Back in 2016, Porsche fitted a new four-cylinder turbo engine to its Boxster and Cayman sports cars, badging them the 718 after a race car it built in the late 1950s.
The idea sounded like a winner for well-heeled petrolheads.
Such a pity the engine didn’t sound so glorious.
It made the Boxster and Cayman 718s better to drive and faster. But sales dropped off because it sounds like a Beetle if you’re being polite – or a pig farting if you’re not.
The option if you mourned the loss of the six-cylinder engines was to buy a Cayman GT4 with a 4.0-liter engine borrowed from the 911 but without the turbochargers and a bigger capacity by a liter.
Porsche launched the second generation Cayman GT4 last year which we tested. Not cheap at 75 grand but the best sports car you can buy for any money.
Or it was until the new Cayman GTS arrived which we tested before lockdown.
For starters, it uses exactly the same engine as the GT4 which means a 4.0-liter flat-six that’s naturally aspirated.
The only difference between the GT4 and GTS is that in the former the motor revs to 8,000rpm and in the latter, it’s 7,800rpm. With the lost 200rpm goes 20bhp, but you won’t notice on the road because the GTS still has 394bhp and the same 431Nm of torque.
Porsche will have only done it for marketing reasons so that the GT4 is still top dog and justifies its extra cost.
So what do you lose having saved 14,300 USD by buying the 83.500 USD Cayman GTS?
Again, not much you’ll notice on UK roads. Firstly it doesn’t have the same aerodynamic package as the GT4 because the rear wing has gone and there’s no underbody diffuser. Bang goes 100kg of downforce at 150mph.
Also, the front suspension on the more extreme car has risen joints whereas the GTS’s suspension has standard rubber bushes.
Rose joints are what you find on racing cars – they make the suspension geometry more accurate but transmit more shocks from the road.
You’re going to love this car if you’re a traditionalist because like the GT4 it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox – well, almost the same but with a slightly longer gear lever movement.
It’s a lovely gearbox to use and has an auto-blip function that raises the engine revs a little as you change down a gear.
Unless you really need the two small rear seats there’s no reason to buy a 911 over this car.