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SUMMER STUNNER

Written by Andre James / Photos courtesy of Piaggio Group

Thirty years after the presentation of the Boxster concept car, Porsche will launch the most powerful version yet of the popular mid-engine roadster: the new Porsche 718 Spyder RS, which will celebrate its public premiere on June 8 as part of a livestream event in Stuttgart-Zuffenhau marking 75 years of Porsche sports cars (youtube.com/@porsche). The following month, it will appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England (goodwood.com). "With an engine taken directly from racing, the 718 Spyder RS offers a driving experience like no other," says Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. "Slicing around a tight corner with the top off and the engine soaring to 9,000 rpm is an experience you will never forget." The new 718 Spyder RS is a counterpart to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The same lightweight powertrain with high-revving engine characteristics also powers the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing car. The four-liter six-cylinder boxer engine generates up to 493 hp and 331 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined with a short-ratio seven-speed PDK transmission, the engine catapults the two- seater roadster from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Compared to the previous 414 hp 718 Spyder without the 'RS' designation, the 718 Spyder RS boasts an additional 79 hp and accelerates to 60 mph 0.5 seconds quicker toward a top track speed of 191 mph. In addition, paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel even when shifting gears manually.

Weighing slightly more than 40 pounds, the exceptionally light soft top of the 718 Spyder RS makes the engine's iconic and instantly recognizable sound an even more stirring experience. A standard lightweight stainless steel sport exhaust system and distinctive combustion air inlets on the sides behind the headrests further heighten the effect. Consisting of two parts—a sunshield and a weather protector— the single-layer soft top can be used with the sunshield alone. Both are entirely removable and stowable in the vehicle. Sporty character defines the inside of the car, too, with a Race-Tex-covered GT Sport steering wheel with yellow 12-o'clock marking, standard full bucket seats made of lightweight CFRP in a carbon-weave finish, and perforated Race-Tex seat centers in a contrasting color with a black background. Available exterior colors include four standard and three metallic paints, including the new Vanadium Grey Metallic and the special colors Arctic Grey, Shark Blue, and Ruby Star Neo.

An optional Weissach Package is defined by forged magnesium wheels, titanium sport exhaust tailpipes, an exposed carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber combustion air scoops on the sides, and a carbon fiber Gurney flap on the rear spoiler. Inside the cabin, the upper part of the dashboard is covered with Race-Tex, while the seat headrests boast embroidered "Weissach" logo. Owners of the Porsche 718 Spyder RS have exclusive access to a handcrafted chronograph by Porsche Design, and made by the Porsche watchmaking operation in Solothurn, Switzerland. Designed to match the configuration of the car, the case is made of titanium, the dial is made of carbon fiber and the strap is made of vehicle leather. The rotor on the back reflects the respective wheel design on the 718 Spyder RS. The new 2024 Porsche 718 Spyder RS carries an MSRP of $160,700, excluding $1,650 for delivery, processing, and handling. Arrival at U.S. dealers is expected in spring 2024. sl

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