Porsche purists cried foul when the 718 model line left behind its naturally-aspirated V6 for a turbocharged four-banger during its last redesign. While your author is usually the first one to dismiss the bleating of wild-eyed fanatics, they had a point this time. The new 718 didn’t sound as good as the old one.
Rejoice, then. The new 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 models, now sharing a technical base, feature a newly developed 4.0L six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, together with a six-speed manual transmission. The boxer engine makes 414 horsepower in either model. Huffing pure atmosphere, this mill should mark a return to the classic Cayman/Boxster wail. Happy days.
In fact, this naturally aspirated 8000 rpm flat-six is based on the same engine family as the turbo engines in the current 911 Carrera model series, bored and stroked to its 4.0L displacement measure. That redline suggests this is a high-revving mill, a suggestion confirmed by its 310lb-ft of torque coming online between 5000 and 6800rpm. That 414hp figure doesn’t rear its head until 7600rpm.
Drivers will be stirring a manual transmission in either car, both of which can both break the 300 km/h barrier. The Spyder has a top speed of 301 km/h while the Cayman can reach 304 km/h. Both rear-wheel drive models are said to accelerate to 100 km/h from rest in just 4.4 seconds.
Alert readers will note these numbers provide a specific output of 103.5 horsepower per litre. While a great number, we know from experience that Porsche can do better. The outrageous 911 GT3 of a few years ago was knocking on the door of 120hp/litre, so expect to see a further iteration of this 718 GT4, perhaps called an RS packing over 450 horses. That’s just conjecture, of course.
There’s plenty of aero to go around with this GT4, of course. That fixed rear wing on the Cayman GT4 produces around 20 percent more downforce compared with its predecessor, corresponding to an additional downforce of twelve kilograms at 200km/h. Unlike the GT4, the 718 Spyder has a rear spoiler that comes up automatically at 120 km/h. This means it is a perfect billboard for letting the cops know you’re speeding.
Snazzy PCCB brakes are an option, tools which contributed to the 718 Cayman GT4 flight on the Nürburgring where its lap time on the 20.6-kilometre Green Hell was more than ten seconds faster than its predecessor.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to search under the couch cushions for change. The new Porsche 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 are available to order now.
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Living in rural Nova Scotia, Matthew Guy has immersed himself in car culture for over 30 years and relishes the thought of a good road trip. A certified gearhead, he enjoys professionally writing about cars and is very pleased to contribute for wheels.ca.
His work has also appeared on Car Throttle, The Truth About Cars, and in CAA Magazine. Find him on Twitter @matthewkguy