Porsche Brings Back 6-cyl Power to 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4

Anthony Magagnoli
by Anthony Magagnoli
porsche brings back 6 cyl power to 718 spyder and cayman gt4

Either in response to customer demand, or as part of its plan all along, Porsche is introducing a new 4.0-liter 6-cylinder engine for top-tier 718 models. Mercifully, these will be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard in either the Spyder and Cayman GT4.

The new naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter engine is derived from the current 911 Carerra turbo engine. With displacement increased, power goes up from the last Cayman GT4 by 35hp. The 718 Cayman GT4 will make 414hp at 7600 rpm, on its way to an 8000 rpm redline. In the 718 Spyder, this represents an increase of 44hp over the previous droptop. Torque peaks at 310 ft-lbs from 5,000-6,800 rpm.

Looking at the sales figures for the Cayman over the last few years, 2017-18’s sales of 2,900 and 3,179 (respectively) does not exceed any year from 2013-2017, which ranged from 3,322 to 3,590. This might suggest that Porsche lost some Cayman customers with the change to 4-cylinder turbo power. Boxter sales show the same trend.

However, one cannot assume that Porsche was unprepared for this. They would know that the 4-cyl engines would turn off some 718 model buyers, even if the cars were faster. From a technical standpoint, it is clear that the car was always designed to accept a 6-cyl engine. But building a new engine is a lengthy process, so it stands to reason that this new 4.0-liter was in development before the 718 models were even launched.

The new powerplant adds adaptive cylinder control, which can deactivate the fuel injectors in one of the two cylinder banks. Doing so during part-throttle operation reduces fuel consumption to improve efficiency.

0-60 mph time is not a figure that’s overwhelmingly relevant to this author, but the 3,131 lb 718 Cayman GT4 is rated at 4.2 sec. This is slower than the 2018 Cayman GTS’ time of 3.9 sec, but that is likely due to the PDK transmission in the GTS, as well as the low-end torque provided by the turbo. It can be expected that the 718 Cayman GT4 and Spyder will perform better at higher engine speeds and in track settings. And let’s not neglect to celebrate the additional fun-factor of the standard 6-speed manual transmission!

For the first time, the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 will share their chassis setup. The Spyder goes more hardcore and gets the track-focused suspension of the Cayman. This includes ball joints in place of certain bushings, 30mm lower ride height, recalibrated Porsche Stability Management (PSM), and a mechanical locking rear differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV). Both cars have the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) available as an option and they run on a new ultra-high performance rubber, though it has not yet disclosed as to what tire that is.

The new Porsche 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 are available to order now, so drop what you’re doing and call your nearest dealer.

[Images: Porsche]

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3 of 16 comments
  • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on Jun 18, 2019

    "The new Porsche 718 Spyder and the 718 Cayman GT4 are available to order now, so drop what you’re doing and call your nearest dealer." Lightly optioned with upgraded seats (not the racing seats), leather, better audio/infotainment, heated seats, dimming mirrors, dual zone climate control, and a few other minor odds and ends...over $117,000. Ouch.

    • Ajla Ajla on Jun 18, 2019

      I think I could Ace of Base the Spyder. Red is free, aluminum interior trim is free, and changing out the fuzzy steering wheel for a normal leather one is free. Still $97.5K, which is a solid $40K over my budget. I also doubt these will suffer heavy depreciation.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jun 19, 2019

    I've driven a few Porsche, notably the GT3 and GT4, along with the last air cooled one, whatever that is....and the rip of the six is part of the whole thing..I'll say that the Cayman is better than the 911, but that's not an original thought. I'm not in the market, Porsche is massively overpriced, but a four cylinder ? No, this is a vanity toy, and I want that flat six snarl in my big bucks Go Kart. I wonder how sales have gone....I'm sure someone knows....

  • Cprescott Looks like something a 10 year old would build.
  • Cprescott In order to buy any modern BMW, you have to be blind and an idiot
  • Cprescott I predict the Lyric will be a crushing success. After the initial buyers get a hold of one, they'll end up being made into cubes to make them attractive and sold for scrap.
  • Cprescott ...but the defective parts were well installed!
  • Cprescott I wonder if the witch made it to Washington on a single broom charge.