2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS is the Ultimate Boxster

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Porsche drops the manic GT4 RS drivetrain into the open-top Boxster. That’s it, that’s all we need to know.

Want to feel old? The original Porsche Boxster concept debuted 30 years ago. Here in 2023, Porsche is celebrating that milestone with this, the 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS. It might not have the B badge out back, but the Spyder RS represents the ultimate evolution of the Boxster formula.

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Essentially, the Spyder is the open-air equivalent of the sublime 718 Cayman GT4 RS that wowed us last year. Pluck one 493-horsepower, 4.0-liter flat-six engine out of the 911 GT3’s tail and drop it amidship, complete with 9,000-rpm redline intact. Torque is up slightly over the “regular” Spyder, from 317 to 331 pound-feet. Like the GT4 RS, the Spyder is available only with Porsche’s seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. Side-mounted, carbon fiber air intakes give the RS its righteous aural signature, and here in the Spyder, they’re mere inches away from the headrests. There’s also a standard lightweight sports exhaust.

Porsche has brought over much of the Cayman GT4 RS’ exterior tweaks for Spyder duty. The front hood is one such piece, a lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) item with two incorporated NACA ducts for brake cooling. There are also additional side blades on the outer edges of the bumper for extra downforce. Balancing that out is a slightly smaller front lip spoiler; the Spyder forgoes the Cayman’s big wing, instead going for an exaggerated duck-lip, resulting in less overall downforce but a similar aerodynamic balance front-to-back.

SEE ALSO: Chevrolet Corvette vs Porsche 718 Boxster vs Toyota Supra: Sports Car Shootout

Under the skin, the Spyder RS uses a variety of parts from the Cayman GT4 RS and 718 Spyder. The standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) setup is 1.2 inches (30 millimeters) lower, and buyers can tweak the ride height, camber, track, and anti-roll bar. Torque vectoring is also standard, as is an honest-to-goodness mechanical limited-slip differential. The rolling stock consists of 20-inch forged alloy wheels. The press release says Porsche has reduced the spring and damper rates for “a more relaxed, characteristically convertible-style set-up”—but we’re talking comparatively here.

The Spyder employs a different roof setup than the lesser 718 Spyder (which itself is ending production after this year). This one consists of two parts, much like the original Boxster Spyder of 2010. A single-layer sun sail section covers the cabin, and can be used on its own for a Bimini top setup, with open air all around, but a shield from the sun. The weather deflector works to seal the cabin from the elements (with the windows up, of course). The whole roof setup is almost 17 pounds (7.6 kilograms) lighter than the Spyder’s, and over 36 pounds (16.5 kg) lighter than the power-operated setup in any other Boxster. Owners can even ditch the two pieces at home if they want to shave 17.6 lb (8.0 kg) off the Spyder RS’ 3,109-pound (1,410-kilogram) curb weight.

SEE ALSO: 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Review

The cabin is a typical blend of leather and grippy Race-Tex (Porsche-speak for synthetic suede). The dashboard and most of the seats come wrapped in the former; the wheel and seat inserts come in the latter. There are contrasting stitching choices—grey or red—and a bright yellow 12-o’clock marker on the wheel. Of course, there’s also a liberal sprinkling of carbon fiber weave in the Spyder RS: the seats are made out of the stuff, too.

Porsche will offer the 718 Spyder RS with an available Weissach Package. This swaps in even lighter forged magnesium wheels, plus a titanium exhaust system. The dashboard leather disappears, with more Race-Tex taking its place. Porsche will also offer buyers a Porsche Design watch, which draws design inspiration from the two-seat droptop.

The 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS will bow at a special event in Stuttgart next month, celebrating 75 years of the brand. It will be priced from $160,700 in the US and $188,800 in Canada, both before destination or options, when it begins arriving in dealerships next Spring.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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