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New Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder get naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat six

Monday, June 17, 2019

Article by Damon Lowney
Photos courtesy Porsche

Two of the most exciting and unexpected cars Porsche has produced in the past few years were the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder, both with the 3.8-liter normally aspirated flat six sourced from the 997 Carrera GTS. Porsche announced the successors of those two cars today, the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4, both of which have a 4.0-liter normally aspirated flat six.

For enthusiasts, that’s the best news to come from Porsche since the announcement of possibly the previous GT4 and Spyder or the more recent GT3 with the Touring Package. In the 718, the new flat six, which is based on the 9A2 Evo engine found in the 992-gen 2020 911 Carrera S and 4S, according to a Porsche spokesperson, makes a not-insubstantial 414 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque and revs to 8,000 rpm. That’s 76 hp, 30 lb-ft, and 1,000 rpm fewer than the GT3, yet we’re not surprised Porsche decided to give its mid-engined sports cars a less-powerful engine, as they are considered second tier to the 911.

A six-speed manual is the only transmission option for both the 718 Spyder and GT4. The former can reach 187 miles per hour, the latter a slightly more impressive 188 mph. To slow the GT4 and Spyder, the GT3’s brake system was swapped in, with 380-mm cast-iron brake discs front and rear standard, or 410- and 390-mm discs if you opt for Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB).

As was the case for the last GT4 (but not the Spyder), both cars’ front axle and suspension designs come directly from the GT3, while the rear axle and suspension are specific to them. Active dampers are track bred. Helper springs at the rear provide a more refined ride-handling balance, and the two cars’ ride heights are 30 millimeters lower than the base 718s, though, typical of GT Porsches, ride height, toe, camber, and anti-roll bar settings are all manually adjustable.

To further tighten up the handling, a mechanical limited-slip differential is paired with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV). 20-inch wheels ride on 245/35-20 front and 295/30-20 rear tires. The Spyder’s wheels get a silver finish, while the GT4’s are painted in Satin Platinum.

Modern cars all have electronic driving aids for all type of driving situations, yet Porsche goes a step further to allow customization of which aids come to the rescue. The anti-lock-braking system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), and traction control (TC) are all specifically calibrated for the new cars, according to Porsche. ESC and TC can be switched off in two stages.

Outside, the GT4 and Spyder get new front and rear fascias, the latter of which receives two exhaust outlets that now have a good amount of space between them, as opposed to the center exit exhaust of the previous cars. The front splitters get embossings of their respective model designations. An opening between the leading edge of the frunk and trailing edge of the front bumper evacuates hot air from the radiators. The GT4 gets a big rear wing to increase downforce, and the Spyder gets a motorized rear spoiler specific to the model. The Spyder gets a manually operated fabric top and a tonneau cover with dual streamliners.

Inside, both the Spyder and GT4 have Sport Plus seats standard, with full carbon race buckets or 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats Plus as options. Air-conditioning and Porsche Communications Management (PCM) are both standard, though buyers may opt for an upgrade to include navigation and Apple CarPlay, Porsche says. It’s a shame CarPlay doesn’t come standard in this day and age. The manual shift lever is 20-mm shorter than on other 718s, shortening the shift action.

The Spyder gets a pretty special option, the Spyder Classic Interior Package. This means two-tone leather in Bordeaux Red and Black, more Alcantara throughout, GT Silver Metallic trim, and a two-tone fabric top in red and black, invoking Porsche race cars of past. The GT4 relegates buyers to one interior option: Stitching color, in red, silver, or yellow.

For the record, Porsche says the new 718 GT4 laps the Nürbugring-Nordscheife 10 seconds faster than the last GT4.

Porsche says the 718 GT4 and 718 Spyder both will hit dealership showrooms in Spring 2020. MSRPs are $99,200 and $96,300, respectively, not including the $1,250 delivery fee.

UPDATE (6-17-2019): A previous version of this article stated that the 4.0-liter flat six was based on that of the 911 GT3; that is not the case and is now reflected in the article. We also stated that the ABS, ESC, and TC could be specifically calibrated by the driver, when, in fact, these three systems were specially calibrated for these two cars; ESC and TC may be turned off, but not ABS. This is also now reflected in the article.

Full Porsche Press Release

Pure fun: The 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder

414 hp 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six paired with a six-speed manual transmission drives the most powerful and exhilarating 718 models to date

ATLANTA, June 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Developed by the Porsche Motorsport department, the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder represent the most powerful and engaging variants of the 718 line-up yet created. Offering a blend of pure, unfiltered driver's car character and track-oriented performance, both models are powered by a new 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six engine developing 414 horsepower and 309 lb.-ft. of torque.

