With its gorgeous design and blistering performance the Porsche 718 Spyder has it all. This two-door, open-top is powered by a six-cylinder, 4.0-litre petrol engine and the handling is guaranteed to make you smile from ear to ear.
The goodStyling, performance and fun factor
The badVisibility is quite poor with the roof raised
Porsche 718 Spyder (2021)
There’s no denying the fact that we Brits simply love our open-top driving and Porsche offers one of the best motoring experiences possible with its 718 Spyder.
The two-door, two-seater looks amazing from any angle top up or down and the driving dynamics perfectly match the styling with a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.4 seconds and top speed of 187mph.
Powering the machine is a 4.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine delivering 420hp of power and 420Nm of torque and our test car was mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed PDK automatic transmission has just become available as an alternative.
Admittedly the 718 Spyder is not cheap, but few things of such beauty ever are. Our test car was priced at £73,405 although a number of optional extras (which is generally the premium car manufacturers way of doing things) saw the final cost creep up to £92,122.
With its straight-six, mid-mounted engine, the car has a low centre of gravity and is beautifully balanced out on the fast country lanes. The road holding is super grippy and there is no sign of any body sway as you power through the bends.
The steering is precise and perfectly weighted with ample driver feedback, and although the sports car does not have any drive modes as such, you can alter the stability and traction control settings and there is also the Auto Blip function – activate that and the 718 Spyder will automatically rev-match on the way down through the gears.
Included as standard is the Porsche Stability Management, an automatic system that maintains the stability at the absolute limits of the car’s driving performance.
On motorways, the car reaches 70mph in the blink of an eye so it’s worth keeping a watch on the speedo and you can feel a little vulnerable alongside juggernauts. The car is also nice and agile in busier town centres, but the tiny rear window and poor over-the-shoulder visibility (with the roof raised) make the all-round view a bit of an issue. Reversing sensors are standard but it would be worth adding the Park Assist with a reversing camera which was an £825 option on our test car.
And when the sun puts in a rare appearance the lightweight fabric roof can be lowered for the ultimate wind-in-the-hair driving experience. This process is not the easiest especially as these days so many cars feature push-button controls to raise or lower the roof. It’s also worth remembering to ensure the wind deflector is activated and the windows closed for added comfort.
The running costs are quite steep with a combined 25.4mpg and carbon emissions of 242g/km. And the insurance rating is set in the highest group which is 50.
But the 718 Spyder is a great looking vehicle guaranteed to stop onlookers in their tracks. Eye-catching design cues include a new honeycomb structured grille, 20-inch alloys with sports tyres, twin exhaust pipes and the PORSCHE name written across the rear apron. There is a distinctive front spoiler lip, sweeping light clusters with integrated LED daytime running lights, an auto-deploying 718 Spyder specific rear wing, large air intakes, plus lots of Porsche badging.
The interior is equally impressive with a sports theme throughout. There is a nice mix of black Alcantara and leather upholstery, full bucket seats (a £3,788 option) and Bordeaux Red seat belts costing a further £194.
The dashboard trim and centre console strips are colour-matched to the car’s exterior and even the door sills have the ‘Spyder’ name across them – just in case you forget! There are loops to open the doors from the inside which is another neat design touch.
On-board technology is top-notch with the likes of a high resolution 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity (there is no Android Auto) and a Burmester surround sound music system costing an additional £2,769. The vital data such as the speed and selected gear are displayed in a smart colour instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.
Obviously, being a two-seater the storage options are quite limited but Porsche has been clever with the available space. There is a luggage compartment at the rear of the car with a 120-litre capacity and one at the front that can accommodate 150 litres of lit. In addition, there are door pockets, centre console storage and even cup holders that pop out from the dashboard.
Safety features are good and our car also boasted Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (a £5,597 option) that maximises braking performance with shorter stopping distances even in poorer driving conditions.
All in all, in a world where we are being pushed towards clean, green motoring sometimes it’s just nice to explore the open road in an open top and forget about everything else.