Bored of hearing? The new Porsche 718 Spyder RS is a 493bhp roofless deaf machine | Top Gear
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Bored of hearing? The new Porsche 718 Spyder RS is a 493bhp roofless deaf machine

Meet the Cayman GT4 RS’s soft-top twin, with a roof inspired by a pleasure yacht. No, really

Published: 09 May 2023

Here’s how geeky Porsche got with the new Spyder RS. In its pursuit of making sure the ultimate Boxster didn’t have any less power than the Cayman GT4 RS, Porsche designed it a whole new roof. 

Confused? Here’s the explainer. See those carbon fibre intakes on the new 718 Spyder RS’s shoulders? That’s where the racecar-derived 4.0-litre flat-six engine breathes in. You’ll remember this 9,000rpm screamer from the GT4 RS, because the eardrum-tingling intake noise is utterly outrageous. 

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In the Cayman, it sucks in air through ducts where the side windows used to be. The Boxster version required these bespoke carbon pods. Fine. But said intakes sit right where the standard Boxster Spyder’s roof mounting points go. So Porsche had to dream up a whole new roof, and since this is the RS version, the roof had to be even lighter than before. If you know a nerdier German sports car story, we want to hear it in the comments below. 

Main carousel photography: Mark Riccioni

Of course, Porsche could’ve just detuned the engine so it didn’t have such a hungry appetite for air. But the engineers insisted the Spyder RS was just as powerful as its hard-top sibling. Thanks to 493bhp and the same standard-fit seven-speed PDK gearbox, it’s brisk. Porsche is claiming 0-62mph in 3.4sec and 190mph flat out – without the roof fitted, naturally. That’s nigh-on supercar pace… from a Boxster.

Like the GT4 RS, there’s no option of a manual gearbox. But unlike the extremely hardcore hard-top, the Spyder is less focused on circuit performance. Porsche says it’s softened off the infamously rigid, 30mm lower suspension for this al fresco version. 

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There’s less downforce too: the front is all very ultimate Cayman, but the splitter is shorter to balance out less downforce from the rear ducktail. Wait, should that be swan-tail? Just look at the size of it…

Spot the little carbon aero lip on said tail? That means you’re looking at a Spyder RS with the optional Weissach Pack, which as per usual charges a heap of money in return for lighter parts like a titanium exhaust and ceramic brakes Magnesium wheel costs extra, though. Ouch. The standard car weighs in at 1,410kg, which is an impressive 40kg less than the Boxster Spyder.

Part of that saving comes from the roof, which is 7.6kg lighter than a standard Spyder and 16.5kg less than a regular Boxster’s electric roof. And you can extend the diet further by leaving the separate ‘weather deflector’ rear window at home and just going out with the ‘bimini top’ fitted – an idea inspired by the sunshades on pleasure cruisers you might see in Monaco or Marbella. But you might look like a bit of a prat in Maidenhead.

Production isn’t numbered, but Porsche says what will limit how many Spyder RSs it can build is the carbon fibre components, like those air intakes – they’re the production bottleneck. Sales kick off this summer, with prices starting at €151,000. And if you’re only just finding this out now, then you’re probably not chummy enough with your local Porsche dealership to be getting hold of one…

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Now, excuse us while we decide which tunnel this thing needs to be driven though first.

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