How’s this for a slice of driving perfection? It’s the 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS, and what it does is tantalise the senses of every driving enthusiast out there in a way that not many others can.
Why? Well, it is basically a Porsche 911 GT3 with the roof cut off. Perhaps more accurately, it is a 718 Cayman GT4 RS with a removable roof. Up top is a special soft-top piece that needs to be taken down manually, but Porsche has created a unique two-part design for it that is very light in weight.
The system is described as being “amazingly compact” and lightweight, comprising of a sun sail and a weather deflector. It all weighs just 18.3kg, and is 16.5kg lighter than the regular Boxster roof. Users can also pop up a ‘bimini top’ style setup as well, which protects passengers from crazy sunlight during hot days but also provides an open and free experience when the windows are down.
Okay, enough about the roof. What about the engine? Nestled behind the cabin in a mid-engine layout, as per all 718 models, is a 4.0-litre flat-six engine that generates 368kW of power and 450Nm of torque. This is taken from the latest 992 911 GT3.
This is then connected to a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch auto with rear-wheel drive, via Porsche Torque Vectoring and a mechanical-locking differential. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is clocked in just 3.4 seconds and 0-200km/h in 10.9 seconds. Yep, it is intense.
As you may have noticed the new Spyder RS is wrapped in an aerodynamically advanced body, incorporating the front end of the GT4 RS, pretty much, with side blades, and a lip spoiler that is slightly shorter than the one on the GT4 RS. There’s also a large tear-off ducktail lip at the back. Porsche explains that the Cayman GT4 RS produces more overall downforce and needs its massive rear wing for balance.
This has been set up to be balanced as well, with all parts coordinated with the main focus on maximum driving stability at high speeds. In the bonnet is a pair of NACA ducts which feed airflow to cool the brakes, with outlets carved into the top of the front guards.
To enhance the handling the 718 Spyder RS comes standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management, also known as PASM. It’s lowered by 30mm and offers adjustable parameters. Owners can change the ride height, camber, track and anti-roll bar settings. Porsche also says the spring and damper rates are reduced over the GT4 RS to offer a more relaxed, ‘convertible’ style of setting. Andreas Preuninger, director of Porsche’s GT cars, said:
“The 718 Spyder RS raises driving pleasure to a new level for open-top vehicles. The combination of our unmistakable GT3 engine, the close-ratio transmission, compact dimensions, low weight, road-optimised racing suspension and maximum openness offers an extremely compelling and unfiltered driving experience.”
On top of all that, if it isn’t already a perfect driver’s recipe, Porsche will be offering an optional Weissach Package that comes with a matching chronograph watch. The package includes forged magnesium wheels, titanium sports exhaust, and anti-glare Race-Tex trim for the upper dash.
Speaking of the cabin, it is showcased in Arctic Grey and Carmine Red upholstery, with leather for the bucket seats and Race-Tex inner sections for breathability and grip, and the steering wheel is also covered in the soft fabric, matching the door arm rests and centre console. This is all part of the standard package.
In Australia, Porsche says local customers receive LED headlights with the Porsche Dynamic Light System, cruise control, PartAssist for the back with a camera, and a multimedia system with digital radio and a Bose surround sound speaker package, all as standard.
Interested buyers better get in quick as this baby is likely to sell out fast. Prices start from AU$336,800 (before on-roads), and deliveries are set to begin during Q2 of 2024. The order books in Australia open today.