The next-generation Porsche 718 Boxster will ditch petrol-power for an electric drivetrain, but the brand is giving the internal combustion engine a heck of a send-off.
The German brand has just unveiled the ultimate iteration of its convertible sports car, the 718 Spyder RS. This takes the mid-engine formula that has made the Boxster unique in the Porsche sports car line-up and installed the 4.0-litre flat-six engine from the 911 GT3.
This upgrade is so extreme Porsche has even ditched the ‘Boxster’ part of the car’s name, even though that’s what this variant is based on.
That means this 718 is packing 368kW of power delivered at a screaming 9000rpm and 450Nm of torque from this race-derived engine. Paired with a short-ratio, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, Porsche claims this drop-top can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds and takes just 10.9 seconds to hit 200km/h.
It helps that Porsche has stripped 40kg of weight from the car, so it tips the scales at just 1410kg.
Handling has been improved too, thanks to a range of upgrades lifted straight from the Boxtser’s 718-sibling, the Cayman GT4 RS. This includes an “almost identical” front end, according to Porsche, with a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) bonnet with NACA ducts for extra cooling. There’s also side blades on the outer edges of the bumper for more downforce and the front splitter is similar, but slightly shorter, than the one on the Cayman.
Underneath the Spyder RS borrows from the GT4 RS again with its suspension set-up. This includes standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with sports tuning and a 30mm ride height reduction. Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear differential lock is also standard.
While it may be designed for the road, with reduced spring and damper rates compared to its hard-top sibling, the GT3/GT4 influences means the Spyder RS has adjustable ride height, camber, track and anti-roll bars.
The 718 Spyder RS rolls on 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
Where it really differs from the Cayman is the roof, with the ‘Boxster’ sticking to the open-top philosophy that has defined it since it first joined the Porsche line-up. For the Spyder RS Porsche has developed a special lightweight, two-part soft-top that consists of a sun sail and weather deflector. To save as much weight as possible the top is manual and is completely removable so it can be left at home if you prefer. All up, Porsche claims the top weighs just 18.3kg.
The 718 Spyder RS is priced from $336,800 (plus on-road costs) and orders for the car open today (May 10), with deliveries to Australian customers scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2024.