While downsizing is the order of the day in the automotive industry, Porsche is upsizing by bringing the naturally-aspirated flat-six engine to the 718 GTS range. Enthusiasts will undoubtedly see the move as right-sizing.
The 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 will replace the existing four-cylinder-powered models, which Autoblog can confirm will retire at the end of the 2019 model year. As their name clearly implies, they receive a 4.0-liter flat-six tuned to deliver 394 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. The mid-mounted six spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. There won't be a PDK automated manual transmission available at launch, though a Porsche spokesperson told Autoblog one could eventually join the range.
Both members of the GTS duo take 4.3 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop, and they top out at 182 mph. To put all this into perspective, the outgoing GTS models released in 2017 share a turbocharged, 2.5-liter flat-four rated at 365 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque when ordered with a six-speed stick, or 317 when equipped with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. They perform the benchmark zero-to-60 sprint in 3.9 seconds when fitted with two pedals, and can reach 180 mph.
Aficionados have a little less torque to play with, but Porsche doesn't think they'll mind.
"The turbo four put the car on another performance level, but in the upper echelons of the model line there's a lot of interest in the six-cylinder engine, especially in the United States," a spokesperson told us. Besides, the 4.0-liter is closely related to the 414-horsepower six that powers the flagship GT4 and Spyder variants of the 718, so it makes sense for Porsche to use it in other models if possible, the spokesperson added.
The GTS models come standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) technology, which lowers the ride height by nearly an inch compared to other 718s, and bigger cast-iron rotors with six-piston front calipers. Torque vectoring and a mechanical limited-slip differential are also part of the equation.
Car-spotters need to keep an eye out for black trim, tinted lights on both ends, and 20-inch alloy wheels. Porsche spruced up the cabin with black Alcantara upholstery and carbon fiber trim, though other materials are available.
The standard Sport Chrono package includes Porsche's Track Precision App, which allows drivers to record track runs, and upload performance-related data (like the pedal position, the steering angle, and the racing line) onto their smartphone for analysis. For street driving, there's a 7-inch touchscreen in the center stack that buyers can upgrade with internet-connected navigation software that provides real-time traffic data.
Porsche will begin taking orders for the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 in the summer of 2020. Pricing information will be released in the weeks leading up to their on-sale date, but we estimate their price tag will fall right under $90,000. For context, the four-cylinder-powered models start at about $80,000.