Spidey senses afire

Spidey senses afire

The 718 Spyder RS is 500PS of peak Porsche

Porsche has introduced the 718 Spyder RS, a 500hp variant of its popular Boxster convertible serving as a counterpart of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS.

It's the first time that the naturally-aspirated six-cylinder engine from the 911 GT3 is being offered in an open-top, mid-engined Porsche. The German automaker says the same lightweight and high-revving powerplant is also used in the 911 GT3 Cup racing car, and the 718 Spyder RS is now the most powerful and fastest open-top mid-engined car it has ever made.

Pricing for the 718 Spyder RS starts at €151,215 in Germany but could end up much higher with various personailisation options including the heftily-priced Weissach Package. In Thailand the official importer is AAS Auto Service (Porsche Thailand), and local pricing starts at 16,500,000 baht.

Design

The front end of the 718 Spyder RS is almost identical to the Cayman GT4 RS, featuring a CFRP (carbon fibre-reinforced plastic) bonnet and a wide air outlet above the bumper.

There's a lot of aerodynamics going on, albeit with a front spoiler lip that's slightly shorter than on the Cayman. Unlike the hardtop version, there's no rear wing, which is replaced by a ducktail design. Meanwhile, the two NACA ducts at the front help enhance brake cooling without adversely affecting the Cd value.

The single-layer soft top is manually operated, but is lightweight (18.3kg), removable and can be conveniently stowed in the car. It comprises of a weather deflector and a "sun sail" -- the latter can be used alone as a Bimini top that protects the occupants from intense sunlight, while both parts (and window) are required for rain protection.

The cockpit features an RS sports steering wheel with Race-Tex cover and yellow centre marking, along with lightweight CFRP bucket seats offering high lateral support.

Seat upholstery consists of black leather with perforated Race-Tex seat centre in contrasting colour, and the Spyder RS logo embroidered on the headrests.

Performance

Apart from the open-top experiencing helping to provide an "evocative sound of the engine", the soundtrack is also supported by a lightweight stainless steel sports exhaust system along with air inlets located behind the headrests.

The non-turbo boxer engine has a displacement of 4.0 litres and is capable of revving up to a whopping 9,000rpm, producing 500PS (493hp) at 8,400rpm and 450Nm of torque at 6,750rpm. It's mated to a short-ratio seven-speed PDK transmission, and propels the new Porsche roadster from 0-100kph in 3.4sec before hitting the 200kph mark in 10.9sec.

Compared to the standard 718 Spyder there's up to 80PS more power and it's 0.5sec faster in the 0-100kph sprint. Top speed, meanwhile, has gone up slightly from 300kph to 308kph.

According to Porsche, the 718 Spyder RS, weighing in at 1,410kgs, is 40kg lighter than the 718 Spyder with PDK and 5kg lighter than the Cayman GT4 RS.

Suspension

The chassis shares components from both the Cayman GT4 RS and Spyder and is tuned for winding roads.

Porsche Active Suspension Management is standard with sports tuning and is lowered by 30mm. There's also Porsche Torque Vectoring with mechanical LSD and 20in forged aluminium wheels.

While spring and damper rates have been reduced for a more relaxed ride compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, Porsche says that the chassis is still characterised by sharp steering and neutral handling.

Weissach Package

As mentioned, the final price of the 718 Spyder RS can be much higher than the starting price. The Weissach Package, for example, costs an additional 1,321,000 baht, and special exterior colours such as Vanadium Grey Metallic will set you back another 355,000 baht.

Ceramic brakes will cost you another 874,000 baht and even the Park Assist system with rearview camera that should be standard costs another 129,000 baht. Cruise control costs 36,000 baht, coloured seatbelts cost 31,000 baht, and the list goes on.

The Weissach Package

Exterior

In carbon-weave finish: front lid, exterior mirror upper trims, cooling air intake trim behind the driver and passenger doors, process air intakes behind driver and passenger, housing upper part 3rd brake light, trim for roll-over bar as well as rear spoiler incl. aerodynamic separation edge (Gurney flap). Titanium tailpipe trim in 935 look. "Weissach Package" logo embossed on convertible top.

Interior

Upper part of the dashboard in Race-Tex, badge on cup holder with "Weissach Package" logo, headrests with embroidered "Weissach Package" logo.

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