The 718 was a development of the successful Porsche 550A to race in the 1957 World Sports Car Championship. The design was both lower and smoother than that of its predecessors. Under the aluminium body there were several changes. The front trailing arms were relocated to enhance suspension dynamics; the camber of the front wheels would now increase as the wheels moved upwards. The changes required the steering box to be mounted in the middle of the car. The internal name for the new car was the Type 718. The car's first race was Le Mans, where it was forced to retire after 10 hours as the result of an accident. At the Targa Florio Jean Behra impressed by finishing second overall in a 1.5 litre engined RSK. At Le Mans Jurgen Barth and Paul Frere placed a 1.5 litre RSK fourth overall and first in class. Jean Behra and Hans Herrmann did one better taking third and first in the 2 litre class. Now completely refined, the RSK was even more successful in 1959 with an overal win at the Targa Florio and a podium finish at the Sebring 12 Hours.