What is it?
Today, Porsche’s image largely comprises of SUVs, high-performance sports cars and now electric cars too. But at the core of their identity and history is the lightweight and fun to drive sports car. This concept began with the 356 in its early days to the Boxster and Cayman in the noughties and now the 718 range since 2016. The car has been on sale in India since 2017 and we recently had a chance to get up close to the latest generation 718 Spyder.
Even one glance at the 718 Spyder and you can see Porsche’s unique 7.5-decade old heritage in the design. It’s a mixed signature Porsche but with their latest design language and elements.
This is most evident in the shape of the headlamps which are full-LED units but retain a very familiar shape central to the Porsche appearance. This more hardcore Spyder variant of the 718 gets black inserts on the front bumper inside which you can see large cooling intakes for additional performance and just for some extra style has the words Spyder embossed in the lip.
In profile, the 718 Spyder has a low-slung purposeful stance and even at standstill looks ready to blast into the horizon. The attention to detail that Porsche has put into sculpting every element of the car to ensure it looks just as good as it goes. A close-up example of this would be the shape of the black elements near the wheels for channelling air towards the engine at the rear.
Wheels have always been an important part of the Porsche design language and this Spyder in the photos is riding on black colour 20-inch units with a multi-spoke design and the Porsche crest emblazoned proudly in the middle. The disc brakes have special red callipers while the rear tyres are significantly larger than the front ones due to the design of the car. The rear wheels also get special air intakes on the side pods for additional cooling to the brakes.
There’s a very visible aggressiveness to the rear design with multiple sculpted lines to ensure a smooth airflow during the driving experience. Of particular notice are the blacked-out tail lamps, the light element that runs under the rear wing and of course the 718 badging sitting in the middle. Moving lower down you can see the air splitter elements as well as the dual chrome exhaust tips. There’s absolutely no doubt the 718 Spyder is a handsome car from the outside and more so with the extra design elements that have been fitted onto this vehicle.
Interior and features
The 718 Spyder while being oriented at performance-focused images is in no way short of the creature comforts expected from a car of this class and price bracket. Step into the cabin and you are greeted by a sea of leather, Alcantara and high-quality plastics.
In this interior layout, the instrument cluster holds the rev counter in the centre while the touchscreen display and dual-zone climate control dials are housed lower down on the stack for better visibility when the roof is down. The doors get pull straps instead of handles in a throwback to lightweight performance-oriented Porsches of the eras gone by while on the passenger side, Porsche has included two cup holders.
The seats of the 718 Spyder have been trimmed out in Alcantara and to make them stand out, Porsche has given them contrast red stitching as well Spyder logos adorning the top of the seatback. The speciality of the Spyder is its lightweight nature which Porsche has in one way achieved by eliminating the roof mechanism. Instead, you get a manual soft top that can be stored above the engine bay. With the roof down you can also see the very prominent air curtain between the seats.
Engine and gearbox
Powering this open-top Porsche is a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated inline-six producing 414bhp and 420Nm. Power is sent to the rear wheels and it’s only available with a six-speed manual to ensure you have that pure driving experience. The 0-100kmph time is 3.9 seconds while the car tops out at 301kmph.
Pricing and competition?
This Porsche 718 Spyder is priced at Rs 1.60 crore and is one of the many cars in the 718 range sold in India. It is a rival for the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG both of which are similarly priced but are actually larger vehicles.
Photography: Jay Shah