The latest episode of Ignition takes a close look at the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S, and host Jonny Lieberman brings along his friend Derek Powell, a Porsche Cayman GT4 owner, along for a ride to compare the new top dog to the old one. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two Caymans is what powers them: the 2017 718 Cayman S is powered by a 350-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission while the Cayman GT4 comes with a 385-hp 3.8-liter flat-six coupled exclusively to a six-speed manual.
The episode starts with Lieberman and Powell driving along some windy roads in the guest host’s Cayman GT4 talking about how special the car is thanks to its impeccable handling, power, and the fact that its chassis takes bits and pieces from different vehicles including the 911 GT3. Powell concludes that the Cayman GT4 is the best “frankencar” that Porsche has made. However, Lieberman points out that the 2017 718 Cayman S may be just as good as or better than the Cayman GT4 on account of its new turbocharged engine and suspension improvements.
On the road, Powell comments that the name doesn’t have much equity and that the new turbocharged engine doesn’t sound very good, a criticism Lieberman agrees with as he dons a pair of ear muffs. Both rave about the 718 Cayman S’ handling, commenting that it’s exactly what’s expected of a Porsche. It’s buttoned down, fun to drive, balanced, and now has the power it’s been missing for a long time, making it an even better driver’s car. Lieberman then suggests that they meet with professional race car driver Randy Pobst at the track to see how both the 718 Cayman S and the Cayman GT4 perform.
At the track, Pobst comments that the new turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four doesn’t feel like a forced-induction engine because it doesn’t have much turbo lag; however, he concedes that he’s not sure which Cayman will be faster. Which mid-engine Porsche coupe will come out on top? Watch the full episode below to find out.