six gears, six cylinders
With 2 Changes, Porsche Turned the Boxster and Cayman Into the Perfect Sports Cars
There’s almost nothing to complain about the pair of two-door cars that Porsche calls the 718 twins and everyone else known as the Boxster and Cayman. Almost, that is. If there’s one axe true enthusiasts have had to grind with the mid-engined sports cars in recent years, it’s with the powerplant wedged between driver and rear axle: while past Caymans and Boxsters used Porsche’s traditional flat-six engines, since 2016, all 718s apart from pricey high-end models like the Cayman GT4 have made do with turbocharged flat-fours that lack the sound and character of the sixes.
That’s all over as of now. With the arrival of the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 and 718 Cayman GTS 4.0, Porsche is bringing the boxer-six back to its mainstream mid-engine lineup.
The new GTS models use a version of the same 4.0-liter flat-six found in the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4, here tuned to spin up 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to spur the cars from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 4.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 182 mph — and keep in mind, Porsche’s performance claims are usually conservative.
The second change to these models that makes them the perfect sports car: here in the U.S., the GTS models will only be available with a six-speed manual gearbox. They’ll also all come with a sport exhaust system, performance-tuned active suspension, torque vectoring, limited-slip differential and the de rigeur Sport Chrono pack…but let’s face it, the standard standard transmission is the marquee attraction for enthusiasts.
On the visual side, the usual Porsche GTS model accouterments abound: black trim, black wheels (20-inch ones, if you were wondering) and tinted headlamps and taillights outside, extensive black Alcantara inside. Of course, Porsche will happily swap that trim out for leather if you’re willing to pay, but the grippy microsuede suits the car nicely in our opinion.
Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date this summer, but if other GTS models are any guide, expect it to start about 15–25% higher than the S models. If that holds, expect a base price somewhere around $80,000–$85,000. Not cheap, sure. But considering you’ll never need to buy another sports car again, you could almost call that a bargain.
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