Six-cylinder power is returning to the Porsche Boxster and Cayman line-ups, three years after the new generation 718 twins launched with four-cylinder engines.
The Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 and Boxster GTS 4.0 – powered by a slightly detuned version of the 4.0-litre six-cylinder from the upcoming Cayman GT4 and Spyder GT4 – are due to arrive in Australian showrooms in the middle of year priced from $172,400 and $175,200 plus on-road costs respectively.
While the switch to four-cylinder power was welcomed in countries that tax cars based on engine capacity and emission ratings, some Porsche purists have been holding out for something more.
The Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 and Boxster GTS 4.0 will be a regular part of the Porsche range, whereas the Cayman GT4 and Spyder GT4 will be sold in limited numbers.
The introduction of new engine options means there will be four four-cylinder models and four six-cylinder models in the 2020 Cayman and Boxster range.
The Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 and the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 are powered by a 294kW/418Nm version of the 4.0-litre horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine used in the Cayman GT4 and Spyder GT4, and which redlines at 7800rpm. The GTS 4.0 also adopts the GT4’s twin exhaust.
Porsche claims both manual versions of the GTS 4.0 can do the 0 to 100kmh dash in 4.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 293kmh.
By comparison the same engine in the Cayman GT4 has an output of 309kW/420Nm and does the 0 to 100kmh dash in 4.4 seconds, just 0.1 second slower than the GTS 4.0. And yet the GTS 4.0 versions are $22,000 cheaper (Boxster) and $34,600 cheaper (Cayman) than their GT4 equivalents.
A six-speed manual is the only transmission available at launch of the GTS 4.0 twins, but a seven-speed twin-clutch auto may follow in 2021.
At a glance, the GTS 4.0 versions look the same as the regular Cayman and Boxster line-up, but they come standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) sports suspension, a 20 millimetre lower ride height, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical limited slip rear differential, and 20-inch alloy wheels (235/35 ZR 20 at the front and 265/35 ZR 20 at the rear).
While the four-cylinder versions of the Boxster and Cayman have more power than their equivalent six-cylinder predecessors, some repeat buyers have been waiting for the return of large capacity engines.
To give buyers the best of both worlds, the GTS 4.0 has adopted fuel-saving technology that alternately switches off one of the two cylinder banks when full throttle is not needed.
Track day warriors will likely welcome the standard fitment of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a high-resolution seven-inch touchscreen and a Sport Chrono package that includes a Track Precision App.
“This smartphone app, which originates from motorsport, shows performance-related data on the (cabin) display while in race track use, and records it for later analysis,” says Porsche.
Premium audio from Bose or Burmester remain options, but in Australia standard equipment includes cruise control, heated seats and steering wheel, multifunction steering wheel, two-zone air-conditioning, an alarm system, rear camera and parking sensors, directional headlights, built-in navigation, digital radio and Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto).
2020 Porsche 718 GTS 4.0 pricing
- 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 - $172,400
- 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 - $175,200