Ever-stringent government fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards forced Porsche to downsize and turbocharge its entire range of engines. This meant that the marketing department leaned on the flat-four heritage of the 550 Spyder and 718 race cars, dubbing the internally-designated 982 Boxster and Cayman models as the 718. The MA2-based flat-fours of the base and S versions of the Cayman had more varied specifications than any of their predecessors. The 2.0-liter MA2/20 of the base model had a turbocharger with a conventional internal wastegate for boost control, while the 2.5-liter, 350-hp MA2/22 of the Cayman S had a variable turbine geometry turbocharger in addition to a conventional internal wastegate to reduce exhaust backpressure.
Porsche fans who missed the howl of a flat-six in a new mid-engined roadster collectively rejoiced with the introduction of the 718 Cayman GT4, which featured an MA2-derived, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six, which generated 414 hp and revved to 8,000 rpm. This drivetrain reverted to the three-point mounting system of previous six-cylinder Caymans. As expected the Cayman GT4 was an absolutely perfect track-focused car that could also do daily chores if needed. Perhaps the most exciting car in the 982 Cayman generation was the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0. The old GTS used a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4, and while it was a perfectly strong engine with lots of low-end torque, it lacked the personality and linear power delivery of a free-breathing flat-six. It didn't sound half as good, either. The GTS 4.0 was built to offer more performance and more grunt as well as a more aggressive design and all the good options included as standard. The new 4.0-liter engine was borrowed from the 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4, detuned to produce 394 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual is standard. The GTS 4.0 basically became the perfect daily sports car.
Porsche chassis engineers always find incremental improvements between generations of model lines, and the 982 was no exception. While the 982 was an evolution of the 981 design and shared most of its body and chassis construction and layout with its predecessor, there were optimizations in every area of the suspension system to improve response and feel. The 982 retained the three-link strut rear suspension design, which has been cited by the erstwhile Porsche engineer and 718/982 project manager August. Achleitner as one of the main engineering reasons that Porsche has never produced a true 911 rival based on the current mid-engine platform-there simply isn't room for a proper multi-link rear suspension design.
New for 2022 is the most exciting Cayman ever, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The GT4 RS is equipped with the same scintillating flat-six engine that powers the 911 GT3. It's a 4.0-liter unit that makes 493 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque in the GT4 RS. Porschephiles will notice that those figures are not quite as high as in the 911 GT3, which packs 502 hp and 346 lb-ft. Big numbers for a small, lightweight car. It is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch to optimize lap times further. Nobody has driven it yet from the motoring public, but we eagerly await that day and will report back here.