The 718 Spyder RS Is A Cayman GT4 RS With A Removable Roof

It’s the first open-top mid-engined sports car that packs the engine from the 911 GT3.

What you see here is the Porsche 718 Spyder RS. It’s an alternative for those who’d want the 718 Cayman GT4 RS but with a bit more theatre. Both have the ‘RS’ designation, meaning they are the pinnacle of performance in the 718 range. The Spyder RS also claims the title of the first open-top mid-engined sports car that packs the engine from the Porsche 911 GT3. In fact, the same (almost) unit also does duty in the 911 GT3 Cup racing car.

That powerplant is a 4.0-litre flat-six that offers 493hp/450Nm, all going to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Porsche says that the engine-transmission combination can propel the 718 Spyder RS to 100kmph and 200kmph in 3.4 seconds and 10.9 seconds, respectively. Compared to the 718 Spyder, which has 79hp less, the newcomer can hit 100kmph half a second quicker and clock 308kmph at full stretch, 8kmph more.

Besides the extra oomph, the 718 Spyder RS’ lighter weight is crucial in delivering better performance figures. At 1,410kg, it weighs 40kg less than the 718 Spyder with a PDK. In fact, the 718 Spyder RS also pips the Cayman GT4 RS by 5kg. How? The manually-operated single-layer soft-top roof, with its mechanism, isn’t what one would call ‘heavy’. It weighs 18.3kg, making it 7.6kg lighter than the 718 Spyder and 16.5 kilograms less than the 718 Boxster. And if the weather permits, why not leave the roof at home to make things even lighter?

In terms of design, there’s little difference between the two RS-spec 718s. The front spoiler lip on the soft-top car is slightly shorter than on the coupe, and there’s a ducktail spoiler at the rear instead of a wing. The rest is identical, including the carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) bonnet. Similarly, the suspension setup is more-or-less the same, packing the Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Torque Vectoring with a limited-slip differential and 2-inch forged aluminium wheels. The only difference comes in the spring and damper rates, which have been slightly toned down in the Spyder RS.

Indoors, the two-seater packs RS sports steering wheel draped in Race-Tex with a yellow 12-o’clock marking. The CFRP bucket seats feature a carbon-weave finish, while the seat covers are black leather. To add some contrast, the perforated Race-Tex seat centre is available in Arctic Grey and Carmine Red colours. Rounding off the cabin are ‘Spyder RS’ logos on the headrests, whereas the trims and dashboard are covered with leather. For the body, there are four plain and three metallic shades available, including the new Vanadium Grey Metallic. And for that extra extravagance, Porsche offers several optional add-ons, including the Weissach Package and matching chronograph.

The public premiere of the Porsche 718 Spyder RS is scheduled for June 2023, during the festivities marking 75 years of Porsche Sports Cars. Later, it’ll appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

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