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New Porsche 718 Spyder RS ends Boxster’s petrol era with 493bhp

The new Porsche 718 Spyder RS produces 493bhp and sprints from 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds

Porsche has revealed the last hurrah for its petrol-powered Boxster: the new 718 Spyder RS. This final version of the sports car will be revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July as a major part of the brand’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

The Spyder RS features a unique mix of engine, suspension and styling elements, in effect bridging the gap between the existing Spyder and Cayman GT4 RS.

Its engine is the same 4.0-litre flat six as in the GT4 RS. This is the first time Porsche’s full-fat ‘boxer’ engine has found a home in a Boxster, and it will be the last. It produces identical figures to the Cayman: 493bhp and 450Nm of torque. Thanks to the extra grunt and a 40kg saving over the regular Spyder, the RS is 0.5 seconds faster to 62mph, at 3.4 seconds. Its top speed is 190mph. 

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Yet the Spyder RS’s focus is more on character and response than on-paper figures. As with all RS models, the Spyder RS is only available with a dual-clutch transmission, which powers the rear wheels via a torque-vectoring rear differential.

The bespoke suspension set-up has been developed to find a balance between the very track-focused GT4 RS and the more road-biased Spyder. It features ball-jointed suspension, but the springs and active dampers have been slackened slightly to improve compliance over rough roads.

The ultimate set-up can be tweaked to the driver’s preferences, however, because the ride height, camber, track and anti-roll bars are all manually adjustable. Steel brakes come as standard, but Porsche’s PCCB carbon-ceramic option is also offered.

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Many of the Spyder RS’s design elements at the front are borrowed from the GT4 RS, but in order to fit the high-mounted intake system that’s usually funnelled through the cabin in a Cayman, Porsche has fitted a pair of discreet intakes to the rear tonneau, just at the driver’s ear level. The huge rear wing has also been removed in favour of a more steeply angled duck-tail.

The new fully manual roof cuts weight by 7.6kg  compared with the Spyder’s semi-automated system. If the driver wants, they can save a further 8kg by removing the roof mechanism altogether. The fabric features a unique red stripe option, a motif that’s also found on the seatbelts and steering wheel.

Porsche offers the Weissach package too, bringing carbon-fibre elements, such as the front bonnet, side intakes and mirror caps, plus a set of titanium exhaust tips. If buyers want to go further with weight saving, optional magnesium wheels are also available.

Pricing will start from £123,000, and build numbers will not be limited as Porsche expects high demand for the model. Production will continue right up to, and likely beyond, the launch of the all-electric 718 in 2025.

Click here for our list of the best sports cars on sale in the UK...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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