If you found yourself in beautiful downtown Elora on a sunny warm day earlier this summer, you may have seen a fair bit of commotion. All throughout this entire photoshoot and interview, I was stopped by several onlookers asking “Are you filming a movie?”, or “Wow, what a thing of beauty!”
Well no, we were not filming a movie, but yes, we indeed were treated to a stunning example of beauty. This issue, Living Spaces & Lifestyles is proud to bring you a car that is impossible to not be impressed by, yet for our very humble car owner, it has very little to do with impressions, and almost everything to do with design, build, performance, and of course, history.
So, let’s start there, Porsche and its history;
“The Porsche name has become synonymous with sports cars and race cars because that is exactly what company founders Ferdinand Porsche Sr. and son Ferdinand (Ferry) set out to build when they first set up shop in Stuttgart, Germany in 1948.
The senior Porsche, whose engineering experience included Daimler-Benz, established an independent design and engineering firm in 1931 famously designing the Volkswagen Beetle. He brought a half-century of experience with innovation, from a turn-of-the-century, four-wheel drive, gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle, to the virtually unbeatable Auto Union Grand Prix cars of the 1930s.
The younger Porsche helped grow the new company and was instrumental in designing the first Porsche sportscar, the 356. Though sporting just 40 horsepower from a rear-mounted, slightly souped-up Beetle engine, the first Porsche quickly made its mark with agile handling, as well as attributes almost unknown among sportscars of the day – comfort and reliability.”
And the tradition continues today. Introducing the Porsche 718 Spyder. – Manual.
Classic Porsche mid-engine Boxster styling, which means business, but doing business all while wearing road-hugging, bullet-fast bodywork. With 20-inch alloy rims framing bright red 6-piston brake calipers, new underfloor aero components, dual exhaust, and an auto-deploying rear wing, you know right away this Porsche is something special. In fact, Porsche’s special GT department tweaked and tuned the 718 Spyder, essentially creating a convertible GT4!
The slick soft-top, a feature that when combined with the 718’s 2-seater layout is what earns this model the “Spyder” moniker, is manually operated and comes complete with electronic latching. Easy to deploy, and once up, takes nothing away from the clean, fast lines of this beautiful machine. The top even boasts distinctively-styled “flying-buttress” rear attachment points, letting you know this is no ordinary Porsche.
Bi-xenon headlights, matched with bright LED running lights and taillights, mean that while no one would miss you piloting this sexy beast through town during the day, you’ll also see your way clear and be clearly seen well into the night.
Power to this 718’s rear wheels comes courtesy of a horizontally-mounted, 4-litre aluminum 6-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, mounted to a crisp 6-speed manual gearbox, and serving up 420 hp and a staggering 0-to-100 kph time landing in the 4.2 second range.
Keeping those sticky 245/35 ZR20 front and 295/30 ZR20 rear tires fixed to the ground comes courtesy of a lightweight spring-strut suspension setup, mated to the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system. The cornering and stability in this 718 can only be described as “if it was riding on rails”.
Inside, you’ll find a classic 2-seater sports car layout. The seats are snug and supportive, and fitted with Alcantara inserts, a synthetic material with the look and feel of suede, but wears like iron. A heated-seat system is available, as well as the option for dual-zone climate-control. The 718’s internal comfort controls are accessed via a 7-inch touchscreen, as is Apple CarPlay. The standard 110-watt 6-speaker sound system does a fine job of keeping your tunes cranked as your cruise, but if you crave more power, 500-watt 10-speaker or 820-watt 12-speaker systems are available from Bose and Burmester.
With power comes responsibility, and at Porsche, that means your personal safety. The 718 comes complete with several safety features including tire pressure monitoring, rear parking sensors, ABS brakes, cruise control, and dynamic stability control. Six airbags are standard, including head airbags mounted in each door panel.
Sexy, aggressive styling combined with breath-taking power, handing, and stability, the 718 Spyder pretty much defines what Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche set out to create. And I can assure you our proud owner takes that heritage and history very much to heart.
Written by: Kelli M. Maddocks | Photography: Cory Bruyea