Friday, October 15, 2021
ADVT 
Auto

2021 Porsche 718 SPYDER

BY Benjamin Yong, 27 Jul, 2021
  • 2021 Porsche 718 SPYDER

This Porsche convertible is the quintessential high performance topless sports car


There’s no better telltale sign of summer than the proliferation of convertibles back on the road across the GVRD. One which really stands out in the crowd right now is the 2021 Porsche 718 Porsche Spyder thanks to its showcase of the manufacturer’s latest design language that includes a touch of throwback aesthetic, and of course top notch performance.


Slotting in at the top of the 718 lineup, next to the hardtop equivalent Cayman GT4, the track-ready Spyder is unmistakable featuring gaping black intakes in the front bumper and fenders, lower lip spoiler and massive 20-inch silver alloy wheels.


Rearward, the tinted LED taillights look menacing and the massive diffuser enveloping twin tailpipes isn’t just pretty, but together with the adjustable wing keeps everything planted to the ground during high speed driving. And of course, there’s also the so-called dual “streamliners,” or the raised humps on the deck lid connected to the rollover hoops, providing an aesthetic nod to the original sports car by the same name from the 1960s.


To save weight, Porsche replaced the electric soft top seen on its sibling the 718 Boxster with a manual version. Operating the unit requires getting out of the vehicle — as well as the opening and closing of various flaps and pushing/pulling the whole thing into/out of the storage compartment — so checking the weather report prior to heading out sans roof may be a prudent choice. One plus though is it doesn’t affect the adjacent cargo area in any way.


The interior of the Spyder can be customized with various materials for the seating and dash surfaces, such as the extended Alcantara found in our media loaner — everything from the steering wheel to armrest was swathed in the buttery soft fabric. Staying true to the theme of lightness, even the door handles have been deleted, pull straps installed instead in their place.


As Porsche has stated previously there are plans to electrify 80 per cent of the company fleet by 2030, so powertrains like this 4.0-litre engine may not be around for long. While there are obvious benefits to EVs, there’s simply something about the rumble of the “flat” six-cylinders firing away behind your head that stirs the soul.


Boasting 414 horsepower on-tap and an 8,000 rpm redline, jabbing the throttle results in loud, untamed acceleration and a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.2 seconds. Be mindful of the rear-wheel drive layout, though, because despite all the on-board traction control systems, the back tires can still get squirrely when powering out of a turn on wet Lower Mainland roads.


I had forgotten how good the brand’s manual transmissions are and luckily a six-speed gearbox is standard equipment, as tactile and fun to shift as ever. Throws are short and crisp and pressing the “Auto Blip” button on the centre console lets the computer do the double-clutched, rev-matched gear changes for you ensuring a perfectly smooth transition.


The 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder is built at the Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart, Germany and retails for $112,900.


HIGHLIGHTS

MSRP: $112,900

Motor: 4.0-litre six-cylinder

Horsepower: 414 @ 7,600 rpm

Torque (lb-ft): 309 @ 5,000 rpm

Gearbox: Six-speed manual transmission

Layout: Mid engine, rear-wheel drive

Fuel economy: 13.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

 

Photos: PORSCHE PRESS ROOM

MORE Auto ARTICLES

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé

Darpan tested one out over the course of a week to see what the fuss is about.

2020 Cadillac CT5-V

2020 Cadillac CT5-V

Think modern day Cadillacs are still the same cars your grandfather drove around in? The 2020 CT5-V would like a word.

2021 Mazda3 TURBO

2021 Mazda3 TURBO

We want the driver to always have this subconscious sense of confidence or connection while driving the car because it has the potential to let you go very, fast with very little effort,” said Mazda R&D powertrain manager Jay Chen during a virtual product presentation.

2021 Mercedes-Benz: GLA 250 4MATIC

2021 Mercedes-Benz: GLA 250 4MATIC

“The launch of the new GLA marks the culmination of the complete renewal of our compact car family,” says Britta Seeger, Daimler AG board of management member, in a news release.

2020 BMW M550i: The perfect compromise

2020 BMW M550i: The perfect compromise

During my week evaluating our loaner, I took it both on a long drive down the highway and the electric power steering gave wonderful feedback of the road. 

2020 Buick Encore

2020 Buick Encore

Possessing smooth and powerful contours and an athletic stance, the only thing I really didn’t love about the exterior was the Burnished Bronze Metallic (orange) paint.