With the introduction of the 2019 718 Cayman T and Boxster T, it is clear that Porsche has taken a page out of the 911 playbook – and to great effect. The 911 T, which was released early in 2018, is a no-frills, purists version of the 911. In short, it is a spartan, stripped down version of the base-model Carrera, sparingly equipped with only the equipment necessary to create a completely driver-focused 911.
The warm reception of the aforementioned car has convinced Porsche that they should apply this philosophy to their 718 lineup as well, also proving that Porsche appreciates and listens to its customers. This is not just good for public relations, but it is also good for business – a touring version of the affordable 718, truly means that this is a Porsche sports car for the masses.
Features and Highlights
Engine and Performance
Both the Cayman T and Boxster T will be equipped with the base-model 718’s mid-mounted 2.0L flat-four turbocharged engine, which produces 300-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.
The 718 T will come standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and buyers will also have the option of outfitting the car with a PDK transmission. Respectively, the car will sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds in the manual and 4.5 seconds in the PDK version’s Sport Plus mode, while top speed is 170 mph.
Chassis and Handling
As a result if its inherent philosophy, an un-optioned 718 T will weigh in at 1,350 kg, making it the lightest version in the lineup. The chassis is also 20mm lower to the ground than the base-model it has stripped down, and sits on lightweight 20” high-gloss titanium grey wheels.
In continuing to stay true to its word, the 718 T is equipped strictly with features that enhance the driving experience through a purist’s field of view. The 6-speed manual version of either car will come standard with Porsche Torque Vectoring and a mechanical locking rear axle differential. For the first time, Porsche Active Suspension Management is available (and in this case, also standard) on a 718, with the latest Cayman and Boxster now able to benefit from this state-of-the-art the electronic damping system.
Interior and Exterior
Inside the cockpit is a seamless continuation of the no-frills principles of the “T”, with door pull straps replacing the door handles, a leather-wrapped 360-millimeter GT sports steering wheel and two-way adjustable sport seats. My only surprise here is that the seats aren’t cloth, as leather doesn’t seem to buy into the ideals of spartan-ism so much – oh well.
Furthermore, the Porsche Communication Management module isn’t standard and a storage bin takes its spot instead. Adding it back is actually a no charge option, should you feel the need to restore a sense of relative convenience in the car. Other features that come standard are agate grey mirror shells, a shorter-throw gearbox, and Sport Chrono package (with the dashboard-mounted stopwatch included).
The 718 T will be visually differentiated from its stable-mates with retro-style graphics on each side of the car. To truly stand out, in addition to the standard palette, buyers can also opt for special-edition Lava Orange and Miami Blue paint jobs which are exclusive to the 718 T.
I believe that the Porsche 718 T is a car we can all get excited for – and by all, I really mean everyone. With official pricing expected to start in the $60,000 USD range, the scenario of owning a true sports car – a Porsche sports car – is very attainable. In an age where large SUVs and crossovers address the necessities of today’s society and lifestyles, the 718 T opens the door for the midlife crisis to happen sooner than originally thought.
Similar to the 911 T, the 718 T will not be the fastest, most luxurious or even the cheapest of all the 718 variants. However, the car is a unique combination of features and nuances that add up to more than the sum of its parts. The T-wins are the perfect car for somebody who knows exactly what they want, and wants nothing more than that – the purist’s car.
Kudos to Porsche for continuing to take the words of their customers and fans to heart.