There once was a time in a land far, far away, that driving a Porsche Cayman or Boxster wouldn’t have been considered a terribly exciting thing to do.
Thankfully, that fairy tale is well and truly over as nowadays driving Porsche’s entry into the sports car world is a completely different kettle of fish. And when this particular fish has a GTS badge stuck on its flanks and rear, you might need to pay it a bit more attention.
Enter the Cayman 718 GTS that I had the opportunity, as one of the few in South Africa, to performance road test recently. Let’s get to the heart of this mid-engined, two-seater, and that is the powertrain. Porsche put it in simple terms, when they say the GTS is more power for more performance. The Cayman 718 GTS boasts an improved power output of 269kW thanks to a newly developed air intake-duct and an optimised turbocharger for the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder boxer engine.
This translates into 11kW more power than the 718 S model and 26kW more power than its GTS predecessor model that ran a naturally aspirated engine. Torque comes in at 430Nm, which is available from 1 900rpm to 5 000rpm and provides for solid acceleration in any gear.
Our bright yellow test unit came fitted with Porsche’s fast-shifting PDK double-clutch gearbox and Sport Chrono Package and this combination allowed for some proper times to be achieved at Gerotek during testing. In fact, in typical Porsche fashion, the times that I peeled off came in fractionally better than claimed, with 4.09 seconds for the zero to 100km/h sprint and a 12.15-second quarter mile at 191.27 km/h.
That is enough urge and speed to have you comprehensively jailed before you get out of your leafy little road in the suburbs. The 1km mark is crossed at 243.30km/h and the car only stops pulling when the speedo needle hits 300km/h, which translates into a genuine top speed of 293.26km/h. This is enough to see you enjoying prison food and the associated recreational activities for a very long time. Being a high-performance two door Coupe that starts at a suggested retail price of R1 112 000, means that it faces some strong competition in the market from a pure performance perspective.
The cars that immediately come to mind are the similarly priced BMW M2 Competition and Audi’s TT RS. Both are two-door coupes, with the Audi running all-wheel-drive Quattro, and the BMW is driven through the rear wheels like the Porsche. The M2 Competition makes the most power at 302kW from its straight-six powerplant and the TT RS follows this up with 294kW from its 2.5-litre five-cylinder. And thanks to the best power-to-weight ratio of the lot and all-wheel-drive grip, the Audi is the quickest of the three, but the Porsche rules in the rear wheel battle and edges the BMW to the bottom of the straight-line pile.
When the road gets twisty or you hit a track, the Audi is probably the least exciting car in this discipline, although still very competent. The BMW feels like it will kill you the moment you don’t respect it and the Porsche feels the sharpest of the lot and by default it is the most rewarding to drive hard.
This solid planted feel is mostly thanks to standard fitment Sport Chrono Package, along with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical rear differential lock and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and a 10mm lower ride height. Enthusiasts with a passion for this type of dynamic driving are assisted by the Porsche Track Precision App (PTPA), which enables one to automatically record, display and analyse driving data on a smartphone.
Being a GTS not only means one gets speed and dynamics, but it also gets you GTS specific styling. The side profile is characterised by black GTS logos at the base of the doors and 20-inch wheels in a black satin finish. The front end features the new Sport Design apron emphasising the vehicles’ sporty character. As is customary for GTS, the front light clusters with the Bi-Xenon headlights are black-tinted. At the rear, the dark-tinted tail-lights, black logos, black rear apron and centrally positioned black tailpipes from the standard sports exhaust system further intensify the sporty appearance.
This theme continues on the inside with driver and passenger sports seats that feature Alcantara centre inserts, and electronic adjustment to provide that much needed lateral support and comfort. Further Alcantara can be found on the steering wheel, centre console and armrests to complete the GTS treatment.