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Porsche 718 Spyder RS review

10 months ago

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Tim Pitt | Journalist


7 August 2023

The room is full of men in branded Porsche Motorsport fleeces. Andreas Preuninger has just marched past clutching an espresso, striding towards his latest creation, a car with ‘RS’ on its rump. In a normal world, such a day might routinely begin with a flurry of PowerPoint slides about power gains and weight savings, perhaps a briefing about track safety. But this is not normal. Item one on the agenda for the Porsche 718 Spyder RS launch is ‘Folding top training: 30 minutes’. Perhaps I’ll grab a coffee, too.

Duly caffeinated, I head out to disassemble the Porsche’s unique, two-piece roof. Within seconds I’m back at cub scouts, stranded in a field with a crumpled canvas and a tangle of tent pegs, waiting helplessly for a grown-up to arrive. Today he’s called Norbert, an amiable engineer who runs me through a step-by-step process of unpopping poppers, releasing latches and clips, unhooking cables and rolling up the canvas. Then it starts to rain, providing the perfect prompt for us to tackle the entire thing again, in reverse.

This isn’t a typical RS launch, then, and this isn’t a typical RS. In the half century since the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS established the bloodline, Porsche has never built a convertible Rennsport road car. It came closest with the GT3-engined 991 Speedster of 2019, which Preuninger says ‘proved we could have the genes of a GT car in something topless,’ but this ultimate, ‘high-water mark’ Boxster is the first open RS. Sadly, it will also be the last mid-engined Porsche powered by an internal combustion engine. As such, the normal rules didn’t apply.

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