The top priority for engineers in the development of the 718 Spyder RS was to deliver maximum driving pleasure on winding roads. The mid-engined roadster uses the same components, with inspiration from the GT racing world, as its closed-roof sister model, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The suspension, however, has been retuned. The final tenth of a second on the track took a back seat, as it were. The priority was on exceptional driveability and maximum steering precision that gives the driver a high level of confidence in the car while providing a high degree of feedback.
The front axle of the 718 Spyder RS is largely identical to that of the 911 GT3 RS (generation 991.2). The classic MacPherson strut-type axle is additionally equipped with helper springs that keep the main springs under tension when they are deflected. The main spring maintains its original tension even under maximum load. This benefits the vehicle’s controllability during particularly dynamic driving.
Thirty millimetres lower, wider track, more camber
Compared to the 718 Boxster, the body has been lowered by 30 millimetres. In addition, the front track is seven millimetres wider and the rear track is eight mm wider than on the 718 Spyder, which reduces the vehicle’s lateral inclination. At the same time, the rear axle camber was increased by a quarter of a degree, which means that the rear tyres transfer greater cornering forces. The result is even better predictability when taking corners at speed.
Ball joints at all connection points of the chassis ensure a particularly tight connection to the body, which results in very precise and direct handling.
Adjustable PASM suspension as standard
Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which is designed for the best possible lap times, the damper rates in the new 718 Spyder RS have been reduced to enable the car to adapt even more effectively to different road conditions. This allows the roadster to provide the driver a confidence-inspiring level of grip on winding country roads in particular, with safe and predictable handling at all times. Yet the suspension of the new 718 Spyder RS is also fundamentally track-ready and can also be set up for use on circuits. The ride height, track, camber and anti-roll bars can be individually adjusted to the driver's preferences and the characteristics of the route.
The Spyder RS is equipped with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and sports tuning as standard. This active damping system unites two chassis characteristics in one. In Normal mode, the dampers operate in a more comfortable state of tune, but they automatically switch to a more athletic mode when the car is being driven dynamically. In Sport mode, on the other hand, firmer damper characteristics are directly activated, supporting an agile driving style. The sports tuning, which can additionally be switched on, results in even more tightly controlled damping and thus even better track performance.
Porsche Torque Vectoring makes for more agile cornering
The heart of the driving assistance systems is the Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which also combines three electronic control systems in the 718 Spyder RS: the anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control (TC). As one would expect from an RS, these control systems intervene very sensitively and only when very close to the limit – drivers should not feel that control has been taken away from them on any surface. Porsche sets up its chassis so that it already combines the best possible performance with safe handling even without the use of electronic control systems. Therefore, if you want to drive without a safety net, you can switch off the systems in two stages (ABS excepted): ESC OFF gives the driver sole responsibility for cornering stability, and the ESC+TC OFF setting additionally overrides traction control as well.
Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) is also available as standard for the Spyder RS as a further driving dynamics system. PTV works with an electronically triggered brake intervention on the rear wheels; in addition to this, the 718 Spyder RS has a mechanical limited-slip differential with RS-specific locking values (traction 30 per cent/overrun 37 per cent). In practice, PTV, which cannot be switched off, works in such a way that, in dynamic driving, the inside rear wheel is braked slightly as soon as the driver turns the steering wheel. This means that additional power is delivered to the rear outside wheel and, in a corner, gives the car a steering impulse in the direction in which the steering wheel is already turned. This extra steering effect leads to an even-more agile and direct driving experience and makes cornering faster and safer at the same time.
Lift system improves day-to-day usability
For the first time in an open-top 718, Porsche is offering an optional front axle lift system for the 718 Spyder RS. At the touch of a button, the ride height is hydraulically raised by approximately 30 mm at the front axle. The ground clearance at the front spoiler lip is therefore increased by around 40 mm, which makes it easier for the driver of the RS to cope with speed bumps, garage entrances or multi-storey car park ramps without touching down. The lift system also reduces the risk of damage caused by kerb edges. The system can be used when the car is stopped or driving at speeds of up to 60 km/h.