Back in 2015 (that’s 5 years ago, can you believe it?) Porsche gave us the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder. The Cayman and Boxster finally got the power upgrade they so desperately needed, and they came exclusively with a 6 speed manual transmission just as God intended. It’s safe to say that they were pretty amazing cars, despite their long gearing, and slightly detuned 911 engines. The 981 GT4 and Spyder really left us wondering what Porsche could improve on if they brought these models back for the next generation. Well, we waited, and waited, and waited, and after 4 years of 4 cylinder Boxsters and Caymans, we finally got what we were waiting for in the June of 2019. The 718 versions of the GT4 and Spyder were better than ever (especially the Spyder) and again, they came exclusively with three pedals. Well, a new report from Evo Magazine suggests that things are about to change.
See, with the 981 generation, the GT4 and Spyder were more special edition cars rather than full production models. They were made for only one year, and not too many of them were produced (hence their really high resale values before the 718s came out). This time, it’s different. After seeing how customers flipped their limited production, manual only cars like the 911 R without even driving them, Porsche decided to make the new 718 Spyder and GT4 regular production cars, like the Cayman S or Boxster GTS. This new mass market approach combined with an even heavier focus on track use begged the question: would there be a PDK?
At first, it seemed not, but now Evo’ new report suggests that the PDK is going to be an option for 718 GT4s and Spyders later this year. If this is the case, this could mean BAD news for 911 owners…let me explain.
The biggest problem with the 981 GT4 and Spyder (the 718s still have this problem too) was that their gearing was way too long; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd particularly. 1st gear in these cars maxed out at 49 mph, 2nd gear maxed out at 83 mph, and the limit for 3rd was 114 mph, which is insane! For comparison, my 997.1 911 maxes 1st at around 38 mph, 2nd at around 70 mph, and 3rd around 102 (don’t ask how I know that). This is considered standard gearing for sports cars, as it provides a healthy balance between top speed and acceleration while allowing you to shift your heart out in the canyons.
When reviewing the 981 GT4, Motor Trend did a calculation and they found that if the GT4 had standard gearing, the 0-60 time would drop from the claimed 4.1 seconds to around 3.5. That was faster than every 911 short of the GT3 at the time, and it would be even faster for the more powerful 718 variants. So unless Porsche decides to completely screw up the gearing for their 7 speed PDK, these PDK equipped 718 GT4s and Spyders are going to completely walk 992s in a straight line. I love the 911, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s time for the Cayman and Boxster to have it’s time to shine. For real this time. What do you think?
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