Porsche has introduced the latest versions of its mid-engine duo, the 718 Cayman GT4 and the convertible 718 Spyder. They share a new, naturally aspirated variant of the six-cylinder boxer engine that is currently fitted to the 911 Carrera. It puts out 414 horsepower, an increase of 34.5 hp over the previous GT4 and 45.4 hp for the Spyder. That power is put to the wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, giving both cars 0–60 times of 4.2 seconds, with top speeds of 187 mph and 189 mph for the Spyder and GT4, respectively. Apparently, the new models are manual-only, with no mention of an available automatic gearbox.
Redlining at 8,000 rpm, the engine features cylinder deactivation, which cuts fuel to one bank of cylinders when operating under partial load. Ideal gas flow through the engine is achieved with a variable induction system with two resonance valves, and the direct-injected engine also uses piezo injectors, which break up each injection into five smaller injections for more precise control of combustion, better efficiency, and lower emissions.
The Cayman GT4, which Porsche is marketing as its entry-level grand tourer, has 50 percent more downforce then the previous model, without increasing aerodynamic drag. Both models' aero performance benefit from a new, compact, single-chamber muffler. How does a muffler improve aerodynamics? By clearing up enough space for a rear diffuser, which is responsible for about a third of the downforce on the rear of the car. That rear downforce on the GT4 is augmented by a fixed rear wing that’s about 20 percent more efficient than on the outgoing GT4. The GT4's front end has also been optimized aerodynamically, with a large front lip spoiler and air curtains that smooth the air as it flows around the front wheels.
Said to be the heir to historic Porsche roadsters like the 550 Spyder and 718 RS 60 Spyder, the new 718 Spyder, for the first time, shares a chassis and drivetrain with the GT4, adding performance to driving pleasure. It also shares the new rear diffuser, although its rear spoiler is active, not fixed, and works at 75 mph and above.
Both models sit slightly lower, about 1.25 inches, improving handling, and their Porsche Active Suspensions feature MacPherson struts front and rear that are connected via racing-inspired ball joints. Porsche Stability Management has been recalibrated for the new 718 S for greater sensitivity and precision, with two-stage deactivation. A limited-slip rear differential and Porsche Torque Vectoring further improve handling and driving dynamics.
For track driving enthusiasts, optional on the GT4 is the Clubsport package that includes a steel roll bar, a fire extinguisher, and a six-point safety harness for the driver.
With or without the Clubsport package, Porsche says the aluminum monobloc fixed caliper brakes are track capable. Porsche ceramic composite brakes are optional.
Porsche also has had a hand in adapting the ultra-high-performance tires fitted to both cars, that it says helped the 718 Cayman GT4 lap the Nürburgring's Nordschleife course more than 10 seconds faster than the previous GT4.