The Porsche 718 Spyder RS is, theoretically speaking, a Cayman GT4 RS without a roof and without a wing, albeit it rarely qualifies as such. The Spyder RS has more driver engagement than an Army Surplus has OD green, yet lacking the downforce necessary to boost apex speed and the rollover protection wanted for a racecourse. But because it rides nicely, it doesn’t tyre easily.

Spyder RS Turns


Will it perform admirably on a racecourse, as suggested by the RS suffix, which stands for rennsport in German. Absolutely. However, Andreas Preuninger and his staff, who are in charge of all of Porsche’s GT vehicles, didn’t even try to set a lap record at the Nürburgring. Which seems a little odd to us considering that even the Panamera and the Cayenne have lap records.

Peak road automobile could very well be the outcome. Every excursion to 9000 rpm puts you in a valvetrain trance that is only broken by the unyielding brakes, with the 4.0-liter’s intake inches from your left ear. Iron rotors are common, but if unsprung and rotational mass are your top worries, go with the carbon-ceramic stoppers ($8000). About 40 pounds are saved by the ceramic brakes, and since you’re already there, you might as well spend another 22 pounds and get the magnesium wheels ($15,640). However, in order to acquire the wheels, you must to select the Weissach package ($14,730 with the necessary interior improvements). The Weissach package mostly consists of an appearance kit, including a faux-suede dash, a little carbon lip on the duck-shaped spoiler, and exposed carbon-fiber parts that are otherwise painted.

It seems ridiculous to add nearly $40,000 to a $163,650 Boxster that isn’t intended for track use, unless you have a thing for exposed carbon fibre. We don’t, however.

The GT team did something it had never done with an RS car: it reduced spring rates to make this Spyder RS more in tune with public roads. They are down by 55% up front and 43% down back when compared to the GT4 RS. The front splitter is 2.0 inches shorter, there is no wing, and underbody strakes are absent. Furthermore, the Spyder RS rides 0.2 inches higher. The engine, though, is the same: a 4.0-liter with a 493-hp rating, independent throttle bodies (one for each cylinder), and dry-sump lubrication.

Only a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is available. A manual would have made more sense given that Porsche emphasises this being a road car, but we’re informed there isn’t a row-your-own gearbox available that can spin quickly enough, have enough torque capability, and fit. The PDK has unflappable launch control as a benefit. Porsche claims that the Spyder RS will reach 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, but our GT4 RS achieved this feat in 2.8 seconds, a time that we fully anticipate the roofless version will match. Actually, the majority of the acceleration figures will be comparable. Porsche claims that the Spyder RS is only 11 pounds lighter than the GT4 RS.

The 191 mph peak speed of the Spyder is with the roof off, so anybody looking to push it to its maximum speed should be aware of this. Porsche advises against going faster than 122 mph with the roof installed, but describing the 18-pound top as a roof is like to describing a three-ounce poncho as a jacket. The two-piece construction requires self-assembly. It can be completed solo in about two minutes if you are familiar with Spyder techniques. The top looks like a loincloth, but it works more like a pair of contemporary compression shorts. A tension cable on it prevents buffeting. Additionally, it can be used without the back glass, much like a bikini top on a Jeep CJ7. Despite being 17 pounds lighter, it isn’t as convenient as the conventional Spyder’s manual Miata-style roof.

To unveil the magic, hammer on this car on a two-lane road. It goes beyond the suppler ride provided by softer springs. Despite being primarily intended for on-road use, the suspension uses ball joints rather than rubber bushings. There is no lift or downforce. Because it has neutral lift, the steering doesn’t seem heavier even when you’re moving quickly. You can tell if the road stripers used Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams paint by how the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres load up in bends. The mechanical grip is measured in “Bibendums,” which is the usual unit.

Modern Porsche GT cars are something every automobile enthusiast should drive; we drool over them for good cause. These GT cars will go down in history as the pinnacle before electrification drains fun from the fleet, according to Porsche, which claims this is the last new 718 model with an internal-combustion engine. The Spyder RS further sets itself apart from other RS track-day vehicles with its on-road focus.