New Porsche 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 unveiled
In the tradition of the iconic GT road cars from Porsche Motorsport, the pure character of the new 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 is designed to appeal to sports car enthusiasts who delight in an undiluted driving experience, appreciate a high level of dynamic agility and an intimate relationship with the road. The perfectly balanced mid-engine chassis design offers all this.
For the first time, the 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 share a technical base. This includes a newly-developed, four-litre six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, combined with a six-speed manual transmission. The boxer engine generates 420 PS (309 kW) in both models. Whilst the GT4 represents the entry-level GT street car from Porsche with a breadth of ability suited to the track, the Spyder lends itself in the most part to road-based driving thrills. Both models rely on highly efficient aerodynamics, a thoroughbred 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. The naturally aspirated engine is based on the same engine family as the turbo engines in the current 911 Carrera model series. The new high-revving, 420 PS power unit generates an additional 35 PS over the predecessor GT4 model. In the case of the third generation Spyder, this model has 45 PS more. The engine delivers maximum torque of 420 Newton metres between 5,000 and 6,800 rpm. Each car features a six-speed manual transmission, for optimal driver engagement. Where possible, both models offer a top speed of 187 mph and 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds from a standing start. The correlated fuel consumption of the mid-engine sports cars is 25.7 mpg (11.0 l/100 km according to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). NEDC equivalent emissions for both cars are 249 g/km CO2.
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 rpm. The unparalleled flat-six 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, without increasing drag
Among the striking features of the 718 Cayman GT4 is the comprehensively improved aerodynamic design. The car produces up to 50 per cent more downforce, without adversely affecting aerodynamic resistance, or ‘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 underbody for a functional diffuser, which accounts for 30 per cent of the downforce acting on the rear of the 718 Cayman GT4. The fixed rear wing is also distinguished by its greater efficiency: it produces around 20 per cent more downforce compared with that of its predecessor. This corresponds to an additional downforce of twelve kilograms at 124 mph (200 km/h). The front section, which is further optimised in the GT style, maintains the overall aerodynamic balance of the car courtesy of a large front spoiler lip and so-called air curtains at the side. The latter calm the air flow across the front wheels.
Porsche 718 Spyder: an open-top road sports car with a lightweight convertible top
The new 718 Spyder is a pure machine dedicated to driving pleasure, and is equipped with a lightweight convertible roof that can cope with top speeds. It continues the history of such famous Roadsters as the Porsche 550 Spyder and the 718 RS 60 Spyder. Open or closed, the car presents a captivating silhouette. The roof is suitable for everyday use and can be stowed away under the boot lid in just a few steps. Unlike the GT4, the 718 Spyder has a rear spoiler that is raised automatically at 74 mph. Thanks to the aforementioned functional diffuser, it is the first model in the Boxster family to generate aerodynamic downforce on 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 intense and engaging driving experience. Refinements to the lightweight spring-strut front and rear axles make use of motor sport-bred technologies, including, for instance, ball jointed suspension links. The Porsche Active Suspension Management damping system sits 30 mm lower, bringing the centre of gravity down and further boosting cornering agility. The chassis is specifically designed for use on the race track and the special features deliver sharper handling characteristics for the 718 Cayman GT4. The 718 Spyder also benefits from this design.
Furthermore, the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) operates with even greater sensitivity and precision, but can optionally also be deactivated in two steps. Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical rear limited slip differential lock further enhances the longitudinal and lateral dynamics, cornering performance and driving fun.
The GT4 also comes with the option of a Clubsport package. This includes a rear steel roll cage, 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 braking system in the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 features large, aluminium monobloc fixed-calliper brakes that provide consistent stopping power suitable for track driving. The Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) is also available as an option. One new feature is that the 718 Spyder now runs on ultra-high-performance (UHP) tyres specially adapted by Porsche. They are part of the overall package that makes the 718 Cayman GT4 fly on the Nürburgring Nordschleife: its lap time around the 20.6-kilometre legendary race track is more than ten seconds faster than its predecessor.
The new Porsche 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 are available to order from today at Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland. Prices start at £73,405.00 RRP for the 718 Spyder and £75,348.00 RRP for the 718 Cayman GT4.
Customers will also be invited to explore the potential of their new car, and further develop their own skills behind the wheel, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the unique tracks at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.