New Porsche 718 roadster gets 911 GT3 engine

IMAGINE the high-revving, naturally aspirated, lightweight six-cylinder boxer engine of the Porsche 911 GT3. Now imagine affixing it onto the 718.

That’s the premise behind the most powerful version yet of Porsche’s mid-engined roadster. The new Porsche 718 Spyder RS conscripts the power plant, and now becomes the open-top counterpart of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS.

On tap is output of 500ps and 450Nm from the 4.0-liter engine, which revs up to 9,000rpm. Drivers can access the goodness through a short-ratio seven-speed PDK transmission. The two-seater roadster can sprint from a standstill to 100kph in 3.4 seconds, and hit 200kph in just 10.9 seconds. Versus the 718 Spyder without the “RS” designation, the new range-topper not only benefits from an additional 80ps, but also accelerates to 100kph half a second faster. The top rate speed is now 308kph, instead of 300kph. Like every modern RS model, the new 718 Spyder RS is available exclusively with the Porsche dual clutch transmission (PDK), which shifts through its seven gears at “lightning speed” and guarantees maximum performance.

The gearshift paddles allow drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel even when shifting gears manually. Alternatively, the driver can use the ergonomically designed selector lever on the center console. In addition to the more powerful engine, the new model’s lower weight also contributes to better performance.

The standard front bonnet is made of CFRP and features a wide air outlet above the bumper. The two NACA ducts enhance brake cooling without adversely affecting the aerodynamics. Side blades on the outer ends of the bumper increase downforce. Instead of a wing, the 718 Spyder RS features a striking tear-off edge shaped like a ducktail. All aerodynamic components are intricately coordinated. They maintain the car’s aerodynamic balance and ensure maximum driving stability at high speeds.

The new 718 Spyder RS comes with a manually operated single-layer lightweight soft-top. The design is compact, consisting of two parts: a sun sail and a weather deflector. Both are completely removable and can be stowed together or singly in the vehicle. The sun sail alone can also be used as a “Bimini top,” thereby protecting the driver and front passenger from intense sunlight. In this case, the passenger compartment remains largely open to the side and behind the passengers. Together with the weather deflector, this creates a complete top that provides effective protection against rain when the side windows are raised. The entire roof, including mechanical parts, weighs just 18.3 kg. Drivers who wish to shave an additional eight kilograms from the weight of the vehicle can leave the top at home entirely, weather allowing.

The chassis of the 718 Spyder RS uses components from the 718 Cayman GT4 RS and the 718 Spyder and is designed for maximum driving pleasure on winding roads. It comes standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with sports tuning and has been lowered by 30 millimeters. It also features Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with mechanical limited-slip differential, ball-jointed suspension bearings and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. The behavior of the chassis is characterized by sharp steering precision, as well as agile and extremely neutral handling. The ride height, camber, track and anti-roll bar can all be adjusted individually. Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, spring and damper rates have been reduced to achieve a more relaxed, characteristically convertible-style setup.

A sporty character defines the inside of the car too: The interior is reduced to the functional and ergonomic essentials. The grippy RS sports steering wheel is covered with Race-Tex and features a yellow 12 o’clock marking. The standard full bucket seats are made of lightweight CFRP in a carbon-weave finish and offer particularly impressive lateral support. The seat covers are made of black leather, while the perforated Race-Tex seat center features a contrasting color with a black background.

A Weissach Package is also available for the Spyder RS as an option. The exceptionally lightweight, optional forged magnesium wheels can be ordered in combination with this particularly performance-focused equipment package. The sports exhaust system tailpipes here are made of titanium. The look is inspired by the limited-edition 935 from 2018. A visual highlight inside the car is the upper part of the dashboard covered with anti-glare Race-Tex. Exclusively available to buyers of the Porsche 718 Spyder RS is a Porsche Design Timepieces handcrafted chronograph — a premium-quality watch from Porsche’s in-house watchmaking operation in Solothurn, Switzerland. Designed to match the configuration of the car, the particularly lightweight case is made of titanium, the dial is made of carbon and the strap is made out of vehicle leather. The rotor on the back echoes the respective wheel rim design on the 718 Spyder RS.

“The 718 Spyder RS raises driving pleasure to a new level for open-top cars,” said Porsche Head of GT Cars Andreas Preuninger. “The combination of our unmistakable GT3 engine, the close-ratio transmission, compact dimensions, low weight, road-optimized racing suspension and maximum openness offers an extremely compelling and unfiltered driving experience.”

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