the cayman gts is Porsche's best kept secret

It still feels like yesterday when we heard hardcore Porsche enthusiasts scream "Blasphemy!" at the announcement that the 718 Cayman would no longer house the howling, atmospheric six-cylinder engine that has been the crown jewel of Porsche for years. But, if you're still caught up in the mourning loss of a great engine, let me tell you that you're missing out on the huge improvements made by the introduction of the new 718 Cayman. Not only does it offer one of the best chassis that money can buy, but its new turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is flexible and delivers performance that feels perfectly balanced and proportioned to a car that can actually be driven daily. Now, however, there's a new variant to the 718 Cayman and it's the new range-topping GTS. For around BD3,800 more than the standard 718 Cayman S gets a tweaked version of the same 2.5-litre flat-four, detailed changes to its chassis and a bag full of aesthetic changes all-around.

For that extra BD3,800, GTS owners are treated to a beautifully executed interior that perfectly compliments the GTS's sportier exterior. The pair of black, electronically adjustable Alcantara-trimmed sports seats are fantastically supportive, while the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel is easy to grip. All GTS models come as standard with the Sport Chrono package, which adds not only the iconic stopwatch to the top of the dashboard but also a small rotary dial on the steering wheel for selecting the various driving modes. The GTS also gets Porsche's Communication Management infotainment system with its 7.0" touchscreen as standard.
To the untrained eye, the Cayman GTS might look the same as any other Cayman S but look closer and you will see subtle hints that make the GTS stand out from the Cayman S. The most obvious details are the black accents around the car's exterior. The unique front fascia is matched with the black housings for the bi-xenon headlights. In the back, darkened LED taillights accompany the black sport exhaust tips and a bespoke rear diffuser. Every 718 GTS also wears gloss black 20-inch Carrera S wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires in 235 front and 265 rear. Personally, i really like the back-end of the GTS. Something about the darkened taillights and diffuser mixed with the car's overall stance gives the GTS a subtle race-car-ish vibe. To me, it looks more meaner and purposeful than the standard Cayman.
Now that we have the boring bits out of the way, its time to talk about how it drives - There's more to the GTS than just mere aesthetics, plant your right foot hard and it quickly reveals its true nature. Porsche designed a new intake manifold and an advanced VTG (variable turbo geometry) system to extract more juice from the 718 S' mid-mounted 2.5-litre flat-four. With an improved 18.1 PSI of boost from its larger diameter turbo (compared to the S model 16.7 PSI), the Cayman GTS produces 365 hp compared to the Cayman S' 350 hp. Torque has been dialed up as well on the PDK version with 317lb-ft compared to the S' 309 lb-ft. Speaking of which, Porsche offers a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, each with its own appeal, Few gearboxes are as precise and engaging as Porsche's standard six-speed, but to truly enjoy the GTS's peak performance, you'll have to opt for the PDK. Its stunning quick shifts via the steering mounted paddles makes the GTS go from Launch to 100kph in just 4.3 seconds. To further complement the upgraded powertrain, Porsche has given the GTS a mechanical locking rear differential, adaptive suspension dampers, a lowered ride height, four-piston front brakes straight off the 911 Carrera and a three-mode traction control system clearly indicating that the GTSis built to go around corners really really fast. Despite the fact that Bahrain roads are forever under construction, packed with traffic and mixed with cracked and brick-prepped surfaces, the GTS tackled them all with remarkable composure. Which is astonishing once you consider that fact the GTS rides 10mm lower than the standard S and on 20" wheels. You also get four distinct driving modes for ride quality, throttle and shift response, and steering for a more engaging driving experience. I personally enjoyed the Sport mode for daily driving fun. The good throttle response with the occasional exhaust gargle mixed with the livable ride quality was what stood out the most. The Sport Plus on the other hand feels a bit too aggressive for our roads, but I'm sure enthusiasts will have a blast as they hammer this thing around corners coming out sideways with a huge smile on their faces... Send me to a track experience Porsche! Honestly, driving the Cayman GTS is an experience, an everyday occasion, a joy in a form of a car. This is a car that'll make me want to wake up at 3 am and go for some good ol' fashioned spirit driving. Porsche purists will probably whine about the aural quality of the turbocharged flat-four - I get it, it sounds like a four-cylinder - because it is. But in return you get a performer that's even more impressive than the previous generation. 
Once you put on your sensible hat, the evidence is clear that the Porsche Cayman GTS is without a doubt more intense than a regular Cayman. Its got bigger wheels and lowered suspension that makes the ride more aggressive than standard, and lets not forget about those extra 15hp, while it may appear modest on paper, it definitely provides a bigger rush when you find the space to use the upper reaches of second and third gear. Factor that with the fact that the GTS is also one of the best handling sports car for under BD40,000, It's hard to conclude anything other than it's all the sports car you truly need.
Categories: TEST DRIVE

One comment

Porsche Cayman GTS: A Sportscar Bargain

  1. Being an avid Porsche collector. I’ve got a pana, 911 and the 718 gts. As much as I love the gts as a fun daily driver I must say one area Porsche really lacked out on this model is the stereo. The amount of issues I’ve had with just the 718’s stereo is worrieng. I’ve optioned it up to the highest audio package and I feel a little “stooped”, purely because it doesn’t sound great at all. I mean. I love the car. It’s great to drive but I also enjoy listening to some good tunes.

    It’s also time Porsche integrated the steering wheel buttons to Apple car play and android. Everyone will use the connectivity options and not having the CarPlay available at the steering wheel seems pointless.

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