2021 Porsche Cayman & Boxster GTS 4.0 models

Porsche Cayman S.

For his newest ride, car enthusiast Steve Blake made a choice between two new Porsche vehicles, the  2021 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 and the Cayman S, which did he choose?

The time has come for me to choose a new sports car. I have thoroughly enjoyed my last three Porsche sports cars for daily drivers. I started with a 2012 Cayman, then a 2014 Cayman S, and finally a 2017 Boxster S.

The first two had the 6-cylinder engine and the 2017, being the 718 model, has the turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine.

I have decided to stay with Porsche because there are no sports cars that give the same pure enjoyment and driving experience. This time, I will go back to a Cayman but with a 6-speed manual transmission. Now it is just a case of deciding between the new Cayman GTS 4.0 and the Cayman S.

Porsche GTS 4 models.

Porsche has just introduced the new Cayman and Boxster GTS 4.0 models to North America, which are available to order now but delivery will in all likelihood be the first quarter of 2021. The 6-cylinder naturally aspirated 4-litre engine will power these cars.

The Cayman S and Boxster S are still available with the turbo-charged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine.

How do these cars match up and how does one decide?

I drove out to Porsche Langley to do my research. I met with Kevin Lee who is a very passionate brand ambassador/salesman and a true “car guy.”  He walked me through the options and explained the differences in the cars.

Many things are the same for both cars but the big difference is the two engines. The new GTS 4.0 has the 6-cylinder and that will entice a number of clients. When the 718 was first introduced, some automotive journalists wrote that the engine sound was not as impressive as that of the previous 6-cylinder. At that time, I took a new 718 for a test drive, put it in sport mode and drove around Vancouver. I was not disappointed with the sound. There is a difference, but whether it is significant is subjective. More important is the way the car behaves and if you get the performance you desire.

At Porsche Langley, Kevin drew my attention to the performance figures, which certainly tell part of the story. The GTS 4.0 weighs 50 kg more than the Cayman S, which narrows the gap between the two. The figures below are for both vehicles with manual transmissions. Fuel consumption figures are not available yet, but in the past the award-winning turbocharged 4-cylinder showed improvements over the 6-cylinder option.

  Cayman GTS 4.0 Cayman S
0-100 km  (seconds)           4.5         4.6
Top Speed  (km/hr)       293     285
Torque   (lb/ft)       309     309
Horsepower       394     350
Unladen Weight (kg)     1405   1355

The difference between the two cars appears to be minimal but may be greater when we are actually able to test-drive them back-to-back.  The GTS 4.0 comes with more performance features as standard equipment. However, these things can be added as options to the Cayman S.

Both cars have the Porsche Active Suspension Management system which lowers the car either 10 mm or 20 mm depending on your choice. Porsche Torque Vectoring helps with variable torque vectoring through controlled braking on the rear wheels and mechanically controlled differential lock with asymmetrical locking action for increased agility, steering precision, traction and vehicle stability.

With the Sport Chrono option you get performance-oriented engine and chassis settings, stop watch, throttle blips on downshifts, and an additional sport mode. Several other performance-enhancing features are included. With the PDK transmission you also get a launch mode and a 20 second Sport Response button for performance-oriented settings for the engine and transmission. This feature is standard on the GTS 4.0 and an option on the S.

When it came time to make a decision, it was really great dealing with the Porsche Langley dealership. They were very fair with what they offered for a trade-in value for my Boxster S and they did not push me to the more expensive cars. Kevin Lee took the approach that I should be deciding which car best suited my needs. He asked questions that directed me to make my own decision rather than pushing a product. I appreciated his care and attention to help me make a decision on which car would make me happiest.

Once I had decided, sales manager Brad Ritchot signed off on our deal. He showed the same care and respect that Kevin portrayed and they both promised they would try to get a quick delivery for me. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 virus, the factory had to shut down for two months and orders are backlogged.

Cayman GTS 4.0 start at $94,500 and the Boxster GTS 4.0 starts at $96,900.

The Cayman S for 2021 starts at $80,900 and the Boxster S starts at $83,300.

When options are added to the S models to make them more or less equal to the GTS 4.0 models, there is about a $10,000 savings.

Which car was best and which did I buy? Both cars were pretty equal to me for the kind of driving I do. I may have made a different decision if I had a chance to drive both cars under a variety of different conditions. Based on my experience and my preferences, I chose to purchase a 2021 Cayman S.