The 2020 Porsche 718 GTS 4.0 is here, and its engine beats to the pounding of six cylinders, not four as in regular 718 Cayman coupes and Boxster roadsters, including the four-cylinder GTS. The '4.0' in its name represents the six-cylinder engine's displacement and is a dead giveaway this is the same engine that makes the hotter Cayman GT4 and the 718 Boxster Spyder so special.
The GTS specification, available across the Porsche lineup, typically describes a bundle involving extra power over the S trim, along with sportier chassis and exhaust upgrades and unique trim. Stirring in that magic 4.0 engine, however, is clearly an escalation of Porsche's GTS game, making the already enticing trim level more desirable than ever — at least on the 718 Boxster and Cayman versions.
The flat-six engine is slightly detuned relative to the ones found in the screamin' Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder. The 718 GTS 4.0's engine still makes 394 horsepower, 29 more than the now-defunct four-cylinder 718 GTS. We doubt many people will miss the 20 ponies lost in the flat-six's transfer from the GT4 and Boxster Spyder to this GTS, and besides, peak torque is unchanged from the 309 lb-ft you get in those models, as well as the old four-pot GTS. What really matters here is that the GTS 4.0's horsepower peak arrives at the tippy-top of the rev range, right near the siren-song 7,800-rpm redline.
But the good news doesn't stop with the engine. The GTS 4.0 will come exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox — likely the same super-notchy-yet-direct-feeling unit found in the Cayman GT4. (The dual-clutch automatic transmission offered on lesser GTSs is off the menu!) Let's hope they've sorted out the gearing, which we felt was too tall for peak accelerative performance. We also couldn't care less about the standard cylinder deactivation system, which can shut off one bank of cylinders when engine loads are low for the sake of efficiency. Given how that is boring, and the stick-shift and going fast aren't boring, we'll state the obvious: Shifting the flat-six for yourself while whipping down a back-road basking in the engine's soundtrack is the entire point of this GTS. Porsche says the 4.0 will hit 60 mph from a standstill in 4.3 seconds and trundle along to a top speed of 182 mph.
The usual GTS go-fast elements are included on the 4.0, of course: Porsche Active Suspension Management with a 0.8-inch drop in ride height, electronic Porsche Torque Vectoring, and a mechanical limited-slip differential are standard. Porsche also includes a sports exhaust system and Sport Chrono, as well as an upgraded Porsche Track Precision App. A 20-inch wheel is bolted to each corner, with the fronts wearing 235/35 tires and the rears wrapped in 265/35 rubber. The brakes have been beefed up, too, and the front rotors measure 13.8 inches (up from 13 on the standard GTS model) and the rear brakes are upgraded to 13-inch rotors. Carbon ceramics are, as you'd expect, still an (expensive) option. Aesthetically, the GTS 4.0 wears a black lip spoiler, the same Sport Design front fascia as the normal GTS, and a redesigned rear bumper (to accommodate the exhaust) in black. The front running lamp lenses are tinted, as are the taillights. The interior is clad with Alcantara and sporty, well-bolstered seats should keep you locked in place during hard driving.
We're just happy Porsche found another use for that sonorous 4.0-liter flat-six, especially as it has expanded the availability of turbocharged engines throughout its lineup. We hope they keep new applications coming. There is no word yet on the 718 GTS 4.0s' prices but expect them to ring in under the GT4's $100,550 price tag. Somewhere around $90,000 sounds right, as that slots it nicely between the GT4 and the old turbo-four GTS models. Dealerships will be taking orders as early as this summer of this year.