Back to basics: The Porsche 718 T
Our mid-engine range gets the driver-focussed ‘T’-reatment
Following in the fleet and tactile footsteps of last year’s Carrera T, the latest addition to our 718 line-up has just been announced with the very same driver-oriented spec as its 911 stablemate.
The new 718 T models, available in both Boxster and Cayman guise, receive the same 220 kW (300 PS; 718 Cayman T: Fuel consumption combined 8.1-7 9 l/100 km; CO2emissions combined 186-180 g/km; 718 Boxster T: Fuel consumption combined 8.2-7.9 l/100 km; CO2emissions combined 187-181 g/km) turbocharged four-cylinder flat ‘boxer’ that appears on the entry-level car, but combine it with a bespoke and carefully tailored sporting spec that enhances the already formidable handling of our mid-engine two-seaters.
For increased driver involvement, both Boxster and Cayman 718 T feature a six-speed manual gearbox and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) including a mechanical rear diff, while a dual-clutch PDK transmission is available as an option. And as with the Carrera, the manual shifter is physically shorter than on standard cars and finished off with that unique red gate-guide.
The ’T’ also benefits from the PASM sports chassis, which sits 20mm lower on 20-inch alloys, a feature usually reserved for the more powerful ‘S’ models. Inside there are lightweight door pulls and sports seats with Sport-Tex textile centres. To save even more weight, the PCM unit has also been deleted and replaced by a large storage compartment, though buyers who’d prefer to have the entertainment system may still order it at no extra cost.
There are a number of other ‘T’ touches to the interior, such as the GT sports steering wheel and discreet “Boxster T” or “Cayman T” logos on the black faces of the main instruments. Similar logos also appear on the door entry strips, while the instrument panel and central console trim are finished in gloss black.
Externally, the 718 T gets a subtle but purposeful refresh. Those 20-inch alloy wheels are painted in high-gloss titanium grey, complimented by Agate grey mirror shells and “718 Boxster T” or “718 Cayman T” decals on the cars’ flanks. From the rear, meanwhile, black chrome-plated twin tailpipes finish off the central sports exhaust. The ‘T’ can be ordered in Black, Guards Red, Racing Yellow and White as well as Carrara White, Jet Black and GT Silver metallic. Porsche is also offering Lava Orange and Miami Blue as special colours.
On the road, the 718 T will hit 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds, dropping to 4.7 seconds with PDK, and run on to a top speed of 275 km/h. This impressive sprint time is assisted by the inclusion of the Sport Chrono package as standard, offering Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual driving modes, which can be selected using the Mode switch on the steering wheel.
Sport and Sport Plus activate more dynamic characteristics in both the engine management system and the accelerator, including an automatic throttle-blip function when down-shifting with the manual. Sport Plus tweaks the responses that little bit more, optimising the configuration of the PASM, adaptive body positioning and, if you’ve ordered it, the PDK transmission. In combination with PDK, Launch Control and a Sport Response button in the centre of the Mode switch are also available.
A special feature on all variants of the ‘T’ is Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts or PADM for short. The system minimises vibrations from the engine and gearbox and helps to control movement of the total mass of the drivetrain. This results in increased precision and stability during acceleration, braking and fast cornering, but without compromising on ride comfort.
Could there be a more welcome new addition to the Porsche 718 family? And is it too late to write to Santa?
718 Cayman T: Fuel consumption combined 8.1-7 9 l/100 km; CO2emissions combined 186-180 g/km
718 Boxster T: Fuel consumption combined 8.2-7.9 l/100 km; CO2emissions combined 187-181 g/km