A few months ago, Porsche unveiled the 718 Boxster- essentially a facelift of the current generation Boxster with two new turbocharged powertrains- and it was only a matter of time before the same treatment was extended to the Boxster’s fixed-roof sibling. The 718 namesake itself refers to a classic Porsche race car (if you haven’t already seen Porsche’s aggressive marketing campaigns), which was powered by a flat-four motor as well.
The 718 Cayman receives the same powertrains as the 718 Boxster, in the same state of tune. Powering the regular Cayman is a turbo 2.0-litre unit with 300 hp and 380 Nm of torque from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm, while the Cayman S is propelled by a larger turbo 2.5-littre powerplant in a 350 hp, 420 Nm state of tune. Zero to hundred is achieved in 4.7 seconds for the Cayman and 4.2 seconds for the Cayman S if you opt for the PDK drivetrain with the Sport Chrono Package.
With these lighter powertrains, the 718 Cayman has also undergone some tweaking in the suspension. Mid-engine cars from Porsche have always had superlative handling characteristics, but this facelift brings a more direct steering system in order to increase agility. The rear tyres are half an inch wider on each side- no doubt to handle the extra torque and power from these force-fed engines. Brakes have been uprated as well to match the extra power: the 718 Cayman takes the brakes from the pre-facelift Cayman S, while the 718 Cayman S borrows the 4-pot braking system of the 991 Carrera.
Styling on the 718 Cayman isn’t radically different, but a number of changes have been made to improve airflow. Turbocharged engines require more effective cooling than their atmospheric counterparts, and this is achieved through larger intakes on the front and the side. A sharper front end with ultra-slim front lights provide a touch more aggression, although it is the overall silhouette of the Cayman that still demands the most attention. Perhaps a more obvious indication of a 718 Cayman’s status would be the revised rear end: new tail lights and the placement of the Porsche badge are dead giveaways.
The interior isn’t largely different either- new vents and an appropriated steering wheel from the 918 Spyder are the immediately obvious changes, along with a revised Porsche Communication Management system. Various modules are available for owners if they want to improve the connectivity with their smart devices.
It’s a new era of forced induction for Porsche, and while it may lack the feel and character of a full-blooded big capacity motor, one can’t deny that turbocharged cars are both quicker and more efficient in a larger range of situations. Porsche was the last performance company to hold on to natural aspiration for the majority of their products, but one can only hold out for so long against these tightening emissions and efficiency regulations.