An entirely new sport exhaust system designed specifically for the car underscores the exciting flat-six sound of the engine, which can rev up to 8,000 rpm. Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The six-speed manual offers an "Auto Blip" function that automatically matches gearbox and engine speeds during a downshift. This feature can be individually activated or deactivated at the touch of a button. The GT4 is capable of a top track speed of 188 mph, while the Spyder can reach 187 mph.

True to their Motorsport roots, the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder share a track-bred Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) setup with adaptive dampers, helper springs on the rear axle and a ride height that is 1.18 inches (30 mm) lower than a standard 718 Boxster or Cayman. It also allows for manual adjustments of camber, toe, ride height and anti-roll bar settings. The front axle is taken from the 2018 911 GT3, while the rear axle is a specific design for the GT4 and Spyder. The brakes on both models are adopted from the 911 GT3. The standard grey cast iron rotors measure 380 mm front and rear. The optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system features ceramic composite rotors measuring 410 mm in the front and 390 mm at the rear, providing a weight savings of approximately 50 percent from the cast iron equivalents.

At the rear, a standard mechanical limited-slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) help maintain optimum traction. The GT4 and Spyder are fitted with specifically designed 20-inch wheels shod in UHP tires measuring 245/35 ZR 20 at the front and 295/30 ZR 20 at the rear. The wheels as standard on the 718 Spyder feature a silver finish, while the GT4 is equipped with wheels painted in Satin Platinum. Other wheels finishes are optionally available. ABS as well as electronic stability (ESC) and traction (TC) controls have been specifically calibrated for the cars and, as is typical for a GT model, ESC and TC can be switched off in two stages. The 718 Cayman GT4 is capable of lapping the "Nordschleife" more than ten seconds faster than its predecessor.

The 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder are immediately recognizable as the most potent and track capable models within their range and each have their own unique styling elements. Both cars feature a front spoiler lip with recessed model designation, a central air outlet ahead of the front luggage compartment lid which aids downforce and cooling, as well as tinted taillights. The design of the 718 Spyder is further characterized by a manually-operated lightweight fabric top, a rear lid with two dynamic streamliners, and an automatically-extending rear spoiler designed specifically for the car. A new rear diffuser not only frames the sport exhaust system, but also reduces lift on the car. The 718 Cayman GT4 shares this diffuser, which contributes to an increase in downforce of approximately 50 percent compared to the predecessor, in conjunction with the re-designed, manually adjustable rear wing. Side air intakes with additional side blades are also specific to the GT4.

The interior of both cars underscores their Motorsport heritage and driver-focused nature. A GT Sport steering wheel measuring 14.1 inches (360 mm) in diameter is standard, and features a top center marker in black on the GT4. The shift lever is 0.39 inches (20 mm) shorter than on standard 718 models, offering a particularly direct and crisp feel when changing gears, and standard Sport Seats Plus with raised side bolsters provide a high degree of lateral support. The seat centers are upholstered in Alcantara, as is the steering wheel rim, the shift lever and the lower part of the dashboard. While the 718 Cayman GT4 is decorated with Brushed Aluminum interior trim, the trim pieces of the 718 Spyder are painted in exterior color - other trims are optionally available. Also optional on both models: Full Bucket Seats or electrically adjustable 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats Plus. Air conditioning and the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with Sound Package Plus are fitted as standard. The PCM system can be optionally upgraded with features such as navigation including Porsche Connect and Apple CarPlay®.

Optionally, the 718 Spyder can be ordered with the Spyder Classic Interior Package. The package features two-tone leather in Bordeaux Red and Black, extended Alcantara upholstery, GT Silver Metallic interior trim, and a new two-tone fabric top in black and red – reminiscent of historic Porsche racing cars. The 718 Cayman GT4 and the 718 Spyder offer the option of decorative interior stitching in Red, Silver, or Yellow.

The 2020 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder are available to order now and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in Spring 2020. The MSRP for the 718 Spyder is $96,300, while the 718 Cayman GT4 retails for $99,200 – both not including the $1,250 delivery, processing and handling fee.

About Porsche Cars North America, Inc. | One Porsche Drive, Atlanta, GA 30354 USA
Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of the Porsche 911, 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman; Macan and Cayenne; and Panamera. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6 mile driver development track, business center, and fine dining restaurant, 356. The company operates a second Porsche Experience Center near Los Angeles. That 53-acre complex features a driver development track with eight educational modules totaling 4.1 miles, a business center, and Restaurant 917. PCNA employs over 300 people who provide parts, service, marketing, and training for 191 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the Porsche brand's 70-year history of leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency. PCNA is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

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