Porsche is preparing an electric successor to the 718, but before it comes, the current gas-powered sports car will receive what’s likely to be a final hurrah.
The automaker on Tuesday revealed the 718 Spyder RS, a limited-edition model that combines the 718 Boxster Spyder body with the powertrain of the 2022 911 GT3. It’s the first time the GT3 engine will power a mid-engine, open-top car.
The 718 Spyder RS is the open-top counterpart to the 2022 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Key details include the characteristic rear nacelles of a Porsche Spyder, as well as a lightweight, manually operated soft-top roof with a single layer. The unique top weighs a little more than 40 pounds, and together with other mods helps bring the curb weight of the 718 Spyder RS to 3,108 pounds, down approximately 59 pounds compared to the already light 718 Boxster Spyder. Weight is also down around 11 pounds compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS coupe.
The top shields a special cabin design that features standard sport bucket seats with carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic shells, a sport steering wheel, and a combination of leather and Porsche’s Alcantara-like Race-Tex trim. “Spyder RS” logos adorn the headrests.
For buyers looking to save additional weight, Porsche offers a Weissach Package that includes a titanium exhaust and carbon fiber for the hood, side scoops, and rear wing Gurney flap, plus “Weissach RS” logos for the headrests. Further weight savings can be had with available magnesium wheels.
The real star of the show is the 4.0-liter flat-6. The engine is detuned slightly here to 493 hp instead of the GT3’s 502 hp, but buyers still get that 9,000-rpm redline and a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch automatic sending drive to the rear wheels. Porsche quotes a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.
For the chassis, a revised suspension drops the 718 Spyder RS by 1.2 inches compared to the standard 718 Boxster thanks to unique ball joints. It also comes with stiffer springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. The ride height, toe, camber, and anti-roll bars are all adjustable.
The 718 Spyder RS will make an appearance at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed this June before arriving at dealerships in the spring of 2024. Porsche hasn’t said how many examples will be built, but for buyers fortunate enough to secure a build slot, the starting price is set at $162,150, including a $1,450 destination charge.
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