Has Porsche outdone itself?
Monday 20th January, 2020 - 6:00am
For decades sports car makers have tried to build a better sports car than the Porsche 911 and failed. Now there is a new challenger that may have succeeded – and it’s a Porsche.
The German sports car brand just unveiled the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 (and its soft-top sibling the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0) and it’s everything a Porsche enthusiasts dreams of.
Porsche has always been concerned about the potential for damaging the appeal of the 911 by introducing a cheaper alternative, which is one of the reasons the company waited 10 years to offer a coupe version of the Boxster – the first Cayman arrived in 2006.
When the company introduced the hardcore Cayman GT4 in 2015, complete with 3.8-litre flat-six from the 911 Carrera S the lines began to blur. Then they introduced the 718 Cayman GT4 with the company’s 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated six-cylinder in 2019, elevating the concept.
But for those who found the GT4 too track-focused the GTS 4.0 may be Porsche perfection for the road. It gets the same 4.0-litre flat-six as the GT4, tuned to make 294kW of power, and is available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. It also comes equipped with a sports exhaust to ensure you enjoy the noise on the way to its 7800rpm rev limit. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is also standard, and it incorporates a mechanical limited slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring. It rides 20mm lower than standard and wears 20-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 235/35 tyres at the front and 265/35 rubber at the rear. Cross-drilled brake discs come standard and if they’re not strong enough for your tastes Porsche’s Ceramic Composite Brakes are available as an option.
In other words, Porsche has built the ultimate driver’s car – a 4.0-litre engine mounted in the middle of the car (not behind the rear axle), a manual gearbox and chassis tuned for optimum handling on the road. It will surely have plenty of people wondering why you’d buy a 911 with a turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-six.
Then there’s the price, which only strengths its case. The Cayman GTS 4.0 starts from $172,400 (plus on-road costs), which is $57,100 cheaper than the 911 Carrera and a massive $92,200 less than the 911 Carrera S. It’s also nearly $35k more affordable than the Cayman GT4. No matter which way you look at it the new GTS is a great value sports car. The Boxster GTS 4.0 is priced from $175,200 and is an option for those who enjoy excellent handling and performance but with the wind in their hair.
Inside there’s liberal use of Alcantara for that sporty look and feel, trimming the steering wheel, gear lever and the standard Sports Seats Plus. Standard equipment on Australian-bound GTS 4.0 will include ParkAssist with reversing camera, Porsche Dynamic Light System, seat heating for driver and passenger, heated multifunction steering wheel, dual -zone automatic climate control and an infotainment system with navigation, digital radio and Apple CarPlay.
Porsche Australia has officially opened the order books for the 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS 4.0 with first deliveries due in the middle of the year.