Electrification: The Next Chapter of the Porsche 718

Electric 718 Cover 2.0
Photo Credit: HERE

The Porsche Boxster and Cayman (now 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman) are cars of controversy. Some say they are too slow, others say they’re just right. Some love the styling, others think they look like constipated lady bugs-yes, I’ve heard that before. Regardless of our opinions though, there is no denying that Porsche’s famous mid engined lineup is at a very awkward, yet revolutionary time in its history.

Rather symbolically, this new chapter in the 718s’ story started when Porsche renamed its Boxster and Cayman to the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman referencing Porsche’s historical 718 racecar. In 2016, the Boxster and Cayman not only lost their names, they lost something more important, their lovely flat 6 engines. Gone were those iconic howling engines, replaced by something that looked like it came straight out of a Subaru. The naturally aspirated flat 6s were thrown out and replaced with smaller, turbocharged flat 4s.

Electric 718 Cayman
Photo Credit: HERE

The problem with these new cars wasn’t their performance. These new 718s were objectively better than their predecessors. So much so in fact, that I remember wanting to race a 718 Boxster GTS on the freeway in my 997 911, but then realizing that it had 40 more hp. These new cars are FAST, but something is missing in them. Look at any review of the 718 Boxster or Cayman and they all talk about how there’s no zing, no emotion; it seems like the 718s are more McLaren than Porsche. This lack of emotion is directly linked to the fact that the new cars have 2 less cylinders, and in turn, a worse exhaust tone. The iconic howl of their famous flat 6 has been replaced with artificial burbles and the raspy, ugly tone of a 4 cylinder.

If there is one thing that the Porsche 718s have taught us it’s just how crucial a car’s exhaust note is. A simple change in sound has ruined a good part of the experience in Porsche’s most fun to drive cars. But what do we do when there’s NO exhaust note, NO sound? Well, unfortunately rumor has it that we’re about to find out.

Electric 718 Boxster
Photo Credit: HERE

I say this because according to a new Autocar report, Porsche has already made the decision to electrify the next generation of 718 sports cars set to arrive in 2022. Apparently Porsche is already testing prototypes of these new, electrified 718s. On the bright side though, the combustion engine isn’t being completely cut out since hybrid variants of the 718 will also be offered and sold alongside the electric ones. The reason for this change: emissions standards.

My biggest concern with this new electric platform is surprisingly not the sound. Unless my prayers have been answered, the flat 6 engine that used to be in these cars is not coming back-with the exception of GT4 and Spyder models. It likely won’t come back even with a hybrid setup and I hope I am wrong about this. With sound out of the way, I think the biggest problem will be the handling of these new cars, their weight in particular. Boxsters and Caymans have always been lightweight cars; if my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think there’s been a Boxster of Cayman that’s weighed over 3000 lb (1361 kg). But just like the 911s, every succeeding generation of Boxsters/Caymans has been heavier than their predecessors. As we know, a low weight is the key to good handling and I’m concerned that this next generation’s famous handling will be spoiled by heavy batteries and electronics.

718 Electric 918
Photo Credit: HERE

But who knows, maybe Porsche will use their sorcery to make the electric 718s handle like they are much lighter cars like they did with the 918 Spyder. One thing is clear: change is coming, and this change is clearly necessary to save the 718 lineup. And if push comes to shove, I’d rather have an electric Boxster than no Boxster.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

 

The Porsche Boxster: A Porsche for the Purists

What do YOU think about the Porsche Boxster?

Boxster Cover
Photo Credit: HERE

The Porsche Boxster is a very interesting car to say the least, having a split perception in the eyes of the public. Some view it as its infamous nickname suggests, a “poor man’s Porsche,” while some view it as a fun driver’s car for the purists. The Boxster is also at a crucial chapter in its story right now. With Boxster and Cayman sales remaining dangerously low, Porsche has to decide what to do with its little two seat roadster and they seem to be open to any suggestions.

550 Spyder
Photo Credit: HERE

The story of our humble, little roadster started in the early 1990s, when Porsche was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was a scary time for Porsche to say the least. Sales were falling and Porsche’s front engined line up was beginning to show its age; they needed a new, affordable sports car, fast. Inspired by the early success and demand for the newly introduced Mazda Miata, Porsche began development of the Boxster immediately. The goal was to bring back the days of the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder, which meant Porsche’s new car had to be lightweight, mid-engined, and most importantly, a roadster.

