Porsche 718 Cayman GTS – Road Test

Posted on Dec 20, 2017 by
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS
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AEDAED277,100
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  • 2018 Cayman
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  • Last modified: December 20, 2017

Review Summary:

's new 2018 718 Cayman GTS adds power, torque, and equipment to bridge the gap between the regular and GT-department models but is it worth the premium?

Pros

Fantastic handling, easy to use on a daily basis

Cons

More of a tourer, noise from the turbo four-pot engine, highway drone, not as manic and fun as the old car...

Porsche new 718 GTS mid-engined sports cars bridge the gap between the lesser models and the upcoming GT department track-day fiends – Auto Middle East tested the new 718 Cayman GTS in Spain on road and track…

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I need a quick refresher course here for the new 718.

Okay, so previously Porsche’s entry-level, mid-engined sports cars were known as the Boxster (that’s the drop-top) and the Cayman (that be the tin-top), and now the company has downsized the entire range calling it the 718 after a historic racer. As ever you can buy a base car, or a more powerful S, but there’s still time for desert.

Before the company’s GT department sorts out some hot GT4s and Spyders, Porsche has launched the new 718 GTS range comprising both the Boxster and the Cayman.

So there’s already plenty to choose from?

Yes, but none of the options are as lairy as the old cars – the deal is, previously the mid-engined stuff came with flat-six, naturally aspirated engines (no turbos, so as not to encroach on 911 performance) and now for the sake of efficiency and efficiency alone, Porsche has downisized to flat-four-cylinder turbocharged engines, with the base being a 2.0-litre and the bigger one a 2.5-litre.

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The 718 GTS banks on the latter of course, and produces 365bhp and 430Nm of torque, which is 15bhp and 10Nm over the next one down the rung, the 718 S. We drove a Cayman GTS in Spain, on road and on track around the Ascari circuit with its 13 lefts and 13 right bends.

That’s a small increment of power, actually…

Sure, it is, but the GTS isn’t actually all about speed – even the manufacturer freely admits that the GTS is more of a touring package, rather than an out-and-out track day monster. Leave that to the upcoming GT department cars, and they are upcoming, because they’ve already been spied testing about.

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So instead of gobbles of extra power, the GTS actually earns its due with an interior packed full of kit, lots of fine Alcantara, plenty of black GTS badges and pretty much every detail finished in a high-gloss black application, down to the 20-inch wheels. As far as technical equipment goes, the GTS also gains 10mm lower suspension, Sport Chrono as standard, limited-slip differential and torque vectoring. So t’s just a very full-options 718, which also happens to have a bit more power and fancy badges.

Is it worth it?

If you try to spec a base car yourself to this high standard you will spend more money, so it is worth it because Porsche already throws in the optional kit you really need. However, knowing the GT department cars are inevitable lessens the GTS’ effect. With even more torque, you can drive it lazily in third and never shift up higher over a tight, twisty road, because the car’s power spread is so wide and flat the 718 GTS can pick up speed from any revs. This generally means you don’t take the red needle anywhere close to the limiter, simply because of the flexible nature of the engine’s delivery. It doesn’t urge you to keep chasing the red line, and it’s nowhere near as manic an experience as with the GTS of old.

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So, what does that mean?

It just means it’s most definitely turbocharged… The pull is welcome, and all that, but another downside is a booming highway drone when you’re cruising because the engine sound isn’t really a sound, it’s just a load of noise. Press the exhaust button on the centre console, and to our ears things actually get worse. Porsche will learn, hopefully, but this first go at a flat-four turbocharged engine is quite lackluster in terms of emotion. Quite…

Surely it does other bits right?

It does may things right, starting with the pin-point precise steering, incredibly active mid-engined chassis with a superb turn-in and a pivoting into a corner that you have to get used to, it’s that responsive. On a race track, if that helps, the 718 GTS Cayman lapped and lapped without any brake fade or drama. If you want to pound on your sportscar, the 718 GTS seems like a good bet.

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So, money… What are we talking about here?

Right, so the line starts with the base 2.0-litre 300bhp 718 Cayman from AED213,400 (0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds), and goes on to the Dh240,600 718 Cayman S worth 350bhp (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds).

Then you get to the new 2018 718 Cayman GTS, which starts from AED277,100 (or AED288,800 for the 718 Boxster GTS) and manages the 0-100km/h run in 4.1 seconds provided you have the PDK and launch control on.

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