- The 718 Spyder GT4 RS debuts, powered by the 911 GT3's high-revving flat-six.
- Promises an invigorating, tactile experience for what could be the last year of the gas-powered Boxster.
- It's destined to be a future classic.
2024 Porsche 718 Spyder GT4 RS Is a Fire Sale of Awesomeness
The pinnacle of Boxster performance before it goes electric
The 718 Boxster is one of Porsche's most affordable models, but make no mistake — this potent convertible is light on its feet even in its most basic form, and range-topping models rival the 911 when it comes to on-track performance. The new 718 Spyder GT4 RS narrows the gap between Boxster and 911 even further, as it borrows the mighty 911 GT3's high-revving flat-six for maximum attack. If you want a vehicle that's a little more outgoing than the 718 Cayman GT4 RS but no less capable, this is the Spyder for you.
The heart of a GT3
While most Boxsters you'll see on the road are powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder, everything from the GTS 4.0 up utilizes a naturally aspirated six-cylinder. But even among these high-output variants, the Spyder GT4 RS is another beast entirely. It boosts the flat-six's rev limit from 8,000 rpm to a stratospheric 9,000 rpm, along with a power increase to 493 hp. The GT4 RS also bumps torque from the PDK-equipped Spyder's 317 lb-ft to 331 lb-ft. The time attack theme is driven home by the fact that the Spyder GT4 RS is only available with the quick-shifting PDK dual-clutch automatic, which helps deliver a zero-to-60 mph time of just 3.2 seconds — 0.5 second quicker than the Spyder with the same transmission.
This extreme Spyder isn't just about straight-line speed, of course. It borrows liberally from the Cayman GT4 RS parts bin to make this convertible at home on a racetrack as well as a runway. The hood is made out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to shave weight — and contributes to an overall reduction of 59 pounds compared to the Spyder — vertical blades ahead of the front wheels to add downforce, and NACA ducts ahead of the front pillars to help cool the brakes. There's also an aggressively angled ducktail spoiler that replaces the Cayman's trick shelf spoiler and recalls the 911 Sport Classic, as well as vintage 911s.
Also from the Cayman is a standard Porsche Active Suspension Management system with a 30-mm drop and Porsche Torque Vectoring. The automaker says the suspension is tuned to deliver a more "relaxed" ride than the Cayman, but we still wouldn't put our grandmothers in this one.
If, however, you want to take the weight reduction and performance to its satisfying conclusion, you can spec the Weissach package. It includes lightweight forged magnesium wheels, titanium exhaust pipes, and a hood, air scoops and Gurney flap made of unpainted carbon fiber. A spool's worth of mass is added back in the form of "Weissach" embroidery on the seats, but hold the shaved carrot on your lunch salad and things will even out.
The modern Boxster's cabin is replete with high-quality materials and features an intuitive layout and a techy but unfussy design. Though there are quite a few buttons throughout the cabin, we prefer these physical controls to the touchscreen-heavy ethos pervasive in the automotive industry.
The interior of the GT4 RS is differentiated from lesser Boxsters with full bucket seats made of CFRP and upholstered in a combination of leather and Race-Tex synthetic suede in a contrasting color (either red or gray). The GT Sport steering wheel is also wrapped in Race-Tex, which further adorns the dashboard if you opt for the Weissach package.
The Porsche 718 Spyder GT4 RS is the most extreme version of the Boxster to date. Collectors will want to snap up this model and its sonorous, free-revving flat-six quickly, as the 718's upcoming redesign is rumored to be EV-only.