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2021 Porsche 718 Spyder Review: Expected Prices, Release Date, MPG and Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist July 31, 2020 at 10:30 AM
The Porsche 718 Spyder is a performance model of the Porsche 718 Boxster. It offers all the luxury of the Boxster and the performance of the past. What we mean by the performance of the past is the naturally aspirated flat-six engine. The 2021 model is a carryover of the previous year and not many changes are expected. The MSRP for the model is expected to start at $96,300, the same as the previous year. It will compete against its usual rivals like the Jaguar F Type and the BMW Z4 M.

Porsche has made a good reputation among high-performance sports car lovers. The Spyder badge for those who may not know is a delightful nod to the past. It has been attached to some truly evocative road and race cars dating right back to the Fifties. The Porsche 718 Spyder started as the new high-performance version of the Porsche 718 Boxster, but a step lower than the track-focused Boxster GTS. Now for 2021, the 718 Spyder is back as carryover of the previous year. The MSRP for the 2021 model is expected to start at $96,300.

The 718 Spyder is only in its second year of production and you can expect this car to stay the same for a couple more years. These kinds of vehicles have a high development cost so automakers are not going to update it every year. That being said, you can expect some updates on the tech side of things. This car will face competition from the Jaguar F Type, Mercedes AMG C63 S Cabriolet and the recently updated Z4 M40i 

What's New with the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder? 

  • No changes are expected 

What is under the hood of the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder?

Unlike its brother the Boxster the Spyder comes with naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six instead of the turbocharged flat 4. Like the moniker, the engine is a nod to the flat 6 engine that came on the earlier generation of the Cayman and the Boxster. The 4.0-liter engine produces 414 horsepower at the very top end and a peak torque of 309 in the mid-range. Which makes the car excellent for track use even though it's not a track-focused version. 

The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which sends the power efficiently to the rear wheels. The Spyder is not the most powerful car in the comparison, that title goes to the Mercedes AMG C63 S with 503 horsepower at its disposal. In addition, if you are looking for a car that’s easy to drive on a daily basis, the C63 S and BMW are the best suited for it. This is because the peak torque of these cars is available at a relatively low rpm. If you are a person who loves to drive their cars near its limit, then the Spyder is a better fit for you.

Model 

2021 Porsche 718 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Jaguar F-Type P380 Convertible

2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet

2020 BMW Z4 M40i

MSRP

$96,300

$90,400

$84,900

$63,700

Engine

4.0L Flat-Six 

3.0L Supercharged V6

4.0L Twin-Turbo V8

3.0L Turbocharged Inline 6

Drivetrain

RWD

AWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

6-Speed Manual transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power 

414 hp @ 7600

380hp@ 6250rpm

503 hp @ 5500rpm

382hp @ 5500rpm

Torque 

309 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm

339lb-ft @ 4500rpm

516lb-ft @ 1750rpm

368lb-ft @ 1850rpm

0-60 mph (seconds)

4.2

4.7 

4.1

5.2 

Quarter Mile (seconds) 

12

13.1

12.2

13.3

The Porsche Spyder has an impressive 0-60 and quarter-mile time. It is a bit slow to get off the line, but once it gets to its sweet spot, it just keeps pulling and pulling. It can get from a standstill to sixty in 4.2 seconds, just tenth of a second slower than the most powerful car in this comparison. Furthermore, It can do the quarter-mile in 12 seconds, which is faster than any of its rivals. The Spyder may not be the best suited for the everyday drive, but it is definitely a fun car to drive, much more than its competitors!

How does the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder handle?

This is one area that the Porsche has a better edge over its competitors. The car is equipped with an adaptive GT sports suspension which allows you to feel connected with every bit of your path and master every corner and turn. There are ball joints on both axles that also connect the chassis to the body in a particularly streamlined way, enabling an even more precise wheel control. This car feels and drives like the track-oriented Cayman GT4, even though Porsche markets it as a road car. 

Furthermore, the car is equipped with Dynamic transmission mounts, Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). All these gizmos make sure that the connection to the tarmac is always there and that you have a comfortable ride when you are cruising. Regardless of whether you are driving on the road or on a racetrack, this car will bring you joy. 

Does the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder have a good Fuel Economy?

Sports cars are not known for their fuel economy figures. However, the 718 Spyder offers a respectable gas mileage. The Spyder can do 16 miles on a gallon of fuel in the city and 23 miles on a highway. It is not the best in the segment, that title goes to the BMW Z4, which offers 24 miles on a gallon of fuel in the city and 31 miles on a highway. Comparing it with the other two cars the Spyder is on par with them but it's slightly behind if you look at the figures. 

Model 

2021 Porsche 718 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Jaguar F-Type P380 Convertible

2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet

2020 BMW Z4 M40i

MPG (city)

16

18

17

24

MPG (highway)

23

26

24

31

MPG (combined)

19

21

20

26

Fuel capacity (gallons)

16.9

18.5

17.4

13.7

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

270 / 389

333 / 481

296 / 418

329 / 425

As mentioned earlier the BMW Z4 has the best gas mileage and it also offers one of the best ranges, even though it has the smallest fuel tank. The best range in the comparison is offered by the Jaguar F Type with its largest fuel tank. The Porsche Spyder has a sub-par range compared to its rivals which means more stops on long journeys. Fuel economy is an Achilles' heel for the Spyder. 

