• Turbo four replaced by naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six
  • 414 horsepower, 309 lb-ft of torque on tap
  • 6-speed manual only
  • 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, top speed of 187 mph (Spyder) and 188 mph (GT4)
  • Standard PASM, lower ride height, and driver-adjustable suspension elements
  • Priced at $96,300 (Spyder), $99,200 (GT4) plus $1250 destination
  • For order now, with deliveries next spring

 

Porsche has just announced the latest ultra-high-performance versions of its mid-engine sports cars, the Boxster and Cayman, and even more so than their predecessors, the 2020 718 Spyder and 2020 Cayman GT4 look to be two mouthwatering entrants worthy of the kind of fervor that fans typically reserve for Porsche Motorsports-developed 911 GT models.

Naturally aspirated flat-six returns

While the base, S, and GTS-model 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman have abandoned the naturally aspirated flat-six engine for turbocharged flat-fours—a move met with some consternation from the Porsche faithful—the naturally aspirated flat-six is resurrected in the new Spyder (which, interestingly, drops the “Boxster” designation) and GT4. Their shared engine is derived from the turbocharged 3.0-liter unit in the 911, bored and stroked to 4.0 liters.

Peak output is 414 horsepower at 7600 rpm along with 309 lb-ft of torque from 5,000 to 6,800 revs and redline is at 8,000 rpm. (That’s compared with 365 horses and 317 lb-ft for the top version of the 2.5-liter turbo four, found in the GTS.) A 6-speed manual is the only available gearbox and offers automatic rev-matching on downshifts, although the feature can be switched off. A mechanical limited-slip differential and Porsche Torque Vectoring also are standard.

How fast are the new 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder?

Porsche says the 0-to-60-mph time for the duo is 4.2 seconds, which is 0.2 second quicker than the six-speed-manual GTS but 0.3 second behind the GTS with its available PDK automatic. The Spyder and GT4 are comfortably ahead of the GTS in top speed, however, reaching 187 mph (Spyder) and 188 mph (GT4), versus 180 mph for the lesser model.

Chassis upgrades borrowed from the GT3

The brakes are adopted from the 911 GT3, with standard iron rotors of 15.0 inches, with the fronts squeezed by 6-piston calipers and the rear by 4-piston units. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake rotors are optional, their rotors measuring 16.1 inches and 15.4 inches front and rear, respectively. The standard 20-inch wheels are specific to these cars and are wrapped with ultra-high-performance Michelin or Dunlop rubber, size 245/35 front and 295/30 rear. As on the GTS models, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is standard, but the ride height here has been further lowered, sitting 1.18 inches below that of the standard cars. The suspension includes adaptive dampers and helper springs in the rear axle, and offers adjustable camber, toe-in, and anti-roll bars. The traction control and stability control can be partially or fully switched off.

718 Spyder and Cayman GT4 Design

Like past Boxster Spyders, the new 718 Spyder foregoes a power top in favor of a manual soft top with fabric flying buttresses, although the new car’s lid is said to be easier to operate. The restyled rear panel incorporates fairings similar to those on the new 911 Speedster, and a spoiler at the trailing edge of the rear lid extends automatically. The GT4 gets a manually adjustable rear wing, along with blade-like elements at the side air intakes. Both models have a deep front fascia with enlarged air intakes and a redesigned rear diffuser.

Inside, fabric loops replace the door handles, the shift lever is shortened by 0.39 inch, and a smaller-diameter GT Sport steering wheel is standard (with a hash mark at 12 o’clock on the GT4). Standard Sport Seats Plus have more pronounced side bolsters, while Full Bucket Seats or Adaptive Sport Seats Plus are optional. Alcantara is used on the seats’ center section, on the steering wheel, and on the shift lever. Contrast stitching is available in red, silver, or yellow.

Class of 2020: The New and Redesigned Cars, Trucks and SUVs

Brushed aluminum trim is standard in the GT4, while the Spyder gets body-color interior trim. The roadster can be optioned with the Spyder Classic Interior Package, which includes two-tone red and black leather, a red and black fabric top, silver interior trim, and additional Alcantara. Unlike previous versions, air conditioning is standard here, as is Porsche’s PCM infotainment system with Sound Package Plus—although navigation costs extra as does Apple CarPlay.

How much do the 2020 Porsche Cayman GT4 and Spyder cost?

These are the first Boxster and Cayman variants to land solidly in six-figure territory as equipped. The base price of the Spyder is $96,300 while the GT4 is $99,200—and that’s before the $1,250 destination charge, which immediately vaults the Cayman over the $100k mark. But given the way these two cars are poised to push Porschephiles’ hot buttons, we suspect they will be undaunted.

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