THE new Porsche 718 Cayman will be powered by four-cylinder engine for the first time, making it the most affordable sports car available from the brand.
Revealed at the 2016 Beijing motor show this week, the updated Porsche Cayman will start from $110,300 making it cheaper than the Porsche Boxster, which starts from $113,100. That means the 2016 Cayman will be the most affordable Porsche sports car in Australian showrooms when it arrives later this year, despite it costing more than the current base Cayman’s $106,200 kick-off.
The announcement comes as no surprise, as the open-top version of the Cayman, the Porsche Boxster, was confirmed as a turbocharged four-cylinder model late last year. The Cayman will use the same four-cylinder boxer engines that replaced the six-cylinder units in the convertible.
Both Cayman and Boxster four-cylinder models are denoted by the 718 designation, and come as part of a mid-life update that includes stying tweaks in and out for the rear-wheel-drive sports cars.
The new downsized engines bring not only improved performance, but considerably better fuel economy. Porsche Australia has pointed out that the entry-level Cayman’s claim of 6.9L/100km brings it below the Luxury Car Tax threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles, reducing the $4999 premium for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to effectively a mere $1333 after the tax break is applied.
The entry-level Cayman will use a mid-mounted 1998cc turbo flat four-cylinder with 220kW at 6500rpm and 380Nm spread between 1950 and 4500rpm. That’s more than the 202kW produced by the 2.7-litre flat-six that this engine replaces, and considerably more than its 290Nm of torque. Its 6.9L/100km official fuel claim for PDK models compares with the 7.7L/100km figure for the six-cylinder engine it replaces.
That allows the new, lighter Cayman a 4.9sec 0-100km/h claim – easily quicker than the old six-cylinder’s 5.6sec. The new all-alloy engine features direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, includes a dry sump to ensure oil supply even when being pushed hard.
At $140,000 the 718 Cayman S uses a 257kW/420Nm 2497cc turbocharged four in place of the existing car’s 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine. The new powerplant uses the same variable geometry turbo that’s used in the Porsche 911 Turbo, and easily eclipses the six-cylinder Cayman S’s 239kW/370Nm. Claimed 0-100km/h acceleration has improved from 4.9sec to 4.4sec, while the optional Sports Chrono pack that includes Launch Control cuts that to 4.2sec. The PDK also brings fuel efficiency gains, improving by 0.7L/100km to 7.3L/100km.
Mechanically, the 718 Cayman gets larger brakes, with 330mm four-piston front calipers and 299mm rears, with the S model using the same brakes as the 911 Carrera. Porsche engineers have also retuned the chassis. The steering has been recalibrated to be more direct, while the rear wheels on the Cayman are now half-an-inch wider to be 9.5-inch on the base car, and 10 inches on Cayman S.
The exterior has also been tweaked, with the nose given a more angular profile and larger air intakes, with LED DRLs and bi-xenon headlights standard on Australian-spec models. The rear features new taillights connected by a blacked-out horizontal valance, with 718 badging across the bootlid.
Inside, a redesigned dash includes new air vents, the three-spoke steering wheel first seen in the Porsche 918, as well as PCM (Porsche Communication Management) as standard. The PCM includes sat-nav and a 150W audio system.
The 718 Porsche Cayman arrives in showrooms in late 2016 priced from $110,300.