Thu. Sep 16th, 2021
2020 Porsche 718

2020 Porsche 718 Boxster T First Drive Review

The 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster T and its Cayman T sibling are unlikely to satisfy those still hoping for a return to six-cylinder power for Porsche’s entry-level sports cars. They still have a turbocharged four, and the smaller one at that. Yet, while we have a strong suspicion that a boxer-six return will eventually come, Porsche is at least doing plenty to make the four-cylinder 718’s more attractive. First was the 718 GTS, based on the 2.5-liter four of the 718 S, and now come the 718 Boxster T and 718 Cayman T, based on the entry-level 718 with its 2.0-liter four. Unlike the GTS, the T gets no extra power, but it’s still a real performance version. Let us explain.

That’s because it comes with all available performance goodies that are otherwise only available at extra cost. This includes 20-inch alloys, the PTV mechanical rear differential and torque vectoring system, the PASM electronic damper control and the Sport Chrono Package, whose most important ingredient are the magnetorheological active powertrain mounts that stiffen the car considerably. Sport Chrono also includes a Sport Plus setting, which is especially effective when the PDK dual-clutch automatic is chosen.

All of the options included in the 718 T — either Cayman or Boxster — would together cost more than the $9,500 premium that Porsche will be asking. But there’s more: The 718 T gets exclusive stickers on the flanks, retro-style fabric strap door pulls, and in Europe, the purists can delete the PCM infotainment system to save weight.

So if you were going to spec your 718 for dynamics anyway, it makes sense to go for the 718 T straight away, particularly since it also has the right ingredients to become a collector’s item down the road.

The decision between the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman T with its closed roof and the 718 Boxster T with its electrically powered fabric top won’t be guided by driving dynamics: Both models weigh exactly the same. The open-top version, however, is more expensive, in an interesting reversal of Porsche’s initial Boxster/Cayman pricing strategy. When they come to market in the United States in early 2020, still for the 2020 model year, the 718 Cayman T will cost $66,400, and the 718 Boxster T $68,500.