Configurator Challenge: Porsche 718

Which would you choose – Boxster or Cayman?
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Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but choice can be seriously confusing. In our configurator challenge, we let the CarAdvice team loose on a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal spec of a certain model.

For this edition of the Configurator Challenge, we’re designing our perfect Porsche 718.

Let us know what you think in the comments, and which cars you’d like to see next!

James Wong, Journalist

The Cayman is often described as a "poor man's 911", and since I'm actually poor compared to the usual Porsche buyer I've opted for the base-spec 718 Cayman. No 'S' or 'GTS' to be seen here.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbo four making 220kW of power and 380Nm of torque. I've equipped mine with the standard six-speed manual transmission, making for a 0-100 time of 5.1 seconds (claimed). The 718 isn't about all-out speed, and I don't plan on spending over $200,000 on a four-cylinder Porsche, no offence.

Externally, I've gone for GT Silver metallic ($1850) with 20-inch Carrera Classic wheels ($6260). I ticked the boxes for coloured wheel centre caps ($420), a sports exhaust system with silver pipes ($4990), and dynamic LED headlights ($2530).

I wanted the classic Porsche colour scheme with a modern twist, so I've opted for a red interior to complement the silver exterior. The beautiful Bordeaux Red leather interior is an exxy $5880 option, but so worth it, with matching Bordeaux Red seatbelts ($630) and white instrument dials ($1150).

Keeping with my comfort-focused 'divo' persona, I've also decked out my Cayman with numerous luxury and convenience features – highlights include keyless entry and start ($1690), front and rear parking sensors with rear-view camera ($1690), electric folding exterior mirrors with courtesy lighting ($690), Porsche crests embossed on the headrests and centre armrest lid ($550 each), and floor mats ($270).

Rounding out the interior appointments are aluminium sports pedals ($480, not pictured), a passenger footwell storage net ($NCO), a 10-speaker Bose audio system ($2650), the carbon interior trim package ($3490) and a carbon-finished gear lever ($1250) – you can never have too much carbon... mmm...

Despite trying to keep it understated, the bottom line equates to an eye-watering $37,800 of options! That's almost one whole Hyundai i30 N – and I reckon the exhaust on that (standard, mind you) sounds better than this. With a base price of $114,900, that makes the Wongy-spec Cayman $152,700 plus on-roads.

In saying that, I'd be very happy to buy this Cayman... If I had the money... P.S. Porsche do you do mate's rates?

Kez Casey, Road Tester

My initial thought when creating the ultimate 718 was to go easy on the options, stick to a base Cayman, and create myself the ultimate track day hack, but after putting together a white coupe on piddly 18-inch wheels it just didn’t feel right.

A GTS feels like too much, but a Cayman S seems just right with 257kW and 420Nm from its 2.5-litre turbocharged flat four pushed to the rears via a six-speed manual.

As for the styling, this week’s theme follows the abhorrent '90s craze of colour coding everything. Did you know Porsche will let you apply Graphite Blue to the bodywork and the interior? Well, you do now!

Not only can you have a matching in-and-out special but normally black items like the bumper intakes, rear diffuser, side gills and badges can also be colour matched, so can the console, dash trims and parts of the seats – in fact the only thing I haven't colour matched is the exterior window trim.

You can even option a rear wiper, so I did, because practicality is important. Plus 20-inch ‘Carrera S’ wheels finished in Satin Platinum, LED headlights, smoked tail-lights, a 'GT' steering wheel, oh, and some genuine track gear-like carbon-ceramic brakes, sports suspension, sports exhaust, sports bucket seats and the Sports Chrono package.

Simple track car for weekends, remember. Those last few items are bloody expensive though, bringing the options list for my ideal track hack up to $76,610 on top of the $145,100 base price. Probably a safe sign that I need a cheaper hobby!

Melissa Ong, Community Manager

Now now, I already have a GT2 RS in my fantasy CarAdvice configurator garage - so I decided to take it a notch back for my 718. I wanted a convertible in the stable, the kind you can leave at the Mahogany Room valet without some form of regret. Here is my 718 Boxster S – and yes, I picked the manual.

Starting on the exterior, I have gone with special 'Crayon' paint. Some would argue that it isn't all that special – in fact I hear most people calling it 'primer'. Ah well, flat grey it is. I finished the exterior with a black soft top, and gloss-black rims.

Coming around to the rear, I deleted the 718 badge. It looks a lot cleaner without it. I also chose to have black exhaust tips and smoked the tail-lights. Because I'm careful, a rear-view camera has also been added.

Not to be stingy, I added the SportDesign package and upgraded to LED headlights.

For the interior, I have chosen the regular sports seats in two-tone leather. I put as much Alcantara in the cabin as possible. I rest easy knowing that there are cup holders as standard from the passenger side console – where else are you going to put the Maccas cups?

In addition to this, I have added HomeLink, Lane Change Assist, seat ventilation, the smoking package, illuminated door sill guards, and a Burmester High-End Surround Sound System thats worth more than my current car.

Drum roll for final price... $222,845 drive-away – that's actually better than I expected!

Scott Collie, Journalist

GTS. Three letters, short for perfection when it comes to mid-engined Porsches. Although the drop-top Boxster was tempting, the idea of a slightly compromised Porsche sports car is too much to bear. Cayman it is, then.

Rhodium Silver Metallic is the perfect shade to show off the Cayman's curves, especially with the gloss-black wheels ($1430) and red brake calipers. I've opted to delete all the badges and stickers, too, so punters will assume my GTS is just a base 718 Cayman. Sneaky...

LED headlights ($2530) and black window trims ($1090) are the main exterior design options, but my wider options list is staggeringly long. Porsche keyless entry ($1690), electric folding mirrors ($690), parking sensors ($1690) and the PASM sports suspension ($590) have all been added. Yes, they should all be standard, I know.

Inside, I've opted for a two-tone black-and-beige colour split. The GTS interior package was tempting, but it limits you to a single trim colour, and there's something about a German car with a tasteful two-tone cabin that really resonates with me.

Given this is a GTS, the sports bucket seats ($7690) were a no-brainer. Floor mats ($270), along with Guards Red finishing for the instruments ($1150) and Sport Chrono clock ($850) just felt right, too.

The carbon interior package ($3490) and a carbon gear lever ($480) are indulgences, but this is monopoly money we're spending, so who cares?

All told, my options add $30,770 to the base $161,400 Cayman GTS price tag, for a 'baby' Porsche that's pushing $200k. Totally worth it.