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New Porsche 718 Spyder: now a GT4 without the roof

Published: 17 June 2019

► Now a GT4 without the roof
► Naturally-aspirated, six cylinder
► Makes 414bhp

It might not get the same attention as its Cayman counterpart, but the new 718 Spyder may now one be one of the exciting cars in Stuttgart’s GT line up. This time around, the convertible shares a technical base with its hardtop counterpart: it’s to the Cayman GT4 what the 911 Speedster is the to the 911 GT3.

That is a good thing

Before the 718 Spyder wasn’t a Motorsport model, and it had 10bhp less than the GT4 and sat 10mm higher, but now it’s the same bar the lack of the roof. ‘Now it’s an open GT4’ says Andreas Preuninger, the boss of Porsche’s GT range.


The platform sharing means the Spyder gets the same 4.0-litre, six-cylinder powerplant as the GT4 – as well as the same six-speed box, too. You can read about just where engine comes from in our in-depth Cayman GT4 article – it’s not from the old car, nor the new 911 – but the key detail here is the lack of turbo.

That’s right, both the 718 Spyder and the Cayman GT4 are still naturally-aspirated, and they’ll have a GT3-esque have a 8000rpm redline. Power is up to 414bhp, torque is unchanged at 310lb ft, but power is delivered higher up in the rev range – so you‘ll be working a bit harder.

But the best bit? The Spyder matches the hardtop from 0 to 62mph in just 4.4 seconds. The convertible does surrender 1mph of ultimate speed to the Cayman GT4 with a v-max of 187mph – but the wind will be ruining your hair by then anyway, right? Lastly, the Spyder will do 25.7mpg on WLTP.

Handing? 

This is a convertible with the DNA of a GT4, so expect it to handle just as well. The suspension is still borrowed from the GT3 – but the 991.2 now, PASM adaptive dampers are standard, and the ride-height is 30mm lower than a regular Boxster. Because it’s basically a GT4 with no roof, you’re also able to adjust the toe, camber and anti-roll bars.


Other stuff? The exhaust is switchable, and you get rev-matching – although you can take it off... Options include the PCCB ceramic brake system and carbon bucket seats, though Spyder owners are denied the GT4's Club Sport Package with rear cage, fire extinguisher and six-point harnesses for the driver.

Anything else? 

We are not putting a wing on a convertible,’ insists Preuninger. ‘So we had to have a working diffuser, that decision was made at the very beginning, and the exhaust guys got the order to work around it. It caused a lot of headaches, but we needed to free that central space to accelerate the air. It really boosts the Spyder and makes it a very stable high-speed car.’ Further stability comes from the pop-up spoiler that rises at 74mph.

Elsewhere, the vents ahead of the front wheels create an ‘air curtain’ and direct air around the wheels and along the sides of the vehicle, helping draw air out of the wheelarches. The small gurney ahead of the vent near the bonnet also helps creates a low pressure zone, which again helps put the car back into balance with the diffuser and wing.


How much is it?

The new 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder costs £73,405, a handy couple of grand less than the GT4. That’s more than the bargains of £65k and £60k they were before, but not the rumoured £90k prospective owners were worried about. 

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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