What to expect from the interior of the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder?

The interior of the Porsche 718 Spyder is unlike most convertibles out there, has a perfectly fitting interior space. It's neither very compact nor very spacious but the right amount needed to keep your ride comfortable. On first look, you'll notice the attention given to each and every detail from its GT sports steering wheel to many little impressive trims in the cabin. To match with the manual theme, the cars come with analog dials which all give it an old school look. 

Coming in with Sports seats Plus with their sporty streamlined padding and raised side bolsters providing optimal hold. The backrest can be adjusted electrically, and the seat height and fore/aft position can be adjusted mechanically. The Adaptive Sports seats Plus complement the Sports seats Plus with an electric 18-way adjustment. There are also optionally available sports bucket seats. 

Model

2021 Porsche 718 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Jaguar F-Type P380 Convertible

2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet

2020 BMW Z4 M40i

Seating capacity

2

2

4

2

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

NA

37.0 / 56.5 / 43.0

38.8 / 54.8 / 42.0

38.9 / 54.3 / 42.2

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

-

-

35.6/51.7/32

-

Cargo Space (feet³)

9.4

7.3

8.8

9.9

The interior of almost all the competitors of Porsche 718 Spyder is equally well designed and impressive. But on closer inspection and proper comparison reveals that the Porsche interior is more convenient and luxurious as compared to the Jaguar and BMW. Porsche gives you a good balance of old school and tech, which we like. The Spyder also has one of the best cargo space in the segment. However, the best cargo space is offered by the Z4 but it only pips the Spyder by a small margin.

2021 Porsche 718 Spyder: Infotainment and Connectivity

The infotainment features of the Porsche 718 Spyder are a bit outdated and unimpressive. The 2020 model featured a high-resolution 7˝ touchscreen display which can be used to control many of the vehicle functions. Apple CarPlay which should be standard is only an optional feature. Coming down to entertainment features, the Sound Package Plus ensures an excellent sound. The acoustic pattern in the vehicle interior is perfectly adapted to the driver and passengers by the integrated amplifiers. The optional BOSE Surround Sound system features 10 loudspeakers and amplifier channels including a patented, 100-watt active subwoofer integral to the vehicle bodyshell.

For even greater listening pleasure you also have the optional Burmester High-End Surround Sound System. With a total output of 821 watts and 12 individually controlled loudspeakers, including a 300-watt active subwoofer with class D digital amplifier integrated into the body. You also get features like HD Radio, Auxiliary audio input, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity, However, that does not make up for the fact that it does not come with Android Auto and as mentioned earlier Apple CarPlay is only optional. 

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder?

Looks are subjective to each person, but there is no doubt, the exterior looks of almost all these cars are very impressive and attractive. The Porsche 718 Spyder with its flowing aerodynamic designs looks stunning. It stands elegantly reflecting all that is needed to attract any sports car enthusiasts. In fact, we believe it is one of the best-looking Porsches in the market. It is built on the Boxster and has the same design which makes it a good-looking car.

Both the Boxster and the Spyder may look the same to the uninitiated. However, if you take a closer look you can start to see the difference. The Spyder has a more aggressive look than the Boxster. It also has a long rear deck along with double haunches at the rear. Furthermore, it has a unique little ducktail spoiler at the rear and larger air intakes at the nose for better cooling and aerodynamics. All these factors make it a different car than the Boxster.

Model 

2021 Porsche 718 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Jaguar F-Type P380 Convertible

2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet

2020 BMW Z4 M40i

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,206

3735

4275

3457 lbs

Length (inches)

174.5

176.0

187.1

170.7

Width (inches)

71.0

74.2

73.9

73.4

Height (inches)

49.6

51.5

55.3

51.3

Ground Clearance (inches)

N/A

4.1

4.0

5.1

Wheelbase (inches)

97.8

103.2

111.8

97.2

Another one of the differences in the difference in dimensions. The Spyder is slightly longer and wider than the Boxster, although be it by a very small margin. Speaking of dimensions, the 2021 Spyder has the same dimensions as the previous year model, since there have been no changes made. Compared to its rivals they all are similarly sized cars with the exception of the Mercedes AMG C63 S which is significantly longer than the others. It is because Mercedes is a 4-seater while the others are 2-seaters. 

Will the 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder be worth it?

The 2021 Porsche 718 Spyder is going to be a nice car with all the desired features expected from a Porsche convertible. It is a bit pricey when compared to its rivals. But its performance speaks for the extra investment. However, the Mercedes-AMG C-Class Cabriolet does offer very well comparable performance at a significantly lower price range, proving itself to be a considerable option in front of Porsche. But if your budget allows itself to be expanded to be able to buy a Porsche, then you'll surely be attracted by the possibilities the Porsche offers.

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