The 718 is Porsche’s best-selling sports car in China. Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche’s head of sports cars, once told R&T that the 718 would most likely not exist without China. The base 2.0-litre flat-four engine is a major reason for the 718’s success. In China, cars are taxed based on engine displacement, and owning a car with an engine greater than 2.0 litres is prohibitively expensive, which is why Porsche is now selling the 718 Spyder having pink shade with its smallest four-cylinder engine for the Chinese market.
The 718 Spyder was unveiled this week at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show
The 718 Spyder, unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2021 this week, foregoes the glorious 4.0-liter flat-six found in other markets in favor of a 300-hp 2.0-liter turbo flat-four mated to a seven-speed PDK. The bodywork is similar to the 718 Spyder sold elsewhere, with the exception of the bumpers, which are from the GTS models.
This 718 Spyder for the Chinese market uses the same Porsche Motorsport-developed chassis as the 4.0-litre car sold elsewhere. It does, however, have the finicky manual-folding roof, which is hidden under the double-bubble rear decklid.
Meanwhile, Porsche launched a 2.0 four-banger version of the 718 Spyder in China and no one noticed. pic.twitter.com/q5d2ON6yKl— Zerin Dube (@SpeedSportLife) April 20, 2021
Frozen Berry Metallic, which debuted with the Taycan and is now available in US-market 718 models if you’re feeling bold, is another striking exterior color on this vehicle.
The 718 Spyder market in the Chinese market
The Chinese-market 718 Spyder is amusing because, with a 2.0-litre flat-four, it now shares much more in common with its Fifties race-car namesake. Porsche’s popular twin-cam flat-four”Carrera” engine powered the original 718 RSK.
And don’t mistake this for a replacement for the six-cylinder 718 Spyder, which has all the looks but costs less. It will begin at $738,000, or about $113,000 at today’s exchange rates. The 718 Spyder starts at a comparatively low $99,650 in the United States.
Enter the 2-liter Spyder, which is only available in China. The 4-liter engine from the Boxster Spyder has been replaced with the 298-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine from the regular Boxster, which was unveiled at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show. In China, the 718 Spyder is only available with the 7-speed PDK transmission, which is by far the most common.
The convertible top is borrowed from the Spyder sold elsewhere in the world, but the bumpers are taken from the Boxster GTS rather than the aggressive 4-liter Spyder fascia.
Porsche 718, in two versions, Cayman and Boxster
The Porsche 718, in both Cayman and Boxster versions, is a very famous car in China. In Asia, the 718 also outsells Porsche’s famous 911, unlike in North America. Part of the reason for this is due to taxes, pollution, and overall expense.
All is much more costly in China, with a regular model 718 Boxster starting at 565,000 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (including VAT), or around $87,120 at today’s exchange rates. With a 2.5-liter engine, the 718 Boxster S has a much higher tax and a starting price of 797,000 CNY, or $122,860.