September 23, 2023


Only Auto

The 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS Sends The Platform Out With A Scream

6 min read

It’s been per week now since I drove the 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS within the rolling hills of the Swabian Alps in Germany. Usually I don’t get this a lot time to replicate on a day of driving a brand new automobile earlier than writing about it, however I’m glad that on this case, I did. See, the 718 Spyder RS is a comparatively easy automobile, nevertheless it generates some advanced emotions in me, not the least of which is remorse as a result of this would be the final mid-engine inner combustion automobile to return from Zuffenhausen. With that weight on its shoulders, the Spyder RS must make an announcement. However does it succeed?

To start out, the simplest strategy to describe the 718 Spyder RS is because the roofless sibling of the Cayman GT4 RS. They share a drivetrain – the 911 GT3’s 4.0-liter 9,000-rpm 500-hp flat-six and that automobile’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, completely – they usually share some physique panels, too, plus an inside (minus the roof, obvs). The place they differ is of their meant goal and the tuning that Porsche GT czar Andy Preuninger has given them to attain that goal.

The rear spoiler of a 2023 Porsche 718 Spyder RS in Rubystone Neo

Picture: Porsche

The place the Cayman GT4 RS is a hardcore track-rat’s dream, with unflinching suspension and an enormous adjustable wing out again, the 718 Spyder RS is supposed as a automobile for the highway and for driving engagement. It’s a softer, extra comfy automobile (although given the standard of German roads, it’s laborious to say by how a lot that’s noticeable) with much less aero due to a shorter entrance lip and the change to a ducktail spoiler with Gurney flap (or wicker invoice in the event you’re a Corvette engineer studying this).

For those who’re considering that it’s bizarre {that a} Porsche product with an enormous fats RS on the finish of its mannequin title being arrange for quick, enjoyable highway driving is bizarre, you’re not improper. When in comparison with one thing like the completely bananas 911 GT3 RS, it nearly doesn’t make since that Porsche didn’t name it one thing else. Nonetheless, I’ll verify to you now that this automobile continues to be razor sharp and impossibly fast down a curvy highway – doubtless faster and sharper than you might be as a driver, if we’re being sincere. Fortunately, it’s nonetheless a reasonably forgiving automobile, and Porsche’s digital security methods are among the many finest within the enterprise, so that you’re not prone to want your brown pants in the event you take the automobile out for an actual rip.

A 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS with Weissach Package drives towards you on a curving country road.

Picture: Porsche

The suspension setup is mechanically nearly an identical to what you’d discover on the GT4 RS, simply with considerably lowered spring charges. It’s nonetheless heim-jointed and ultra-adjustable, and when you’d usually really feel and listen to all of the vibrations, clunks, creaks and rattles {that a} hard-mounted suspension brings with it, on this automobile, you don’t, and that brings me to the subsequent smartest thing concerning the Spyder RS: the intakes.

For those who’ve learn something concerning the GT4 RS, you then’ve doubtless heard folks wax on concerning the automobile’s epic, all-consuming consumption noise. With that air-hungry GT3 motor spinning at 9,000 rpm, these facet window-mounted air scoops make for one hell of a racket, and within the Spyder, that racket is even wilder as a result of the intakes are open and mounted just about proper by your head.

The carbon fiber open air intake behind the driver's head on a 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS

Picture: Porsche

Throughout the press drive, my co-driver used a cellphone app to measure the quantity of that consumption honk below full throttle. He noticed a excessive of 106 dB. After all, a cellphone app isn’t that correct, however even when it’s off by 5 decibels, that’s nonetheless loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage after 30 minutes. That is the primary time I’ve wished a pair of earplugs in a inventory highway automobile and whereas that’s undoubtedly gnarly, it’s additionally fairly fucking rock-and-roll in the event you ask me.

Every part else concerning the automobile and the way it drives is kind of incredible, however that shouldn’t come as a shock. The 718 platform is now fairly previous and very well-sorted. The drivetrain is a identified amount and among the best ever created, although I do lament the dearth of a guide transmission choice. The explanation it doesn’t have one is two-fold. First, the six-speed from the 911 wouldn’t match (the axles are within the improper place) and redeveloping it to work with a mid-engine platform simply wasn’t cost-effective. Secondly, Porsche maintains that RS fashions ought to be dual-clutch solely because it’s sooner.

The center console and shift lever of the 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS

Picture: Porsche

The 718 Spyder’s different trick is its comparatively gentle (no less than by at this time’s requirements) curb weight of three,109 lbs (in European trim). That makes the automobile a whopping 88 kilos lighter than the PDK Boxster Spyder and 11 kilos lighter even than the Cayman GT4 RS. That delta will increase in the event you buck up for the Weissach package deal which provides a bunch of carbon fiber bits and a titanium exhaust and you’ll spend much more ($15,650, to be particular) on magnesium wheels, which drop a complete of twenty-two lbs of unsprung and rotating mass.

The opposite large change from the 718 Boxster and Boxster Spyder is the transfer to a totally guide roof. The one energy element is you popping the rear clamshell to entry the roof and most of its fixings. As guide roofs go, this one feels a bit bit too DIY, nevertheless it’s not unmanageable, it presents two extra methods to expertise the automobile and it seems dope when its up. It’s a single layer of material, and the laborious components are principally carbon fiber, so it’s depraved gentle. How gentle? Strive 40 kilos, all in, and you’ll simply depart most of that 40 lbs at house in the event you’re satisfied it gained’t rain. Bonus!

Right here’s a cellphone video of me making an attempt to place it up after having accomplished it for follow just a few instances. I apologize for the wind noise and for being a spaz, nevertheless it was actually windy.

Placing on the 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS’ guide high

The halfway place with the principle a part of the highest up, however no wind deflector/rear window could be my favourite strategy to drive the automobile. It acts like a solar sail and presents up loads of climate safety however doesn’t curb any of that giggle-inducing and ear-splitting consumption sound. One main annoyance with the highest is that if it’s put in, you’ll be able to not open the rear clamshell. It’s a must to unbuckle the 2 rear tensioning flaps (manually, on both sides of the automobile) earlier than you’ll be able to entry the rear trunk. Is it a dealbreaker? No. Does it form of suck? Yeah, however that’s why you’ve gotten an enormous entrance trunk to make use of, proper?

So, we’ve thus far established that the 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS is a depraved quick and tremendous agile mid-engine sports activities automobile that’s means much less handy to have and use than a daily ol’ 718 Boxster. We’ve established too that this isn’t the automobile for you in the event you’re making an attempt to exit and chase lap instances. Lastly, we’ve established that this automobile will most likely spoil your listening to completely however that it’s price it. With all that, does the 718 Spyder RS make a large enough assertion to justify its lofty $162,350 beginning worth (together with a $1,650 vacation spot cost)?

The black interior of the Porsche 718 Spyder RS with the top down.

Picture: Porsche

Hell sure, it does. It feels just like the GT division’s love letter to the outgoing mid-engine chassis, and it additionally appears like Andy and his crew letting unfastened a bit bit and making the form of automobile that they’d need to drive slightly than one which’s out to set Nurburgring lap instances. It’s particular, and for thus many causes, it’s a simple automobile to like. I can’t wait to spend extra time in it on my house roads, the place my spouse and I can share a pair of earplugs (left for me, proper for her) and let that lovely flat-six yowl its guts out.

The 2024 718 Spyder RS is about to hit the US market in early 2024, however the always-absurdly-granular Porsche configurator is stay now, so present me your perfect spec. Right here’s how I’d have mine:

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