A seriously fast addition to the Porsche 718 family
Over the years, Porsche have developed the knack of taking what was already outstanding and making it better. They’re not alone in the automotive world in adopting this desirable habit, but they’re certainly the most proficient. And they have to be when starting from a base of such competently engineered and inspiring motor cars. We visited Spain as the guests of Porsche Centre Kuwait for the launch of the 2018 718 Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS.
So, what’s new? With improved performance, an even more sporty sound and a distinctly sharper design, the two new Porsche mid-engine sports cars now offer even greater performance and efficiency.
At the heart of both models is the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo flat engine with a now redeveloped intake duct and optimised turbocharger. Compared to the current GTS with naturally aspirated engine, up to 26 kW (35 hp) and up to 70 Nm more torque is available. Translate this to real world performance and, with the Sport Chrono Package as standard and the optional PDK, the 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The top speed is 290 km/h. Seriously fast.
Both GTS models are available with a manual six-speed transmission or optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), and the Sport Chrono Package, including dynamic gearbox mounts, is included in the standard equipment. The standard chassis with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) lowers the body of the GTS models by ten millimetres compared to the S model.
The first visual cue that we’re dealing with something rather special here is given thanks to the new Sport Design front apron. And, as is typical for GTS models, the front light modules and the Bi-Xenon headlights are black-tinted. At the rear of the vehicle, the tinted tail lights, black logos, black rear apron and centrally positioned black sports tailpipes of the standard sports exhaust system give the GTS its unique appearance. Black GTS logos on the doors and 20-inch wheels painted in black complete the side view.
Everything comes to life with a turn of the key. We love boxers, and here Porsche have paired theirs with as an optimised turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG) and increased boost pressure. Instead of a maximum boost pressure of 1.1 bar as seen in the 718 S, the optimised single turbocharger with VTG and a larger compressor pushes the air into the combustion chambers with a pressure of up to 1.3 bar. This means that the high torque plateau begins even at a low engine speed of 1,900 rpm and remains at the maximum value all the way to 5,000 or 5,500 rpm. Maintaining maximum torque through a rev-range so wide is basically the automobile equivalent of the holy grail.
What does this mean on the road? To find out, we first took it to a track – the Circuit Ascari just outside Malaga in southern Spain to be precise. With its hillside location and combination of flowing curves, tight corners and long straights, it presented the ideal way to discover the limits of 2018’s 718 GTS – and they’re further extended than ever before.
Much of the 2018 model’s improvements go unseen, yet are clearly felt from behind the wheel. The Sport Chrono Package is included as standard and includes dynamic gearbox mounts. The PADM system (Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts) minimises engine vibrations and reduces movements that can influence driving dynamics due to the overall weight of the drivetrain. It combines the advantages of hard and soft gearbox mounting: Handling is noticeably more precise and stable under load changes and around fast corners without having to compromise on driving comfort on uneven road surfaces.
What Porsche have delivered here is a car that lives most happily when placed on the edge of grip and control – and through its implantation of the world’s finest stability-control system it’s somewhere you can take a 718 all day and every day.
It’ll make a hero of you, this 718.
When looking for improvements to make, power and longitudinal acceleration were Porsche’s list of criteria. So, too, were high cornering speeds and maximum driving precision. In the 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS, the focus is on an even sportier tuning of the chassis components. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system integrated as standard provides even better traction and thus enhanced driving performance, while maintaining comfort. The PASM sports chassis, which is lowered by 20 mm, is also available as an option. It is ten millimetres lower than the GTS standard chassis.
Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which provides automatic stabilisation control of the vehicle at the limits of its driving dynamics, permanently monitors the direction of travel, speed, yaw velocity and lateral acceleration. PSM Sport mode is included in the standard Sport Chrono Package. This mode enables ambitious drivers to take the vehicle even closer to its limits on the racetrack or during winter training, without compromising on safety. Compared to “PSM On”, the function enables a significantly larger side slip angle and more slip on the drive wheels. This allows for far sportier driving while the PSM remains active in the background.
It’s every inch the sporty racer – yet comes fully equipped with all the creature-comforts and tech-wizardry we’ve come to expect… and more.
The GTS models feature Sports seats Plus with Alcantara seat centres. The steering wheel rim, shift lever and armrest are also covered with Alcantara, as is the roof lining in the 718 Cayman GTS. The headrests feature embroidered GTS logos.
The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with touchscreen is operated as easily as a smartphone and, this is fun, the standard Porsche Track Precision app allows automatic recording and detailed display and analysis of driving data on a smartphone. You really can monitor your improvements on your daily commute.
Do we want one? For sure we do. So would you if you’d driven one. Take a look at the short film (above) of our track time with the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS and tell us you too wouldn’t be tempted.