Porsche recently reviewed the name 718. They are using it to designate their awesome new cars with four-cylinder engines – the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman. But, for all of you who are not actually sure why the 718 is so important, Petrolicious awesomely explained why the original Porsche 718 was such an icon that Porsche names its cars after it even today.
Now, the name 718 found its way to the Porsche small race cars from the Fifties. The 1,6-liter air-cooled four-cylinder engine is not the powerhouse we are used to today, but it comes alive with a lightweight chassis, small footprint, and perfectly matched gearbox. And here, with Petrolicious hosting a former Porsche racing driver Derek Bell, the old 718 shines.
“Once you get it on the song, get up to 7,000-plus-revs, it was absolutely amazing,” says racing driver Derek Bell.
This car you will see now is the Targa Florio-winning 718 RS 60 – museum example. As a mid-engined car, the 718 was reliable enough to win races and it was fast enough with its 170hp to win over far bigger machines.
The analogy is rather simple here – this is David while all other cars on the track back then were Goliaths compared to it. It went out, bold and unchanged. It won. It won thanks to a lightweight design, aerodynamic shape, fantastic gearbox and absolutely perfect weight distribution thanks to mid-engine layout. This is an amazing car and the 718 of today has a lot in front of it to catch up to the greatness of the 1.6-liter little monster.