718 Cayman

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2018 Porsche 718 Cayman Overview

The Porsche 718 Cayman lineup expands for 2018 with the addition of a new performance-oriented GTS trim, joining the existing base 718 Cayman and 718 Cayman S compact sport coupe. Based on the Cayman S trim with elements borrowed from similar GTS versions of the 911, Macan, and Cayenne, the 718 Cayman GTS displays a distinctive exterior design and comes well-equipped with a number of upgraded features, including a performance-oriented suspension and a sport exhaust system. The most powerful Cayman currently available, the GTS reaches 0-60 mph in as little as 3.9 seconds.

Exterior details help distinguish the GTS from other Cayman trims, starting with a unique Sport Design front fascia with larger air intakes, a different paint scheme, and more aerodynamic styling. The Cayman GTS gets tinted front turn signals and taillights, black badging, black-tipped dual exhaust pipes, and black exterior accents on the front fascia, side air intakes, back end, and lower rear fascia. Exclusive 20-inch wheels with a matte black finish round out the exterior upgrades.

The Cayman GTS rides on an active sport suspension that's lowered by 0.39 inches, when compared to the Cayman base and S trims. Standard performance features include the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, which optimizes road grip and improves stability during aggressive maneuvers while ensuring ride comfort. Borrowed from the 911, PASM gives drivers the ability to adjust the hydraulic dampers and steering response by switching between Normal and Sport modes.

To boost output from the 2.5-liter flat-4-cylinder powerplant shared with the S trim, Porsche revised the engine's intake plenum and retuned its turbocharger resulting in horsepower increasing to 365, up 15 hp over the same powerplant in the Cayman S and 65 hp over the base Cayman's smaller 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The standard Cayman GTS gets a 6-speed manual transmission, but buyers can switch out the manual for an optional 7-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) dual-clutch transmission.

The standard 6-speed manual transmission torque tops out at 309 pound-feet, matching torque in the S trim, but it increases to 317 lb-ft with the optional 7-speed PDK.
When equipped with the manual transmission, the GTS dashes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. With the PDK, the GTS makes the same run in just 3.9 seconds, thanks in part to its Sport Chrono package that comes standard with the optional transmission. The Sport Chrono package includes Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Custom driving modes that make adjustments to the engine, chassis, and transmission shift points. With the manual transmission, the GTS comes equipped with a rear limited-slip differential and the Porsche Torque Vectoring system, which applies the brake on the inside front wheel during tight turns to ensure stability.

Along with exterior and engine enhancements, the GTS gets an upgraded interior. Yards of Alcantara cover the door armrests, center console armrest, and steering wheel rim, as well as the centers of the upgraded sport seats. The seats, which have the GTS logo embroidered on the headrests, provide improved lateral support for more aggressive driving situations. The GTS with PDK and Sport Chrono package also receives a chronometer mounted in the center of the dashboard. In addition, the automaker includes its Porsche Track Precision App when buyers opt for the available Navigation Module and Connect Plus packages. Drivers can use the app to keep track of performance driving data on their smartphones.

The introduction of the GTS trim comes a year after Porsche gave the Cayman a full-blown third-generation makeover with new turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplants and a name change to 718. Due to their recent redesigns, both the base Cayman and Cayman S remain unchanged for 2018. All Caymans feature a midengine layout placing the powerplant no more than a foot behind the driver in a horizontally opposed position, and resulting in improved stability, a lower center of gravity, more efficient operation, and overall weight reduction.

A 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder continues to power the base trim. The engine generates 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, good enough for a 0 to 60 time of 4.9 seconds with the 6-speed manual transmission, 4.7 seconds with the PDK, and 4.5 seconds with the Sport Chrono package added. Thanks to its more powerful 350-hp 2.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder, the Cayman S reaches 60 mph in 4.4 seconds with the manual transmission, 4.2 seconds with the PDK, and 4.0 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. Fuel economy numbers for the base engine check in at 21 mpg city, 28 highway, and 24 combined with the manual and 22, 30, and 25 with the PDK. Those numbers drop slightly for the S trim, to 20, 26, and 22 with the manual transmission and 21, 28, and 24 with the PDK. Both are rear-wheel drive (RWD).

Outside, the 718 Cayman's fastback-style roofline, long hood, large wheel wells, scooped-out sides, and hunky tail give it a sleek, sporty look. High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with daytime running lights come standard on all trims;LED headlights are available as an option. The base trim gets a single exhaust pipe and rides on 18-inch wheels, while the S and GTS are upgraded to twin centered pipes and 19-inch wheels with red brake calipers.

Inside, the Cayman seats two passengers in its ergonomically designed cabin. The partial-leather sport seats provide good support, and buttons and controls are within easy reach. A sport steering wheel comes standard, but buyers can opt for a smaller GT steering wheel. The redesigned instrument panel features a centralized tachometer and a 4.6-inch color screen to display driving data. The Porsche Communication Management system, standard on all trims, includes a 7-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, and an 8-speaker, 110-watt audio system with HD and Satellite Radio, as well as Apple CarPlay. Buyers can opt for an available 10-speaker, 505-watt Bose audio system or a 12-speaker, 821-watt Burmester system. The S trim also includes sport-look pedals and footrest. The Cayman offers 5.3 cubic feet of cargo space under the front hood and 9.7 cubic feet in the rear.

All Caymans come equipped with a full range of airbags as standard equipment. Cutting-edge safety features like blind spot alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning remain optional. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not issued safety ratings for the 718 Cayman.

Thanks to its aggressive performance, sporty handling, sleek exterior design, and comfortable cabin, the Cayman continues to receive high class ratings and exceptional reviews.


Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.

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