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How cool do these new cars from Porsche look?
For reference - Boxster and Cayman, in Auto Trader's opinion, the Porsche models for those who really know how to drive.
The 718 range welcomes new members: with the 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4, Porsche introduces two emotional and powerful models which claim top spot in the series.
Their purist characteristics will appeal to sports car enthusiasts who delight in unadulterated driving pleasure and appreciate a high level of agility.
For the first time ever, the 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 share a technical base, which includes the newly developed four-litre, six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, combined with a six-speed manual transmission.
The boxer engine generates 420 hp (309 kW) in both models. Whilst the GT4 represents the entry-level GT road model from Porsche, the Spyder is geared towards open-top, dynamic driving on curvy routes. Both rely on highly efficient aerodynamics, a full GT chassis and powerful brakes.
High-revving and highly emotional naturally aspirated engine
At the heart of both models is the new four-litre six-cylinder boxer engine which is based on the family of turbo engines in the current 911 Carrera model series. The high-revving unit generates 420 hp (309 kW) and delivers a maximum torque of 420 newton metres at between 5,000 and 6,800 rpm. This has resulted in a 35 hp increase for the GT4, when compared to previous models. Meanwhile, in its third generation, the Spyder now produces 45 hp more. Both manual transmission sports cars break the 300 km/h barrier, with the 718 Spyder having a top speed of 301 km/h, whilst the 718 Cayman GT4 can reach 304 km/h. Both models accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds from a standing start. The correlated fuel consumption of the mid-engine sports cars is 10.9 l/100 km according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The fascinating character of this naturally aspirated engine combines a modern gasoline particulate filter emission control system with the linear power delivery and the immediate response of a GT engine. It has a maximum engine speed of 8,000 revolutions. The unparalleled boxer sound remains untouched. New additions include technical highlights such as adaptive cylinder control. In part-load operation, it temporarily interrupts the injection process in one of the two cylinder banks, thus reducing fuel consumption.
Piezo injectors are used for direct fuel injection for the first time ever in a high-revving engine. They split each injection process into up to five individual injections. This supports a complete – and therefore emissions-friendly – combustion process. A variable intake system with two resonance valves ensures optimum gas exchange in the cylinders.
Aerodynamic efficiency: more downforce, same drag
Among the striking features of the 718 Cayman GT4 is the comprehensively improved aerodynamics concept. It produces up to 50 percent more downforce, without adversely affecting drag, proof of outstanding efficiency. The aerodynamics of both models benefit enormously from the newly designed single-chamber arch rear silencer. It creates space in the rear section for a functional diffuser, which accounts for at least 30 percent of the downforce at the rear axle in the 718 Cayman GT4. The fixed rear wing is also marked by greater efficiency, as it produces around 20 percent more downforce compared with its predecessor. This corresponds to an additional downforce of twelve kilograms at 200 km/h. The front section, which is optimised in GT style, maintains the aerodynamic balance with a large front spoiler lip and so-called air curtains. The latter calms air flow along the front wheels.
Porsche 718 Spyder: an open-top road sport car with lightweight convertible top
The new 718 Spyder is a pure machine for driving pleasure with a lightweight convertible top that can cope with top speeds. It continues the history of such famous Roadsters like the Porsche 550 Spyder and the 718 RS 60 Spyder. Open or closed, it thrills with a captivating silhouette. The roof is suitable for everyday use and can be stowed away under the boot lid in just a few steps. In contrast to the GT4, the 718 Spyder has a rear spoiler that comes up automatically at 120 km/h. Thanks to the functional diffuser, it is the first model in the Boxster family to generate aerodynamic downforce at the rear axle.
High-performance GT chassis: optimised for best dynamics
For the first time ever, the 718 Spyder benefits from the high-performance GT chassis of the 718 Cayman GT4. With its superior cornering dynamics, it provides an emotional driving experience. Its further refined lightweight spring-strut front and rear axles make use of racing technology. The direct connection to the chassis is partially by means of ball joints. The Porsche Active Suspension Management damping system with 30 mm lower suspension lowers the centre of gravity and improves lateral dynamics potential. It is specifically designed for use on the racetrack and makes the handling characteristics of both models sharper. The Porsche Stability Management (PSM) operates with even greater sensitivity and precision and can optionally also be deactivated in two steps. Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with mechanical rear differential lock further enhances the longitudinal and lateral dynamics, cornering performance and driving pleasure. The GT4 also comes with the option of a Clubsport package which includes a rear steel roll bar, a hand-held fire extinguisher and a six-point seatbelt on the driver’s side.
Gripping: powerful brakes, ultra-high-performance tyres
The high-performance brake system in the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 provides consistent braking that is suitable for track driving thanks to large aluminium monobloc fixed-calliper brakes. The Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) is also available as an option. As a new feature, the 718 Spyder now runs on ultra-high-performance (UHP) tyres specially adapted by Porsche, and part of the overall package that makes the 718 Cayman GT4 fly on the Nürburgring “Nordschleife”. The new model achieved a lap time on the 20.6-kilometre classic racetrack, that is is more than ten seconds faster than its predecessor.
The new Porsche 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 are available for order. Price details can be obtained at the nearest Porsche Centre.