When the 718 Cayman and Boxster debuted a few years back, I really wasn’t that impressed. Sure they were fast and all, but their turbocharged flat fours really didn’t impress me, journalists seemed to agree. I have to say though, after having driven a 718 Boxster S, it was way more fun than I expected, but the engine note left lots to be desired. Everyone, and I mean everyone, begged and begged for a flat 6 in the 718. We missed the sound and the emotion of those beautiful engines in the 981 generation. And Porsche, I’m still surprised they did this, actually listened. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS 4.0.
I guess Porsche wasn’t kidding when they said they were going to use their modified 9A2 engine from the GT4 and Spyder in other cars. Both the Boxster and Cayman GTS 4.0 come-as their name suggests-powered by a slightly detuned version of the 4.0 liter naturally aspirated flat 6 from the GT4 and Spyder. In the GTS, this engine makes a healthy 394 hp and 309 lb/ft of torque, which is 29 hp more and a few lb/ft of torque less than the outgoing 4 cylinder; not to mention, this thing revs all the way to 7,800 RPM. The even better news, is that it all comes standard with Porsche’s signature 6 speed manual. 0-60 happens in just 4.3 seconds and the cars top out at 182 mph, which is no joke. A PDK however, has not been announced (probably because it would be faster than the manual only GT4 and Spyder). Pricing is high though with the Cayman coming in at $87,000 while the Boxster will charge a hefty $100,450. I guess fun isn’t cheap.
Aside from being literally one of the best cars Porsche has made in years and setting a precedent for the automotive community for brands to listen to their customers (I’m talking to you BMW, no one likes big kidney grilles), the 718 GTS 4.0 did something else that could change Porsches forever.
See, the GTS nameplate started off back in the early 2010s when Porsche revealed the first ever 911 Carrera GTS as a last hurrah for the 997.2 911. This “special” moniker has now become a staple of every single car Porsche has made to this day as the bridge between the S models and the higher Turbo or GT3 models. The GTS is literally just a fully loaded S with some unique badging and a cheaper price for said options. Those who have driven GTS cars say you barely notice the differences on the road. But with the 718 GTS 4.0, there’s now a legitimate reason to buy the GTS trim other than to show off to your friends. Of course, you get all the goodies like the old ones but this time you get a new engine, it’s a completely different car. Personally, I hope this trickles down to the 911 too so maybe we’ll get a 4.0 liter naturally aspirated 992 GTS? Maybe?
Anyway, regardless of what Porsche does to their next GTS cars, the 718 GTS 4.0 is definitely a keeper. It combines the excellent driving dynamics of a 718 with a proper flat 6. What’s not to love?
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