The Porsche 718 Spyder was first introduced in 2016 and is still in production today. It is the top-of-the-line 718 Boxster “trim”. The Spyder’s first generation was created for the 987 Boxster, the second generation was created for the 981 Boxster, and now we are on the third generation Spyder in the 718. However, the 718 Spyder is far different and far better than any other Boxster or Spyder, but we’ll go more into that later in the article.
Porsche 718 Spyder Specs
In this section, we’ll cover the engine, interior, and exterior specs. First, let’s start with the high-level view of the engine specs.
|Bore x Stroke||102mm x 81.5mm|
|Horsepower – Auto||414hp|
|Torque (lb-ft) – Auto||317 lb-ft|
|Torque (lb-ft) – Manual||309 lb-ft|
|Interior & Exterior Specs|
|Curb Weight (lb)||3,300 lbs|
The 718 Spyder is not a very big sports car, so don’t expect to fit a family of 4 in it. However, we would assume anyone looking to buy a Spyder, it would be a weekend car. Let’s jump into the best part of the Spyder, performance.
Porsche 718 Spyder Performance
The 718 Spyder was the first Spyder to be a Porsche GT Divison vehicle. What does this mean? Well, aside from the convertible roof, it shares the suspension, gearbox, brakes, and the 4.0L NA engine with the Porsche GT4. Which for a vehicle that only weighs 3,300 lbs is insane. Now, let’s lay out some performance data for the 4.0L NA engine.
Automatic Porsche 718 Spyder: 3.7 seconds 0-60mph / 12.0s @ 119mph 1/4 mile
Manual Porsche 718 Spyder: 4.2 seconds 0-60mph / 12.4s @ 119mph 1/4 mile
Now 0-60 and 1/4 times aren’t the only things that matter. So, the 4.0L NA engine puts out 414hp @ 7600rpms and 309 lb-ft of torque @ 5000rpms. These numbers are very impressive for a vehicle that weighs 3,300lbs.
718 Spyder Engine Mods & Upgrades
So now that we’ve looked into the out-of-the-box performance, let’s dive into the potential the 4.0L NA engine has. To preface, there is going to be less potential overall since it is naturally aspirated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t push 500hp on this motor.
In all honesty, the best engine upgrade money can buy for the Spyder, is a Deman’s MotorSport 4.5L GT4 engine package. It pushes 565hp, 501whp, and it’s everything you’ll want and need for your 718 Spyder. They have numerous satisfied 718 customers that rave about the revived performance from Deman’s engine.
However, for those that don’t want to spend all that money at once, here’s a simple list of mods that can be done:
- ECU Tuning
- Exhaust Upgrade
- Upgraded Intake Manifold & Filters
Getting the 4 mods listed above certainly won’t be cheap, but if you own a 718 Spyder, there’s a high likelihood it isn’t too pricey! And, it is cheaper going this route than Deman’s Motorsports 4.5-liter engine.
ECU Tuning is by far the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to modding a vehicle. Now given the Spyder has a naturally aspirated engine, it won’t do AS much as a forced induction engine, but it can still make a significant impact. Benefits that can be seen from ECU tuning are as follows:
- Fuel efficiency
- Overall engine performance
- Driver experience
- Throttle response
As expected, there are many aftermarket vendors to choose from when it comes to picking the right tune, but our favorites are M-Engineering & Cobb Tuning. M-Engineering has Stage 1 & Stage 2 capabilities with the max whp gain being 32 and the max tq gains being 30. While Cobb only offers Stage 1 with a max hp gain of 36 and the max torque gains being 27.
When we say exhaust upgrade, we are referring to aftermarket headers and a sports exhaust. With just an upgraded sports exhaust, power gains can be expected to be low (+5-10hp). However, with upgraded headers and an upgraded sport exhaust, you’ll see power gains up to 30whp when properly tuned.
Again, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to exhaust upgrades for the 718 Spyder, but our favorites come out of Soul Performance and Fabspeed.
Upgraded Intake Manifold & Filters
It is quite astonishing what power gains can be seen from an upgraded intake manifold and performance filter. Apart from power gains, they can also hold peak power almost to the 718 Spyder’s redline, which is a sweet added bonus given the dropoff seen on stock Spyder’s.
Okay, let’s get into the power numbers. For an upgraded Clubsport intake manifold, you can see power gains of up to 30-45hp, depending on what tune and fuel is being run.
Common 718 Spyder Problems
Given that the 718 Spyder was introduced in 2016, these cars are still relatively new, so there isn’t too much data to go off of. However, after personal experience and sifting through many forums, these are the common problems that have been seen, so far:
- Connecting Rod Issues
- Loose Suspension Components
- Oil Leaks
- Manual Roof Problems
In 2021, Porsche issued a stop sale to 190 units of the Cayman, Boxster, and Spyder. This stop sale was to address the connecting rod possibly cracking. This called for a complete engine replacement, but again, it wasn’t that many units and they should have all been addressed.
In early 2021, Porsche issued a recall for loose suspension components that could lead to a loss of control. This wouldn’t have affected too many 718 Spyder’s, but affected 400 total units ranging from many Porsche models. This recall should have been addressed in mid-2021, so SHOULD no longer be an issue. And like we said above, there are very few Spyder’s that were affected.
The main oil leak culprit is the oil filter housing. This problem could very well just be an improperly torqued oil filter housing. Therefore, everything we’ve seen, the correct torque specs are 20 ft lbs or 26nm.
Lastly, not an engine issue, but many 718 Spyder customers have complained about the mechanics of the manual convertible roof. Many have claimed that the tensioners snap after not a lot of use or the roof doesn’t latch at all. Luckily, the problems listed above aren’t too major and the 718 Spyder is relatively problem-free.
Is the Porsche 718 Spyder Reliable?
We’ll wrap this post up by asking “So, is the 718 Spyder reliable?”. Short answer, very much so. As expected, when purchasing a high-performance vehicle in general, you can expect great reliability. So, if your purchasing decision is decided upon reliability, go for it.