By on June 18, 2019

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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16 Comments on “Porsche Brings Back 6-cyl Power to 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4...”

  • avatar

    Dang, I love it. Only problem is I can’t afford one.

  • avatar

    So the 6 is only available on the most expensive trim. Shocking.

  • avatar

    Looks like a fun track car. But, the rule with track cars is that you shouldn’t track anything you can’t afford to replace out of pocket, so I won’t be buying one.

    Plus, you miss a shift badly with that lovely 6 speed manual, and you risk blowing up an engine that will cost as much as a new MX-5 or BRZ. Gotta be pretty well heeled to use this as a track car.

    • 0 avatar

      In all likelihood, if you can afford to buy it, you can afford to track it. With that said, track insurance might be in order.
      Is the risk of a mis-shift a real factor for would-be manual transmission buyers these days?

      • 0 avatar

        On the street, I would think not. On the track, yes, it’s pretty easy to miss a shift, particularly the 4-5 shift if you need it. I’m not familiar with the 718’s gearing, there may be quite a few tracks where you never get to fifth gear.

        Quite a few years ago, I missed the 2-3 shift in a Formula Ford, went back to first gear instead. I sheared the flywheel bolts off, which wasn’t too expensive to fix. I suspect it would be much harder to accidentally get into first gear in the 718, the synchronizer would probably make the gear lever quite stiff on a 2-1, or worse yet, a 4-1 shift, with the engine close to redline.

        Track insurance only covers crash damage, mechanical stuff is all on you.

        • 0 avatar

          I guess this comes down to each individual’s risk vs fun-factor reward equation. Without question, the PDK (or similar) option is faster and less risky.
          In a competition environment, it’s basically a no-brainer to go with the paddle-shift. I raced an M235iR in Pirelli World Challenge in 2017 and found the paddle-shifted automatic to be a competitive advantage against a manual. And this was the ZF 8AT from the street car with a torque converter. Granted, that torque converter was fully locked up from 3mph on up and the shift times were half of the street car, but it was still lagging behind a PDK, DCT, or proper sequential race gearbox.
          Now, if I could’ve been allowed to be 50 lbs lighter with a manual transmission, would that have been preferrable? Data would tell the story. I’d want whatever’s fastest!

      • 0 avatar

        Track insurance is so expensive compared to the risk of severe damage that I can’t imagine anyone buying it for a regular low-stakes HPDE.

        Example: For a stated value of $75,000, I was quoted $520 to insure my Viper for a 1 hour Track Night in America event. That is with a $7500 deductible (the smallest available). This thing would cost even more.

        Compared to the cost of the event itself at $150, or my 6 month regular insurance premium of $700 for a $500 deductible and liability coverage, it’s pretty silly in my opinion. Don’t be stupid on track and you won’t need it.

        • 0 avatar

          I suspect most people go without for that reason, especially if it’s your car. On a rental I can see why you’d want it.

        • 0 avatar

          Jack, everybody’s risk tolerance threshold is different, so I can’t fault your position. Mine was, in fact, very similar. I never got track insurance through the entirety of my HPDE days. My wife, however, couldn’t bear the thought of going without it. It was considerably cheaper to buy her some peace of mind on a $15k car, though.

  • avatar

    Newly designed (or derived) naturally aspirated engine in a German car. 6 speed manual in a German car??? Is this 2019 or 1999?
    And, damn, that yellow Cayman side profile shot looks amazing. It probably takes $30,000 in Porsche options to make it look that good, but it looks like money well spent!
    Thank you Porsche for paying attention. Now it’s time to give up my Graeter’s ice cream addiction (saves a few bucks), check the old accounts and try to make this a reality before they move on. It might take a while…sigh…

    • 0 avatar

      Graeters? Are you Cincinnati-based? I was in Florence for 10 years!

      • 0 avatar

        The “Flyers” part is from my hometown in the Philly area, but, yup – Go Musketeers! When I wasn’t living in this little slice of road construction hell (and I’ve traveled all around the US and swear that Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky makes NO progress whatsoever with any of their construction projects compared to elsewhere) like when I was living abroad, I made sure I got care packages of Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce and Skyline Chili mix.

        The Black Raspberry Chip ice cream was created by the hands of gods.

        And if you haven’t been to Florence in a while, remember when Florence used to be the end of the Cincinnati/NKY sprawl? Add another 10 or so miles southwards now.

  • avatar

    “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.


    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    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….

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