Six things you need to know about the Porsche 718 Spyder RS
Introducing the most powerful version of the mid-engined roadster yet
Arctic Grey Porsche 718 Spyder RS on an open road
A high-revving, extremely powerful engine, shared with the GT3 Cup racecar. Roof down roadster excitement. Dynamic chassis. And a sporty, focused interior. This is a Porsche two-seater sportscar like no other
What is the 718 Spyder RS?It was back in 1993 that the world first caught sight of what would become a brand new sportscar in the Porsche range, when the Boxster concept was revealed at that year’s Detroit Motor Show. Three decades on and Porsche has launched its most powerful open-topped, mid-engined sportscar yet in the form of the 718 Spyder RS. It’s a car that’s certainly worthy of its moniker, the Spyder name having graced some of the most legendary Porsche sportscars and racecars of all time, such as the 550 Spyder and 918 Spyder. A sportscar where maximum driving pleasure was the goal – a goal that has certainly been achieved.At 500PS, it delivers 80PS more power than the 718 Spyder without the RS designation, and at 1410kg it's 40kg lighter too. It’s a car made for winding mountain roads with its precise handling, lightweight and taut suspension and high traction and stability. It all adds up to a pure driving experience that shares similarities with sporty motorbikes and single-seater racecars.
Rear 3/4 view of Arctic Grey Porsche 718 Spyder RS
The rear of the new Porsche 718 Spyder RS features an aerodynamic tear-off edge reminiscent of the classic Porsche ducktail
What are the highlights of the 718 Spyder RS design?The design of the 718 emphasises its sporty character. Exterior-wise, the 718 Spyder RS features aerodynamic design details that help optimise the power under the bonnet. At the front, the prominent spoiler lip is joined by an additional spoiler in front of the wheel arches to help direct airflow while at the rear there’s a fixed spoiler that is reminiscent of the iconic Porsche ducktail. This spoiler is larger than that on the 718 Spyder and again emphasises the performance-orientated design. There are further design details that aid ventilation, including striking carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) louvers above the wheel arches and black air intakes on the bonnet. Both are also nods to the car’s motorsport DNA.The soft-top roof on the 718 Spyder RS is an example of form following function in the purest of ways. The manually operated, single-layer lightweight convertible top can be used as a sun sail or as a weather deflector. As a sun sail it protects driver and passenger from the sunlight while remaining largely open to the side and behind. The weather deflector gives driver and passenger plenty of protection against the elements with the windows raised. Alternatively, of course, the roof can be completely removed for total roadster-style immersion – and it can be conveniently stored at home, weather permitting, helping save a further 8kg of kerb weight.Inside, the steering wheel is unique to the 718 Spyder RS and is finished in tactile Race-Tex, which also features on the grip area and gaiter of the PDH gear selector. Full bucket seats made of CFRP with a carbon-weave finish offer good lateral support but are lightweight too, with perforated Race-Tex appearing in the contrasting seat centres. It’s an interior that is functional and ergonomic, as befits a sportscar where the joy of the drive is in such sharp focus.
Manually operated roof of the Porsche 718 Spyder RS
The 718 Spyder RS is meant to be driven with the top down, but its lightweight, compact, manually operated roof can be fixed in place in no time at all
What engine is in the 718 Spyder RS?There’s phenomenal power on tap in the 718 Spyder RS. Not only is the 4.0-litre, six-cylinder, normally aspirated engine the same used in the GT4 RS and 911 GT3, it’s also shared with the 911 GT3 Cup racecar – proof, if it were needed, that this a roadster with bundles of sporty DNA. The 500PS boxer engine revs to a maximum of 9,000rpm and is by far the most powerful in the 718 model range. With the combination of the seven-speed PDK transmission, 718 Spyder RS can reach the 100km/h mark from standstill in just 3.4 seconds and then on to the 200km/h mark in just 10.9 seconds. Top speed is 308km/h.One of the benefits of a roadster that is, like the 718 Spyder RS, set up for pure driving pleasure is the sound that envelops you, whether with the lightweight soft-top roof raised or packed away. It’s a feeling further enhanced by the lightweight stainless steel sports exhaust system and the placing of the process air inlets behind the headrests.
Cockpit of Porsche 718 Spyder RS
The 718 Spyder RS is only available with a PDK gearbox, providing short ratios for exceptionally fast acceleration
Does the 718 Spyder RS have a manual or PDK gearbox?Like every current RS model in the Porsche range, the 718 Spyder RS is only available with a 7-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) gearbox. The steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles allow for quick, short shifts throughout the range which, when coupled with the car’s top-down roadster characteristics, provides you with an immersive driving experience. There’s also the option of using the selector lever on the centre console. Power is relayed to the rear wheels only via a torque-vectoring rear differential.
Porsche 718 Spyder RS driving through a hillside bend
The 718 Spyder RS shares its 4.0-litre, naturally aspirated engine with the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 Cup racecar
What options and accessories can you get for the 718 Spyder RS?The range of options and accessories for the 718 Spyder RS is topped by the sporty Weissach package that has been specially developed for the car. It offers sporty aesthetics and a number of lightweight features. You’ll see the Weissach RS emblem featured in several places on the car, like on the stitched headrests, trim panel of the dashboard and lightweight convertible hood. The dashboard is covered in Race-Tex, which helps minimise reflections on the windscreen.Exterior highlights include a carbon-weave finish that can be seen on the likes of the bonnet and top half of the exterior mirrors, as well as the side blades and process air intakes behind the driver and front passenger. A particular delight are the titanium sports exhaust system tailpipes – a look inspired by the limited-edition 935 from 2018, which itself paid tribute to the legendary 935/78 Le Mans racing car. The Weissach package for the 718 Spyder RS also benefits from the option to add 20-inch forged magnesium wheels which can save almost 10kg of total and help improve driving dynamics. And you can even enhance your 718 Spyder RS ownership experience with a handcrafted Porsche Design Swiss-made watch made of lightweight titanium and featuring a carbon dial – an offer that is exclusive to buyers of the car.
Interior of Porsche 718 Spyder RS with optional Weissach package
The optional Weissach package includes features like embossed headrests and a dashboard covered in anti-glare Race-Tex
When will the 718 Spyder RS go on sale?The public has already had a chance to see the 718 Spyder RS in its full glory at the celebrations in Germany in June 2023 to mark 75 years of Porsche sportscars, followed by an appearance for the two-seat, mid-engine roadster at the renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. The 718 Spyder RS is available to order now.
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