Automatic versions of the 718 GT4 are now half a second quicker to 100km/h. Picture: SUPPLIED
Automatic versions of the 718 GT4 are now half a second quicker to 100km/h. Picture: SUPPLIED

Porsche recently introduced the GT4 as the flagship models in the mid-engined 718 Boxster and Cayman ranges, and part of the purist appeal was that they came only with manual gearboxes.

Now they’ve become available in two-pedal format as well, and buyers have the choice of the existing six-speed manual or the newly introduced seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) auto transmission. Mounted behind the seats, as before, is the normally aspirated 4.0l, six-cylinder boxer engine that has outputs of 309kW and 420Nm and revs to a soulful 8,000rpm.

While the auto versions require less driver interaction (which is a good or bad thing, depending on what type of driver you are), they snip a substantial half a second off the 0-100km/h acceleration time.

In both soft-top Spyder and hardtop Cayman guises, the PDK-equipped 718 GT4 zooms to the 100km/h mark in just 3.9 seconds and reaches 200km/h in 13.4 seconds (0.4 secs faster than with the manual transmission).

The PDK transmission has also become a new option in the slightly less powerful 718 Cayman GTS, which uses a 294kW/420Nm version of the same 4.0 engine. GTS versions of the Cayman and Boxster were also previously only equipped with a six-speed manual.

Here too, half a second has been cut from the 0-100km/h sprint time (now 4.0 secs), while the 13.7-second 0-200km/h time is 0.4 secs faster.

The standard Sport Chrono package in the 718 GTS 4.0 models adapts the gear shift characteristics of the PDK to four different driving modes: Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, with Launch Control integrated in Sport Plus.

A Sport Response button allows the driver to activate maximum engine and transmission performance for 20 secs, irrespective of the driving mode. It’s a motorsport-inspired function made for spontaneous overtaking manoeuvres.

The PDK versions of the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 have enhanced mechanical locking rear differentials with increased locking values to improve traction.

The Porsche 718 line-up will also start the 2021 model year with new features such as high-quality Race-Tex material to replace the Alcantara seat fabric, and the addition of vivid Python Green to the colour palette of the GT models.

The first of the PDK variants are expected in SA early in 2021 with pricing to be confirmed.

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