2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S Trades a Flat-Six for a Turbocharged Flat-Four

The 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S proves that lesser cylinders doesn't necessarily mean inferior performance and driving pleasure

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Hot on the heels of the debut of the 718 Boxster, Porsche’s new 718 Cayman complements the roadster in the mid-engine model line-up. This third generation of the mid-engine sports coupe has without a doubt a more striking and athletic appearance. Which you could argue is quite common when automakers release newer versions of their top-selling sportcars. What is not common, however, is decrease the number of cylinders in the engine. Which is exactly what Porsche has done with the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman; the original naturally aspirated flat-six engine has been replaced with a new turbocharged flat-four cylinder engine. So does mean that the new Porsche 718 Cayman has received a downgrade? Not necessarily.

The new 2.5 litre turbocharged flat-four cylinder powerplant in the S model produces 350 horsepower. It produces make 25 more horsepower than its predecessor; which is impressive when you take into account that the newer model is running on lesser cylinders. The torque produced by the new engine yields driving pleasure and agility even at low revs. The 2.5 litre engine in the 718 Cayman S features a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG), the very same technology previously utilized in the 911 Turbo. The new engine delivers up to 309 lb.-ft. of torque (37 lb.-ft. more than the previous Cayman S) to the crankshaft between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm.

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The engine in the new 718 Cayman S model is also equipped with an integrated wastegate (a valve that diverts exhaust gases away from the turbine wheel in a turbocharged engine system) to optimize boost pressure across driving scenarios. This helps retain the driver’s confidence and inspires passing power and increases the drivability of the car in any situation. The 718 Cayman S is able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 4.0 seconds and can reach a top track speed of 177 miles per hour, which is just fine for a mid-engine sportscar.

Of course, with greater power comes greater responsibility…for a new chassis tuning to allow increased cornering precision and more lateral grip. The car has been fitted with firmer springs and sway bars as well as retuned shock absorbers to improve lateral grip and tracking stability. Porsche says that the steering rack has a 10 percent quicker on-center ratio compared to the previous model; which has been adapted from the 911 Turbo. You can really feel the that the car responds quicker making it very agile, especially round the corners.

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Performance enhancing options such as the Sport Chrono Package and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) sharpen the sporty character of the 718 Cayman even further. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with a 10 millimeter reduction in ride height is optionally available. Furthermore, the S model can be ordered with the PASM Sport suspension for the first time, which lowers the car by 20 millimeters. As in other Porsche sports cars, the Sport Chrono Package can now be adjusted using the Mode Switch on the steering wheel. Supplementing the previous settings of “Normal,” “Sport,” and “Sport Plus” is the “Individual” program, which can store and call up the driver’s preferred settings.

Due to the 718 Cayman S’ increased performance, uprated brake systems with 330 mm brake rotors at the front and 299 mm rear rotors are now standard. It is equipped with the four-piston calipers of the 911 Carrera combined with six millimeter thicker front brake rotors.

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Inside, plenty of revisions are visible. The upper part of the dashboard and the air vents are new. The new 918 Spyder design sport steering wheel and extensive connectivity options have now been added to the 718’s cockpit. Porsche Communication Management (PCM) and the eight speaker Sound Package Plus audio system come as a standard. The capabilities of the PCM can be extended with options such as the Connect module. It includes special extensions for smartphones, such as the USB port, Apple CarPlay and Porsche Car Connect. Another available option is the navigation module with voice control, which makes it easy to enter driving destinations. The Connect Plus module offers real-time traffic information, Apple CarPlay, Google Earth, Google Street View, and WiFi connectivity. Drivers can also make use of additional comprehensive services via their smartphone, which include the Porsche Connect App and Porsche Car Connect.

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