A big problem at the time-and mostly why Porsche was going bankrupt-was Porsche’s inefficient production process at the time – I know, Germans being inefficient, shocking! This flawed formula was what caused Porsche’s costs to rise and their profits to drop; it was slow, expensive, and it had to go. To solve this problem Porsche hired ex-Toyota engineers to completely overhaul their production process. As a result, assembly time dropped from 120 hours to 72 while errors fell by 50%.

986
Photo Credit: HERE

This new method also led to the new 996 911 to be essentially co-developed with the “lesser” Boxster. But none the less, Porsche’s mid-engined savior did become a reality, having been unveiled in 1996, 4 years after the initial concept was shown in 1992.

My Boxster

The original Boxster, dubbed the 986 was not very well received by the purists despite it saving the Porsche brand. It was too ugly, too slow, and too cheap, at least, that’s what the purists thought hence its sub $10,000 asking prices today. I own a 1999 986 Boxster, and although it isn’t the fastest car I’ve driven, or the best looking, I find it very hard not to smile when driving up on a canyon road. I learned to love it even more when the top had a leak and I was “stuck” driving my dad’s 911 for the week. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that 911, it was the car that got me to love cars and I will treasure it forever, but on some of those canyon roads, it was just too fast. I didn’t have time to enjoy the breeze or the sound of the engine because all of a sudden, trees and cliffs were approaching me 3 times faster.

That week with the 911 really changed the way I looked at sports cars, especially my Boxster. I was one of those who hated the original Boxster, but after some time, I have learned to love the poor man’s Porsche.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport: Back for Round 2

gt4 cs cover
Photo Credit: https://cdn.motor1.com/images/mgl/OjJlM/s3/new-porsche-718-cayman-gt4-clubsport.jpg

It’s safe to say that the 981 generation Porsche Cayman GT4 was an excellent road car. It had good power, brakes, suspension, sound, and most importantly a 6 speed manual transmission. It’s no wonder everyone loved it. It was pretty fast too. Thanks to its low curb weight and 385 hp 3.8 liter flat 6 engine from the 911 Carrera S, the GT4 made the 0-60 sprint in 4.1 seconds and topped out at 183 mph; certainly no slouch. Thanks to its mid engine layout, handling was exceptional too.

gt4 and gt4 cs
Photo Credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwii1ZHfrNrfAhVh4oMKHb8lBd4QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgtspirit.com%2F2016%2F09%2F28%2Fporsche-cayman-gt4-clubsport-clubsport-mr-review%2F&psig=AOvVaw2CaqJRnB86esg1sz5pgHal&ust=1546904589425158

But it didn’t stop there because just after the GT4 was unveiled, Porsche Motorsport got their hands on one and voila, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport was born. Much like the newer GT2RS Clubsport, the GT4 Clubsport was a track only racecar version of the Cayman GT4. With a stripped out interior, race ready gearbox, and other little racy bits here and there, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport was ready to put an instant smile on any track day enthusiast’s face. Porsche sold 421 of these racecars before production ended, a pretty large number.

gt4 cs
Photo Credit:  https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/8YmZmhuSSXbi_CIzSgQXF9KcF68=/1600×900/2019/01/03/6be96de1-9eab-46c1-a972-185a16403a17/porsche-718-cayman-gt4-clubsport-14.jpg

For the 718 Cayman Porsche is doing things a bit backwards this generation with its revealing of the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport first; the road car is yet to be seen. For the second time around, the 718 Clubsport uses the now discontinued 3.8 liter engine from the previous generation GT4, except now with a revised intake manifold that brings a 40 hp increase (385 hp-425 hp). Like the previous generation, the new 718 Clubsport features a stripped out interior, a FIA spec roll cage, bucket seat, and a six point racing harness to keep the driver in place during hard corners. The 718 GT4 Clubsport also features the same light weight spring strut front suspension used in the 911 GT3 Cup Car.The new 718 GT4 Clubsport is also the first production racecar to use body parts made from natural fiber composite materials like flax and hemp fibers. With properties comparable to that of carbon fiber, these new natural fiber composite materials have been used to construct both the wing and doors of the new 718 Clubsport. Because of this and other weight saving features, the new 718  GT4 Clubsport tips the scales at just 2,910 lbs.

