Porsche 718 Spyder review


What is?

It is a delicious nod to the past. The Spyder badge is famous in Porsche history, having been placed on some truly evocative road and race cars dating back to the 1950s, while the engine dates from a little more recently. A time when the Porsche Boxster arrived with beautiful, rich and sonorous six cylinders and not with four cylinders without soul.

Interestingly, it’s not a Boxster. While following in the footsteps of two generations of the Boxster Spyder, this has been dubbed the 718 Spyder. It’s a decision that lacks logic: the 718 badge returned to Porsche’s lineup in an attempt to add some excitement to the four-cylinder switch, so it’s curious to do the same thing on a flat-six car. But let’s just say it’s a marketing plan that our little brains will never understand and keep digesting the car’s specs.

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Because what specification. The Spyders gradually increased in aggressiveness with each passing model. The first, launched in 2010, had a roof so delicate and flimsy that it was impossible to drive the car at high speeds with the fabric on. The second was introduced in 2015 alongside the first Cayman GT4 and, although they shared an engine, the Spyder was detuned by 10bhp and the suspension setup came from the softer, less track-focused Boxster GTS. However, a more substantial (albeit still difficult to use) roof could at least keep his top speed this time around.

And now we come to 2019, the rebadged 718 Spyder and a car that’s essentially a more voluptuous convertible version of the 718 Cayman GT4 (yes, they kept the Cayman bit in their name). So its 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine produces the same 414bhp, the suspension is just as stiff and set up identically to its coupe sibling, and there’s even a rear diffuser that generates real, appropriate downforce. The first Boxster to offer this.

While, on paper, it may look like the engine was parachuted in from the Porsche 911 GT3 and Speedster, it’s actually a modified version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo from the last “regular” 911. Turbos were canned, their capacity was pierced and there was even cylinder deactivation. It works solely through a six-speed manual gearbox.

This is a different kind of engine for a special Porsche Motorsport; Anyone who’s experienced the gleefully jerky slow-speed gestures of something like a 911 R will want to hop into an S-Class here. It’s smooth, polished, and absolutely professional. Its redline is at 8,000 rpm.

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It’s fast: 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 187mph, but it’s not really faster than regular Boxsters thanks to the Spyder’s heavier 1,495kg. This is despite its much simpler roof mechanism.

It’s electric for the first few seconds of its operation, but once the massive rear panel collapses, you have to walk around the rear of the Spyder, lift it up, then manipulate the fabric roof up and down before reattaching. panel in place. . It sounds complicated, but it’s reasonably simple, though of course everything has to be done at a full stop. If you do run into a light storm, you might be inclined to just turn up the heat and turn down a bit more in the cabin.

Our choice of the range.

Porsche 718 Spyder three-quarter front white
4.0 2 doors

What’s the verdict?

Beautiful above, focused below. It’s not as unique as it once was, but it’s still a glorious item.

The 718 Spyder is a curiously difficult car to rate. On the one hand, it’s one of the most specific roadsters for sale, a special clue hidden under a fancy coat, and a car so rare that its £73,000 seems like a bargain. But on the other hand, the Spyder has lost some of its character; The fun-loving, outgoing brother of the Cayman GT4 has suddenly become just as studious.

It’s objectively brilliant, in other words, but subjectively a bit harder to pin down. If you don’t have much experience with Porsche Motorsport models you won’t know that the little transmission flourishes, whereas if you have a range of GT3s or GT4s in your ownership history you might appreciate being able to buy something. just as tough but with a nicer shape on top of its chassis.

We hadn’t seen a flat-six mid-engined Porsche roadster in a while before it arrived, and while the new 718 GTS 4.0 looks good, it doesn’t feel as special as this Spyder. Buy one and in the end there is little chance that you will regret it.

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Source : topgear.com

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