Wearing a set of thick-rimmed glasses which make him look a bit like Brick Top from Snatch, Steve Sutcliffe guides us through Porsche’s marvelous new 718 Cayman GTS 4.0. With with 4-liter flat-six, the GTS is again loud, responsive, predictable, and full of character. Few road cars compare.
“Road car” is the operative term here, since it is, in several ways, better accustomed to street usage than its sharper-edged sibling. Without the GT4’s rose-jointed (read: heim joints for the American readers) front suspension, it isn’t quite as incisive. The GTS’ rear suspension isn’t quite as stiff, its tires are narrower and not as sticky, and it obviously isn’t donned in aggressive-looking aero pieces. For someone looking for a slightly more subdued experience, this might be the ticket.
Once you can look past those differences, however, the GTS and the GT4 aren’t too different. It sits 20mm lower than the standard Cayman—10mm higher than the GT4, it has the active limited slip differential, and it has active engine mounts. Crucially, it has that sonorous, atmospheric engine with 304 lb-ft of torque, though it’s down 20 horsepower over the 415-horsepower version in the GT4. It’s only a software change and a lowered redline—7,700 rpm—which cause this. The accompanying scream, response, and linear delivery of this motor is what should bring the most joy to the average user—and isn’t that more important than a smidge more agility?
In fact, the barely milder GTS might make it a better drive for real-world roads, though that doesn’t mean its an uninvolved, uninspiring machine to get behind. Sutcliffe, someone who nearly matched James Rossiter in a Honda F1, is clearly working as he chases an out-of-frame 991 Carrera S—a car he claims to be slower than the GTS!
The savings over a GT4 are significant, though when you account for options like ceramic brakes and sport seats, the spending gap shrinks. For that reason, picking between the two really becomes a matter of specifications and not price. For many, 90% of the performance of the GT4 without the uber-focused character might make this Cayman the most desirable version out there.