The fact is, however, that a GT4 equipped with Porsche’s optional Clubsport package (with its half-sized rollcage) will have a considerably more torsionally rigid body than a Spyder (without a roof) – and that difference will inevitably have an influence on how the dynamic character traits of the cars compare.
The 718 Spyder has similar apparent chassis stiffness and integrity on the road to the Cayman GT4 we track tested at Anglesey last year. It certainly doesn’t suffer any traces of scuttle shake or betray wider evidence of structural strain. As we’ll go on to describe in more detail, the ride has decent absorbency of B-road lumps and ridges both large and small despite the 30mm drop in ride height. While you won’t instinctively reach to firm up the adaptive dampers very often during road driving, the balance struck here between superclose, effortless body control and practical bump compliance is very good indeed. As a compromise, it feels tauter and more poised than any Alpine A110 does but it is still accommodating of a nasty surface.
The Spyder’s steering is paced with measure and its handling responses are more progressive than aggressive, making it an easy, precise, fluent-feeling car to drive quickly. The chassis is agile and incisive, but not overbearingly so; and the more you explore its abilities, the more fun you’ll have, so it’s rewarding, too. Some might say that it could be more charismatic on the road – more accessible, perhaps – but it’s unlikely that the car’s first-rate on-limit drivability could be retained in quite the same way while moving it in that notional direction.
The 718 Spyder delivered a curious reversal of expectations at the track, showing marginally better-balanced limit handling on the narrow, slower MIRA Dunlop circuit than the Cayman GT4 we tested at Anglesey last year.
It has excellent mechanical grip once its Cup tyres are warm and carries lots of apex speed. It stays stable on a balanced throttle but becomes more suggestible than the GT4 was to shaking its rear end loose on a trailing throttle, allowing power-on oversteer to develop very controllably and benignly thereafter – with the stability controls disabled. Leave them on instead, and you can still have lots of fun and carry plenty of speed.