Why The Porsche 718 Makes Perfect Sense
A lot has been said about the new Porsche 718 and now that it has been out for a little over a year the critics are starting to double down. The argument, of course, being the decision by Porsche to ditch the beloved flat-6 in favor of a flat-4.
Not surprisingly no one knocks the Porsche 718 for its performance. In fact, it’s such an astounding improvement over an already amazing car it’s hard to believe that it even exists. So, the fact anyone would start to bitch and moan about its sound is just a testament to how trashy people really are.
Some idiots have gone as far as to compare it to a Subaru, which honestly isn’t such a bad thing. I remember when people bitched about the flat-6 that was the characteristic Porsche orchestra since dinosaurs roamed and yet here we are. Haters gonna hate man.
Anyway, there’s always a lot of confusion when it comes to Porsche models because for years it was the 911 or “the cheap one”. Which is exactly why I am writing this post. It’s time to clear things up.
What Is The Porsche 718?
For those not in-the-know, the 718 was a race car built by Porsche between 1957 and 1962. Like the modern 718 it had a mid-engine layout, but was fitted with a 1.5-Liter 4-cylinder as opposed to the 2.0-Liter flat-4 of today’s 718.
Its debut was at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans where it failed to finish due to an accident. The following year the car finished first in its class and third overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Later, it finished second in the Targa Florio and in 1959 it would take first place at the same race.
At the same time the 718 was pulling victories at the Targa Florio and 24 Hours of Le Mans it won two consecutive European Hill Climb Championships in 1958 and 1959. In 1961 a 718/RS Spyder took another class win at Le Mans.
In 1960 the engine was upgraded to a 1.6-liter four-cylinder good for 160-hp and got some new suspension to go with it. It adopted the RS moniker and then won the 12 Hours of Sebring. Again, it took the European Hill Climb Championship for the third year in a row.
The Porsche 718 had a long and victorious racing career and this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Porsche is after all, the world’s largest race car manufacturer.
The Revival Of An Icon
Now, look. All these people complaining about the four-cylinder apparently forgot what Porsche is all about – building race cars. The 718 revival was one of the smartest moves Porsche could have made.
The new Porsche 718 is a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car that boast either a 2.0-Liter flat four or 2.5-Liter flat four. Currently, there are two sub-models, the Cayman and the Boxster.
The Boxster has been around since the
With the introduction of the Cayman in 2006, the Porsche model range had another coupe competing with the 911 for the first time in a long time. Herein lies the issue. In order to differentiate the two
Why Bringing Back The 718 Makes Perfect Sense For Porsche.
From a product standpoint the 718 makes great sense and here’s exactly why.
First, Porsche needed to keep the 911 at the top of the line-up. It is the flagship sports car and needs to remain the bread and butter of Porsche. You can’t do that with a mid-engine car that can outperform it for much cheaper. So, Porsche revives the 718
Second, the Porsche 718 name fits well given the need to go with a smaller motor. It gives Porsche the opportunity to use the four-cylinder but still add its race heritage to the cars. This again, is a brilliant marketing move and makes great sense.
Third, the new Porsche’s for people who can’t afford Porsche’s are the SUVs. They aren’t necessarily in the DNA of Porsche so it makes sense to make those the entry-level choices. Still, they are great, but as we have already covered, Porsche makes race cars. That’s their thing.
Finally, the new engine and name give Porsche a chance to really flex with the new platform. As discussed in our review the new 718 comes with the old “S” models breaks, upgraded steering geometry from the 911 Turbo, and the newly turbocharged 4-cylinders are rockets.
Porsche 718 Model Specs And Trims Explained
Now, the Boxster and Cayman are finally the same car. They always have been, the Cayman was just a coupe version of the Boxster. Seriously, I’m not kidding. With the 718 namesake Porsche has finally merged the two. The Boxster is now just a convertible 718 and no longer a “cheap Porsche”.
The 718 engines are the real great thing here though. The base 718’s now come with 300-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, the first time a base Porsche has ever had 300-hp. It’s phenomenal. The “S” models get the 2.5-Liter flat-four and come with 350-hp while the GTS models come with 365-hp. These are staggering numbers from a stock 2.0 and 2.5-Liter engine.
Because they are horizontally opposed engines the 718’s get to keep the high reving charm that Porsche sports cars have, with even the base model redlining at 7,200 RPM.
Now, both the Boxster and Cayman have the same performance standards. The only difference being the drop-top rain-drop.
How 718 Fits Into The Model Line Up
With the introduction of the 718 namesake you now have the Macan, Cayenne, Panamera, 718, and 911.
Each of these models have an S and GTS and some get a Turbo, but not the 718 models. This makes them more inline with the Porsche strategy, meaning the two sports car offerings are the 911 and 718, both with their own heritage and distinct engines and styling.
Following that it makes perfect sense that Porsche reintroduce the 718 and I’m glad they did. It finally gives the Cayman and Boxster a solid identity with real meaning. While haters are gonnna hate Porsche will continue to crank out amazing cars and the 718 is at the very top of some of the best models the company has ever produced.
See how the 718 compares to the 2014 Cayman in our review and thanks for sticking through the history lesson.