718 gt4 cs
Photo Credit: https://files1.porsche.com/filestore/galleryimagerwd/multimedia/none/motorsport-racingcars-982-718-c7-gt4-cs-gallery-03/zoom2/9b5a1888-feeb-11e8-8373-0019999cd470;sK/porsche-motorsport-image.jpg

Also available this time around is the choice of two different variants for the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Amateur track day enthusiasts can opt for the $154,743 Trackday variant with fixed shock absorbers, air conditioning, electronic stability control, and traction control. For more experienced and even professional racing drivers, Porsche has the Competition version with 3 way adjustable shocks, and a more adjustable brake system. The Competition also features a massive 30.3 gallon fuel tank to cope with long distance events. Both variants are built to race with FIA certified parts.

718 gt4
Photo Credit: https://car-images.bauersecure.com/pagefiles/72654/5_porsche-718-cayman-gt4.jpg

But let’s be honest, most of us here aren’t looking to buy a full-fledged racecar, we’re more into street cars (i.e. the 718 Cayman GT4). If that’s the case, the Clubsport offers us lots of insight into what the GT4 roadcar will be like, except for one thing…the engine. Porsche has stated that the engine used in the Clubsport will not be the engine used in the roadcar. But Porsche has also stated it won’t be a turbocharged 4 cylinder like all the other 718 cars. By process of elimination, we can infer that the new 718 Cayman GT4 will feature a likely detuned version of the 4.0 liter naturally aspirated flat 6 engine found in the 911 GT3. I can’t wait!

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends and follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

 

 

The Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman T: Reviving the Art of Driving

The sports car is back in action!

718T

The year was 2016. Sports cars were becoming a forgotten relic of the past, replaced with 9 stage traction control, heavy electronics, automatic transmissions, and dead downsized engines. The world’s most favorite sports car went down a year before when the Porsche 911 got the downsized turbo treatment. The future was grim. But as the classic sports cars we all knew and loved were taking their dying breaths, Porsche came in and revealed the 911R, a giant middle finger to lap times, 0-60 times, and lightning fast automatic transmissions. The 911R was all about the driving experience, the howl of a naturally aspirated engine and the exhilarating act of rowing your own gears at 120 mph. When you were in the 911R, it was just you and the car, nothing else. It was a bold move, but it started a renaissance. the 911R was limited to 991 units and prices began to soar. Originally costing about 200,000 dollars, some examples were selling for over 1 million dollars, people were hooked on the once lost art of driving.

911R 2.0

In late 2017, Porsche continued the legacy of the 911R with the unveiling of the 911 Carrera T. Named after the legendary 911T of the 60s and 70s, the Carrera “Touring” was basically a base Carrera with a few  bits from the Carrera S and a little less weight. The result: an unforgettable drivers car. A few months later, the track focused GT3 got the touring treatment in the form of the “Touring Package.” The Touring Package on the GT3 gave you a full leather interior, rear wing delete, and a 6 speed manual transmission, creating a stunning, under the radar supercar.

porsche-718-t-014

On December 18, Porsche extended the Touring Treatment to the 718 twins (the Cayman and Boxster) with the surprise reveal of the 718 Cayman T and the 718 Boxster T. Following the precedent of the 911 Carrera T, the 718 T consists of the base Cayman or Boxster with a few options from the S models (mainly PASM sport suspension) and the removal of accessories that don’t “add to your driving experience”. Inside, you’ll find a stripped down interior littered with unique T badging and color accents. Both models are powered by the 300 hp 2.0 Liter turbocharged flat 4 found in the base 718 models. Both cars have a top speed of 170 mph and 0-60 times of 4.9 seconds (manual), 4.7 seconds (PDK), or 4.5 seconds (PDK with Sport Chrono Package). Although the 718 T is not an immediate icon, it is a beacon of hope for us car enthusiasts, as it shows that Porsche’s new T line will ensure us new driver focused models for years to come.

718 T interior

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends and follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!