Porsche 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4 Get 6-Cylinder Power Again

Either in response to customer demand or as part of its plan all along, Porsche is introducing a new 4.0-liter 6-cylinder engine for top-tier 718 models. Mercifully, these will be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard in either the Spyder and Cayman GT4.

The new naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter engine is derived from the current 911 Carerra turbo engine. With displacement increased, power goes up from the last Cayman GT4 by 35 hp. The 718 Cayman GT4 will make 414 hp at 7,600 rpm, on its way to an 8,000-rpm redline. In the 718 Spyder, this represents an increase of 44 hp over the previous droptop. Torque peaks at 310 lb-ft from 5,000-6,800 rpm.

Looking at the sales figures for the Cayman over the last few years, 2017-18’s sales of 2,900 and 3,179 (respectively) does not exceed any year from 2013-2017, which ranged from 3,322 to 3,590. This might suggest that Porsche lost some Cayman customers with the change to 4-cylinder turbo power. Boxter sales show the same trend.

However, one cannot assume that Porsche was unprepared for this. They would know that the 4-cyl engines would turn off some 718 model buyers, even if the cars were faster. From a technical standpoint, it is clear that the car was always designed to accept a 6-cyl engine. But building a new engine is a lengthy process, so it stands to reason that this new 4.0-liter was in development before the 718 models were even launched.

The new powerplant adds adaptive cylinder control, which can deactivate the fuel injectors in one of the two cylinder banks. Doing so during part-throttle operation reduces fuel consumption to improve efficiency.

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The 0-60 mph time for the 3,131-lb 718 Cayman GT4 is rated at 4.2 seconds. This is slower than the 2018 Cayman GTS’s time of 3.9 seconds, but that is likely due to the PDK transmission in the GTS, as well as the low-end torque provided by the turbo. It can be expected that the 718 Cayman GT4 and Spyder will perform better at higher engine speeds and in track settings. And let’s not neglect to celebrate the additional fun-factor of the standard 6-speed manual transmission!

For the first time, the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 will share their chassis setup. The Spyder goes more hardcore and gets the track-focused suspension of the Cayman. This includes ball joints in place of certain bushings, 30 mm lower ride height, recalibrated Porsche Stability Management (PSM), and a mechanical locking rear differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV). Both cars have the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) available as an option and they run on a new ultra-high performance rubber, though it has not yet disclosed as to what tire that is.

The new Porsche 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 are available to order now, so drop what you’re doing and call your nearest dealer.

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