Porsche unveils the last and at the same time most powerful ever internal-combustion-engine version of its 718 Boxster, the Spyder RS, ahead of a planned transition to battery-electric power for the fifth generation of the 2-seat roadster due out in 2025.
Set to see North American sales in spring 2024 at an MSRP of $160,700, the new range-topping 718 Boxster model adopts the same high-revving, naturally aspirated 4.0L gasoline 6-cyl. as the 718 Cayman GT4 RS launched in 2021.
Redlined at 9,000 rpm, the mid-mounted, horizontally opposed powerplant delivers 493 hp and 331 lb.-ft. (449 Nm) of torque. This endows the 718 Boxster Spyder RS with 79 hp and 21 lb.-ft. (28 Nm) more than the standard 718 Boxster Spyder.
Drive comes through a standard 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox boasting remote steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles and a mechanical locking rear-wheel differential.
Together with the ramp-up in power, Porsche has worked hard to trim weight from its new performance roadster. The German automaker claims a curb weight of 3,174 lbs. (1,410 kg) for the 718 Boxster Spyder RS – some 88 lbs. (40 kg) less than the standard 718 Spyder with a dual-clutch gearbox and 11 lbs. (5 kg) less than the 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
The result is a claimed 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of just 3.4 seconds, fully one second faster than the standard 718 Boxster Spyder, and top speed of 191mph (308 km/h).
Much of the weight saving can be attributed to its spartan soft-top roof. A new development with a 2-piece design that includes both a so-called “sun sail” and “weather deflector,” it is said to weigh 16 lbs. (7.3 kg) less than the roof used by the standard 718 Spyder at 40.0 lbs. (18 kg).
Stylistically, the new Porsche model leans heavily on the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Both sport a similar-looking front bumper and the same carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic hood. At the rear, the 718 Boxster Spyder RS receives a ducktail spoiler in place of the fixed rear wing of its coupe sibling. The new engine breathes through a pair of prominent air intakes mounted on each side behind the doors. It also receives a lightweight stainless steel sport exhaust with twin tailpipes (pictured, below).
The ball-jointed suspension is lowered by 1.2 ins. (30 mm) over the standard 718 Boxster Spyder and is mated to standard 20-in. forged aluminum wheels. The ride height, camber, track and anti-roll bars can be adjusted individually.
Inside are race-grade plastic-backed bucket seats reinforced with carbon fiber (pictured, below), as well as an RS sport steering wheel and pull straps in place of door handles.
An official unveiling for the 718 Boxster Spyder RS is planned to take place at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, as part of the company’s 75th-year anniversary celebrations in June. The new model is set to appear in July at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.