Is the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS a Bargain Entry-Level Sports Car? [Review]

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS
[Photo: Porsche]


Standard fare for the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS includes all the hardware an enthusiast would likely check off anyway. That includes the Sport Chrono package, Sport exhaust, adaptive dampers, sport seats, and brake-based Porsche Torque Vectoring. On the aesthetic front, you get 20-inch wheels, and a microsuede interior.

The turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four banger increases horsepower by 15 relative to the S model Boxster and Cayman. Thanks to that bump, total power is up to 365 horsepower at 6,500 rpm. Torque remains the same 309 lb-ft, at least with the base six-speed manual transmission. Order the $3,730 seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, and you get an extra 8 lb-ft of torque, for 317 lb-ft. GTS models share gearing with their S counterparts.

Visually, the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS displays an image of forward thrust, even when stationary due to a sharpened design language and black accents. The car’s tail serves up a clear contour that emphasizes its width and sporty attitude, thanks to the rear apron and centered black sports tailpipes. LED taillamps are tinted and the model designation logo appears in Black as well. Up front, the enlarged air intakes are not only functional, but also add to the wide look. The front light units are tinted and the front air dam or spoiler and outer air blades are black as well. 20-inch alloy wheels finished in satin black hint at the performance of the 718 Cayman GTS.

The cabin is meticulously finished and showcases old world craftsmanship. Controls and switchgear are driver-focused and easily accessible. The sport seats are a supportive blend of Alcantara and leather. Infotainment and connectivity are provided by Porsche Connect with a new Porsche Communication Management and Connect Apps and Sound Package Plus or, a Bose Surround Sound System optionally available.

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS
[Photo: Porsche]


The 718 Cayman GTS starts at $79,800. The Cayman and its Boxster sibling are no longer powered by a flat-six-cylinder motor. Instead, both cars use a mid-mounted 2.5-liter, turbocharged flat-four engine that produces 365 horsepower along with 317 lb-ft of torque. Power is geared to the rear wheels through a standard six-speed manual gearbox with a single-plate clutch and dual-mass flywheel. Or, if you’d prefer not to row your own gears, there’s a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox. Both options offer Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear differential lock. The engine and exhaust notes are enjoyable, particularly with the sports exhaust system. However, those notes lack the authoritative throaty roar of the earlier flat-six motor.

The extra power over the S model comes from two sources. The turbocharger features an enlarged compressor wheel, up from 64 to 67 millimeters in diameter. The turbocharger’s cold side also provides peak boost more efficiently, at 18.1 psi versus 16.7 psi. The turbo’s hot side uses the same Variable-Geometry Turbine design as the S models. In addition, Porsche designed a higher-volume intake manifold that incorporates four baffles that optimize airflow. The baffles look like restrictors at the intersection of the plenum and intake runners. They allow proper filling of each cylinder’s combustion chamber at the higher boost levels that the engine achieves. According to Fabian Zink, Porsche’s powertrain manager for the 718 and the 911, without them, the added boost wouldn’t yield the full 15 horsepower.


The 718 Cayman GTS is a great entry-level Porsche that comes in cheaper than even the cheapest 911 Carrera model. It accelerates rapidly, stops just as quickly and handles as if it’s on rails, with excellent on-center steering feel. The ride quality is superb and the engine and exhaust notes are splendid, if not as cathartic as the old flat-six sound.

Porsche equipped this particular test model with the PDK automatic transmission. The manual gearbox is great, but the PDK transmission is faster and smoother.  The base price for a Cayman GTS rings in at $79,800, which rose to $88,900 after factoring in optional features and equipment, as well as the destination charges.

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SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $79,800
Price as Tested:
Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four
Drivetrain (Layout): Mid-engine / Rear-wheel drive
Horsepower: 365 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 317 lb-ft @ 1,900-5,000 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed Porsche double clutch with Porsche Torque Vectoring with mechanical rear differential lock.
Suspension: Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with electronically controlled vibration dampers; steel springs with 10-mm lowering
Brakes: Four-piston aluminum monoblock fixed-caliper brakes; vented and perforated grey cast iron brake rotors (front and rear)
Tires: Front: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 235/35 ZR 20

Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 265/35/ ZR 20

Fuel capacity: 16.9 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 20 City / 26 Highway / 23 Combined mpg


Wheelbase: 97.4 inches
Length: 172.9 inches
Width: 78.5 inches (including mirrors)
Height: 50.6 inches
Turning Circle: 36.0 feet
Curb Weight: 3,098 pounds