Porsche has pulled the wraps off a new variant of the 718, both the open-top Boxster and roofed Cayman, called the T. Allowing each of them their full, both the new 718 Boxster T and 718 Cayman T are essentially a more no-frills take on Zuffenhausen’s mid-engine pair.
Like the 911 Carrera T that kicked off the variant designation in today’s modern era, the letter in question stands for ‘Touring’. In concept, cars that wear this badge are slightly less expensive versions that sacrifice some luxuries and equipment to achieve a lighter overall weight and a more connected driving experience.
From the outside, at least, the car doesn’t look any less of a serious machine than its more expensive siblings in the range, with a set of 20-inch alloys in Titanium Grey and blacked along with darkened head- and tail lights. A rear emblem and a dark strip along its side are the only indications that this is a 718 T.
Inside, the most noticeable change comes from the vacant slot where the touchscreen Porsche Communication Management system would usually occupy. The standard seats are thinner are a mixture of leather and a nylon-like Sport-Tex material (carbon buckets with Alcantara trim can be optioned) and the solid door pulls are replaced by thick fabric strips. Thankfully, Porsche will let you re-fit the PCM touchscreen system at no extra cost.
As such, as in the 911, the base engine spec is used for both the Boxster and Cayman permutations: a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four petrol producing 220kW and 380Nm mated to a six-speed manual transmission with the option to upgrade to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
With the PDK ticked, the car will gain some 30kg in extra weight but will be quicker to 100km/h if launched from rest, claimed at 4.7 seconds from 5.1 seconds for the manual. Then again, the T is all about a more authentic, analogue experience with the car, and less about numbers.
For that same reason, Porsche has retained key features that enhance the drive such as its PASM active suspension system that leads to a 20mm lower ride height over a 718 with standard springs and dampers and is otherwise only available when paired with the larger 2.5-litre engine in the Boxster S or Cayman S.
Furthermore, the Sport Chrono package comes as standard, enabling Launch Control and allowing the driver to select between different driving modes that impact parameters such as ride, throttle response, steering sharpness, as well as altering the included active engine and gearbox mounts (PADM) for maximum effect. Porsche also includes their torque vectoring system to dynamically slow down or speed up the rotation of wheels to better induce cornering.
For those who enjoy driving and place the richness of that experience over all else, this could be the ideal 718. And given that these represent better value for the entry-point to the Porsche sports car family, it might be a very popular addition to the range. Still, we wished it had a naturally aspirated six-cylinder motor.