2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention

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2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention
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2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive

Step inside

The seats are snug and supportive, all-day comfortable with an equally admirable cockpit built for people-pleasing and protection like a German Shepherd.

The climate controls are hard to reach behind the shift knob, and they lack the spit and polish of even automatic temperature control. Apparently $93,000 doesn’t buy a constant 68 degrees these days. That hardly matters.

The 718 GTS’ fit and finish calms any sting from the high entry price, which starts at more than $81,000 and reaches optional, six-figure silliness that Porsche delivers best.

Our tester turned in a five-figure bill in add-ons: $290 for Porsche Active Suspension Management that dropped the car another 0.4 inches, $530 for heated front seats, $7,410 for Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, $1,780 for navigation, and $1,720 for Porsche Connect Plus and data services.

The most expensive of the bunch—ceramic composite brakes—also comes with the biggest asterisk: there’s only one earthly reason to include them on this car.

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive

The standard 718 GTS brakes are impressive on their own. The steel stoppers are four-piston, 13-inch anchors lifted from the 911 in front; 11.8-inch, four-piston rotors in the rear.

The optional ceramic brakes are bigger and stiffer, six-piston calipers that arrest the 718 GTS with merely a passing glance. On the 718 Boxster GTS, it’s possible to tire of the cold squeal quickly.

On the 718 Cayman GTS, the added confidence of ceramic brakes would make sense on a track—and that’s it. Congratulations on your six-figure track weapon, and your life.

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2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive

Stick and move

Outside of a track, the 718 Cayman GTS taunts with its superlative grip. Tuck the 718 Cayman GTS into a corner and it leads like any fighter would: with its shoulder first, opposite arm cocked, feet planted, ready to deliver another knuckle sandwich.

The 718 GTS lacks a haymaker like the 911 Turbo, but it doesn’t need one. The 718 GTS moves in ways that the 911 has been coding since traction and stability control tamed its upside-down weight distribution.

Ranking normal sports cars (albeit at main event prices) the 718 GTS feels like a champ in the making, pacing around the ring. It deserves a shot.
Its electric power steering rack is weighted and balanced, and instantly redirects the tight 718 like a slot car. The drama of its engine and the calm from its balanced chassis even while tossed around Napa’s corners are superlative.

Unleashed onto any road, the 718 GTS doesn’t back down from any fight. Even from a 911.

Guess who I’d bet on.

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