Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Six back: new Porsche 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 revealed

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4After years of grumbles from enthusiasts, Porsche has reintroduced a powerful six-cylinder engine option for its entry-level 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman ranges.

The open-top Porsche 718 Spyder (pictured below) and 718 Cayman GT4 coupe (pictured above) both use a new 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine, derived from the engine in the 911 Carrera.

Porsche 718 Spyder

However, unlike as in the 911 (and other 718 models), it produces its 420 horsepower without the use of a turbo.

Purists and enthusiasts are already rejoicing.

The new 4.0-litre 718 models represent a rare example of upsizing in the modern automotive industry. They sit above the core (and controversial) 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre four-cylinder 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman models.

The new engine revs to a wailing 8,000rpm. A manual six-speed gearbox is also standard.

Porsche can justify the thirsty 25.7mpg fuel economy and 249g/km CO2 emissions of each model because they are specialist models for enthusiasts and collectors.

(It does add that a gasoline particulate filter system is standard, so exhaust emissions are as clean as can be.)

Both are on sale now: the Porsche 718 Spyder costs £73,405 and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 costs £75,348.

Porsche 718 Spyder

Porsche 718 Spyder

The Porsche 718 Spyder is described by Porsche as thrilling road-going driver’s car. It has a simpler, more lightweight convertible roof than the 718 Boxster it’s derived from, evoking the Porsche 550 Spyder made famous (infamous?) by James Dean.

Porsche 718 Spyder

The roof gives a distinctive look both up and down. It is not electrically operated, but Porsche promises it can be manually stowed “in just a few steps”. The roof also copes with high speeds; some earlier Spyders only did maximum speed with the roof down.

It will do 187mph flat-out, and accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds.

A rear spoiler raises at 74mph, making the 718 Spyder the first car in the Boxster family to generate downforce at speed.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is called Porsche’s “entry-level GT street car”. The previous GT4 model was a cult collectable and the firm hopes this new one, 35 horsepower more powerful than its predecessor, will follow suit.

A very distinctive body kit marks out the 718 Cayman GT4. It generates up to 50 percent more downforce.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Aerodynamics are helped by a clever single chamber exhaust silencer in the rear arch, which frees up space for a huge underbody diffuser. This alone generates 30 percent of the downforce at the rear of the 718 Cayman GT4.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

The fixed wing creates 20 percent more downforce than the old GT4 – equalling an extra 12kg of downward pressure on the rear wheels at 124mph.

A GT-style front end balances the rear aerodynamics with a bigger front spoiler and ‘air curtains’ to smooth airflow over the front wheels.

Shared suspension

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

For the first time, the track-inspired 718 Cayman GT4 shares a chassis with the road-focused 718 Spyder.

The cars sit 30mm lower and adaptive Porsche Active Suspension Management is standard. Motorsport-spec ball join suspension links are used, and the electronic control systems can be deactivated for use on the circuit.

Uprated aluminium monoblock fixed-caliper brakes are fitted, and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) are optional.

Porsche has already taken the 718 Cayman GT4 to the Nürburgring, and says its time is 10 seconds faster than its predecessor. Special ‘ultra high performance’ tyres contribute to this; they’re also fitted to the 718 Spyder.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

For those with serious track intent, a Clubsport package is available on the Cayman GT4, which includes a steel roll cage, fire extinguisher and six-point seatbelt for the driver.

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