The Porsche Spyder RS Is A Powerful Mid-Engine Speed Machine

Porsche just took the 718 Spyder and turned everything up to 11. The German sports car maker just unveiled the Porsche Spyder RS, which is the most powerful Boxster in the model’s 27-year history. The mid-engine speed machine is the open-top counterpart to the Cayman GT4 RS that enthusiasts have been dreaming of.

Porsche took the Boxster to another level by finally equipping it with one of its most highly regarded mills, the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six from the 911 GT3. The engine, which is mated to the same seven-speed automatic transmission found in every other RS model, produces a hair-raising 493 horses (79 hp more than the standard Spyder) and 331 ft lbs of torque. It also redlines at 9,000 rpm. Thanks to all that might, the sporty drop-top can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 191 mph. The results are so striking that it’s easy to wonder why it took Porsche so long to put the high-revving mill in one of its convertibles.

The new engine required some modifications to the Spyder’s chassis. The convertible comes with the Porsche Active Suspension Management system which can be used to adjust ride height, camber, track and anti-roll bar. It also features ball-jointed suspension mountings and a limited-slip differential at the rear. Softer spring and damper rates than on the Cayman GT4 RS allow for a comparatively “relaxed” ride, too.

The exterior has also been tweaked ever so slightly. The Porsche Spyder RS shares a lot of aero elements with the Cayman GT4 RS, including an almost-identical front fascia, two NACA ducts in the hood and a large rear diffuser. The convertible doesn’t have the coupé’s prominent rear wing, for obvious reasons, but it does have an enlarged ducktail spoiler.

Porsche likes its RS models to be as light as possible, so the convertible comes with a manually operated single-layer soft-top. The bare-bones setup weighs just 40 pounds, which means the high-performance variant is 16 pounds lighter than the standard Spyder with an automatic transmission and only nine pounds heavier than the standard with a manual. The car also rides on a set of 20-inch forged alloy wheels, If you want to shed even more pounds, there’s the Weissach Package, which includes more carbon-fibre aero elements, a titanium sports exhaust and a matching Porsche Design chronograph.

Pretty enticing, right? Fortunately, convertible lovers won’t have to wait too long to get their hands on the Porsche Spyder RS. The car is expected to hit dealer lots next spring.


Previously published on Robb Report.

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