA ducts boost brake cooling without harming the drag coefficient.
Sideblades have been added to the bumper's outer ends for increased downforce and Porsche shortened the front spoiler lip because the Spyder RS lacks the GT4's massive rear wing; aerodynamic balance is a must. In place of a rear wing, the Spyder RS has a redesigned ducktail spoiler than what's found on the 718 Spyder. The Spyder RS has another signature feature: the manually-operated, lightweight cloth soft top.
Consisting of two components - a sunshield and weather protector - this single-layer top can function with just the shield providing shade for occupants. Both pieces can be stowed in the trunk. The entire unit weighs 40 lbs - 16 lbs less than the 718 Spyder's top. The standard 718 Boxster's soft top weighs at least 36 lbs more.
The Spyder RS's chassis utilizes a blend of components taken from the GT4 RS and 718 Spyder. Systems like Porsche Active Suspension Management and Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear limited-slip diff are standard, as are 20-inch forged alloy wheels. Engineers reduced spring and damper rates so they're better suited for a convertible. As in the GT4 RS, drivers can adjust the front axle lift by raising the front end by 1.1 inches at speeds up to 37 mph.
The interior includes a Race-Tex covered GT Sport steering wheel with a yellow 12-o'clock marker and full carbon fiber bucket seats with a carbon-weave finish with black leather covers. Porsche's choice of Arctic Grey and Carmine Red is ideal and you'll find the 'Spyder RS' logo embroidery on the headrests. Other cabin features include a leather-covered dashboard and door trims.
Buyers have a choice of four exterior colors and three metallic options, such as Vanadium Grey Metallic, Arctic Grey, Shark Blue, and Ruby Star Neo. As usual with ultra-high-end Porsches, a Weissach Package is available, consisting of titanium tailpipes, an exposed carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber air scoops on each side, and a carbon fiber Gurney flap for the rear spoiler. "Weissach" logos are also embroidered into the headrests and the soft top gains the same logo.
Because this is Porsche, a matching Porsche Design Chronograph handcrafted Swiss watch with a carbon fiber dial, vehicle leather strap, and rear rotor with the Spyder RS's wheel design is included.
The 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS carries an MSRP of $160,700 - excluding the $1,450 destination fee. Deliveries will begin in the spring of 2024 but before that the car will make its live debut next month during Porsche's 75th-birthday celebration in Stuttgart, followed by an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
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