The days of lightweight, thoroughbred sports cars may be waning, but not at Porsche. The latest salvo from the German performance marque is an evolution of the much-loved Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 launched a few years back.
The new cars arrive next spring as 2020 models, with the Boxster Spyder priced from $97,550 and the Cayman GT4 from $100,450. Both figures include destination.
What's impressive is that the cars are devoid of electrification and turbochargers, which may not be the case for their respective successors. Whereas other 718 Boxster and Cayman variants are fitted exclusively with turbocharged flat-4 engines, these more potent versions run naturally aspirated flat-6 engines, just like their predecessors. Call it a parting gift from veteran Porsche engineer August Achleitner, who headed 718 and 911 development prior to retiring late last year.
2020 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder
The mid-mounted engine isn't the 4.0-liter from the 911 GT3 as some had hoped but a newly developed unit delivering 414 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission offered is a 6-speed manual with rev-matching and drive is to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential. Porsche developed a new exhaust system as well, which the automaker said gives the cars a distinct sound to highlight their flat-6 engine.
To complement the new engine, the cars also benefit from track-honed suspension with adaptive dampers and a ride height 1.18 inches lower than on standard 718 models. The cars also feature manual adjustment of the camber, toe, ride height and anti-roll bar settings.
Some elements have been borrowed from the 911 GT3 track special, like the front axle and brakes. Steel discs are standard but carbon-ceramic units are available. These measure more than 16 inches across at the front axle. The standard wheels are a 20-inch set wearing 245/35-size tires up front and 295/30-size at the rear.
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
Owners can look forward to 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph. Porsche also claimed the cars will lap the Nürburgring about 10 seconds faster than their respective predecessors.
Inside, the cars feature a number of motorsport-inspired elements like Porsche's GT Sport steering wheel, a short-throw shifter, and body-hugging seats with raised side bolsters. Alcantara and brushed aluminum accents can be found around the cabin, and for the Boxster Spyder owners can add a classic package that comes with retro features including a two-tone fabric top in black and red, a design reminiscent of historic Porsche race cars.
Production of the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 will be limited, so if you’re interested in parking one on your driveway you better place an order fast. These special editions typically don't last, and the new cars, like their predecessors, will likely turn out to be true collector items. This will especially be true if Porsche goes ahead with plans currently being discussed to convert the 718 line to electric power.