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Porsche 718 cayman style edition feature

Petrol Porsche 718 Cayman Final Drive: Why I Chose the 4-Cylinder

The 4-cylinder Porsche 718 Cayman gets a bad wrap, but after spending a week behind the wheel of the ‘Style Edition’, I’m not sure why. It’s priced fairly from AUD$136,700 plus on-road costs, there’s a 220 kW mid-mounted turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine located behind the seats, and it has the sportscar look that’s particularly spicy with this special edition. Yeah, it’s a bit of a sticker pack, but boy, does it look great and attract some looks.

Sadly, the petrol-powered Porsche 718 Cayman order books are about to close. The brand will cease taking orders for the current Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman models at the end of May 2024 as it transforms these model lines into all-electric vehicles. It aims to turn 80 per cent of its fleet all-electric by 2030.

You’ll only be able to buy all-electric variants of the brand’s most popular models in Australia, which is a tad confusing when you start looking at the numbers. I won’t play the tiny violin for too long, but of the 369 cars Porsche sold in April 2024, just 12 of them were all-electric Taycans. In fact, Porsche Australia is about to close order books for three model lines that accounted for 46.6 per cent of its sales last month. Of course, Porsche doesn’t make mistakes. However, from the driver’s seat of this 718 Cayman ‘Style Edition’, I can tell you that they wouldn’t have to change much to keep the petrolheads happy for another model generation.

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How Does the Porsche718 Cayman Drive?

Even as one of the cheapest Porsche models money can buy, the petrol-powered 718 model line-up will go down as one of the greatest chassis the Stuttgart company has ever created. Rumours swirled for years that this model was too good, raising the eyebrows of Porsche 911 purists, and when I got behind the wheel of the GT4 RS towards the end of last year, it was easy to see why. That particular car will go down as one of the greatest I’ve ever driven with its mental 500HP 4.0-litre flat-six, but this 4-cylinder option has its charms, too.

The 718 Cayman Style Edition uses the entry model’s 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine, which produces 220kW of power at 6,500 rpm and 380Nm of torque from 2,150 rpm. It isn’t the fastest vehicle in a straight line, but its 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds is commendable.

It’s paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard equipment, but our tester was fitted with the optional PDK dual-clutch automatic which takes some of the purist enjoyment out of driving but makes city traffic far more manageable. You’ll be satisfied with either, but we might lean towards the manual for re-sale sake.

Get behind the wheel, and you’ll notice the unladen weight of 1,335kg almost instantly. It’s featherlight compared to most modern vehicles, making a significant difference while driving quickly. The fantastic Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) variable damper system further helps, and with the optional sports setup lowering the ride height by 10mm, it’s a fantastic driver’s car.

Having the engine behind the driver is an added bonus that many forget when cross-shopping the 718 Cayman against its front-engined competitors. There’s extra sportscar theatre to be had here.

Porsche 718 cayman style edition rear three quarter
Porsche 718 Cayman ‘Style Edition’ | Image: Porsche Australia

What Makes the 718 Cayman ‘Style Edition’ So Stylish?

If you’re looking for the famous petrol Porsche experience before it goes away, the ‘Style Edition’ presents great value. In Australia, we get an elevated specification over the global offering, including:

  • LED main headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS)
  • Electrically folding exterior mirrors including courtesy lights
  • 64-litre fuel tank
  • Power steering Plus as a No-Cost Option (NCO)
  • Tyre fit set (sealant with electric air compressor)
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Porsche Entry and Drive
  • Alarm system with interior surveillance
  • 14-way Sports seats including memory package
  • Light Design Package
  • Porsche Connect with Navigation
  • Digital radio

There’s also a handful of visual elements added to this edition, including:

  • Full-colour Porsche Crests on the hub covers
  • Black sports tailpipes
  • For the 718 Boxster Style Edition, the ‘Boxster’ model designation lettering is embossed on the side of the soft-top roof
  • Black interior leather package, including contrast stitching in Crayon
  • Porsche Crest embossed on the seat headrests
  • Illuminated door sill panels in stainless steel
  • Floor mats in black with contrast stitching in Crayon

Of course, you can go to town on options with this edition, but the included no-cost option to specify one of two contrast packages is what makes this ‘Style Edition’ so smart looking.

  • 20-inch 718 Spyder wheels with a painted finish
  • Decorative stripes on the front luggage compartment lid
  • ‘PORSCHE’ decorative lettering along the sides of the vehicle
  • Wheels and rear model designation finished in either high-gloss black (with the Black contrast package) or high-gloss white (with the White contrast package)

Finally, you get a choice of exclusive colours, including:

  • Arctic Grey
  • Ruby Star Neo
  • Shark Blue
  • Carmine Red
  • Crayon (as tested here)
  • Ice Grey metallic

What’s the Porsche 718 Cayman Like on the Inside?

The Porsche 718 Cayman landed in Australia towards the end of 2016 so you’re getting a pretty outdated experience on the inside of the cabin. Still, it just seems to make sense, and while the centrally mounted Porsche Communication Management (PCM) central infotainment screen is a little small and slow to react, it gets Apple CarPlay (wired), which is all most people care about anyway.

Sound is provided by an eight-speaker Sound Package Plus in-car audio system that delivers a total system output of 150 Watts. Other niceties include a DAB+ digital radio, 12-volt sockets in the passenger footwell and centre console storage compartment, and a BOSE Surround Sound System, which is optionally available.

Of course, the 14-way Sports seats are some of the best in the business, comfortable but supportive for sporty driving, and they offer a great driving position. I also love the array of physical buttons underneath the infotainment screen that give you quick access to the various menus. Even my iPhone 15 Pro Max fits in the small centre console storage unit where the Apple CarPlay wire connects, and the 375 mm steering wheel in smooth leather is adjustable for both rake and reach. It gives you everything you want, and nothing more.

Porsche 718 cayman style edition side profile
Porsche 718 Cayman ‘Style Edition’ | Image: Porsche Australia

Should You Buy the Porsche 718 Cayman Style Edition?

If you want the pure petrol-powered Porsche sportscar experience for under AUD$200,000, the 718 Cayman Style Edition delivers. It comes with a long list of standard features that will entice buyers, but you only have until the end of May 2024 to make that final decision before the petrol 718s are gone forever.

You’re not paying for outright speed here, and most of the competition will leave the Cayman in the dust just about everywhere. However, at the end of the day, you’re driving a mid-engined Porsche that’s lightweight, quick enough, and sharp as all get out through corners. Most of all, it gives you a proper sportscar experience that others simply dream of creating. It will be sad to see you go little Cayman.

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