Road Test: Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

Road Test: Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

I am a self-professed sports car nut. I could say enthusiast, but nut is probably closer to the truth. As an unbiased automotive journalist with more than 25 years in this business, I am not supposed to tell you that. But this is Vicarious and we strive to be authentic. Plus, if I do find a fault in any vehicle I drive, sports car included, I will be the first to tell you.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

I don’t own one, it’s not in my current personal wheelhouse and possibly never will be. However, given what I do for work, I do have the opportunity to test drive them throughout the year and every time I fall head-over-heels in love. Ask me to choose my favourite sports car, as many people do, and I will usually say a Porsche 911 Turbo; any era. It’s incredibly fast, perfectly balanced and looks every bit like the outrageously expensive supercar that it is.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

But, if I am being completely transparent, that go-to choice for me may be changing. During a week long test drive earlier this year, I had the chance to spend copious amounts of time behind the wheel of the 2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and I would be hard pressed to find a car that more defines what a true sports car should be. And in Python Green, well let’s just say the world is watching.

Power comes in the shape of a 4.0L 6-cylinder engine matched to a PDK transmission. It develops 394 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 317 pound-feet of torque at 5,000-6,500 rpm. Of note, the manual transmission version of the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 delivers a little less torque at 309 lb-ft. The trade-off being, it is a manual shift sports car and given the added joy that provides, you won’t miss the slight decrease in torque.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

Top speed for the PDK equipped model is 288 km/h with summer tires. Zero to 100 km/h takes a scant 4.0 seconds and to 160 km/h is a quick 8.7 seconds. The manual transmission reaches a higher top speed of 293 km/h, but is a little slower off the line at 4.5 seconds to 100 km/h and 9.2 seconds to 160 km/h.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

By today’s go fast standard, 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds or less is expected from a sports car, so the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 isn’t the benchmark for overall speed. But, drive it for a day, week or longer, and you quickly realize that speed and acceleration are just a small part of what should be the measuring stick for a high-performance sports car.

Cornering, braking and how it makes you feel behind the wheel, these are also true indicators of what defines the best of the best. Driving modes bring out different personalities in the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0, all of which are fun to explore, but the last one is perhaps the best of all.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

City and everyday driving is best achieved in Normal; it shifts quickly through the gears to deliver maximum efficiency and drive comfort. Click once and Sport is activated, tightening up the shift points and suspension. Click once more to Sport+ and the Cayman is ready for all comers as shifts are razor sharp and the car hunkers down to tackle any backroad romp you are ready to challenge.

Inside, it’s all about focus, comfort and drivability for two. Our test vehicle features carbon fiber sport seats wrapped in leather and suede. They are on the tight side and expensive priced at $6,740, so choose wisely before checking them off on the price sheet. The red seat belts in our tester were a nice compliment to the overall sport interior. Door panels and the central grab bar are covered in suede and highlight red stitching for that final touch of class.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

A gauge panel wouldn’t say Porsche if the tachometer was anywhere other than in the center. Here it is featured in red, with the speedometer to the left and fuel gauge/vehicle status gauge to the right. The center console houses HVAC and audio controls and easy access to activating the rear spoiler, exhaust sound, suspension and traction control are provided directly in front of the gearshift.

The 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 is more than just looks when compared to the Cayman S as it receives the full treatment with active engine mounts, torque-vectoring limited slip differential, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), lower ride height and 20” wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S sport tires.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

Driving it, you are convinced someone has covered the pavement with Gorilla Glue. It feels planted in the tightest corner, pressing you to push its limits. Steering wheel feel is near perfect, brakes grab with complete confidence and the seats and surrounding dash, well let’s just say it is some of Porsche best work to date.

Given their heritage for producing many of the finest sports cars in the history of automobiles, that’s high praise indeed. But the 2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 is a deserving recipient and may just be the best overall package coming from the Stuttgart automaker at the moment.

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

Price as tested: $122,000.00
Configuration: Mid-engine/Rear-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 4.0-litre flat 6-cylincer/ 7-speed automatic
Power/torque: 394 horsepower/ 317 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Premium (64 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 11.1 L/100 km
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: BMW M4 Coupe, Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type
Website: Porsche Canada

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