Extra sporting cred for the Stuttgart bantamweight

While most automakers these days are occupied searching for new methods of extracting more and more power from their sports coupes, Porsche seems more concerned with something even more elusive - lower weight. As such, the German automaker has given birth to a string of lightness-adding model variants, including the likes of the 911 Carrera T. Now, Porsche will apply a similar performance philosophy to the Cayman. Like its 911 big brother, the fresh two-door will take the name T, and offer a more driver-focused experience thanks to less heft, a taut suspension tune, and a few extra ponies to boot, all for less than the hardcore Cayman GT4 track weapon.

2020 Porsche Cayman T Exterior Styling

  • GT4 Aerodynamics
  • Probably have the large rear wing
  • Functioning dual exhaust
  • 20-inch wheels as standard
  • Takes subtle design cues from the Cayman GT4
2020 Porsche Cayman T Exterior
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Our spy photographers managed to snag some shots of the upcoming sports coupe out and about doing some real-world testing around the Nürburgring - exactly where you might expect a new 718 prototype to show up.

As an updated variant of the 718 Cayman, otherwise known as the latest-generation of the hardtop Boxster, the Cayman T test mule looks unchanged compared to the standard Cayman model.

However, don’t be fooled - the final product will undoubtedly come with a slew of upgrades to justify its expanded purchase price.

In the corners, for example, look for the Cayman T to throw in 20-inch wheels as standard, with a lightweight alloy construction used to keep heft at a minimum. We’d also expect to see some exterior aero bits inspired by the GT4, although the large rear wing will most likely remain exclusive to the range-topping model. Instead, a revised front wing and rear diffuser could help the T standout, as would slightly larger side intakes. A few unique color choices could round it out with fresh black trim bits front to back.

2020 Porsche Cayman T Exterior
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The rear end provides an interesting perspective, as it reveals the T’s rising trunk lid spoiler, and more importantly, a revised lower fascia.

Check out the functioning dual exhaust and diffuser element - will the production version see some aggressive aero back here as well? It’s certainly looking likely, given the above spy shots.

2020 Porsche Cayman T Interior Design

  • Similar look and layout as the standard Cayman
  • Thinner glass makes for louder ambient noise
  • Less sound deadening
  • Cloth door handle pulls
  • No infotainment gear
  • Deeper bucket seats
2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Interior
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Note: Previous Porsche Cayman GT4 interior pictured here

While our spy photographer did not manage to grab any shots of the test mule’s interior, there are a few assumptions we can make right off the bat.

For starters, the look and layout won’t differ terribly from what we’ve already seen inside the Cayman. You’ll still get a svelte center console beset with a bevy of hard buttons and switches, plus rounded air vents on the dash and premium trim bits.

That said, this lightened version will standout thanks to its more spartan approach to coddling passengers. For example, interior ambient noise will be a good deal louder due to weight saving measures like thinner glass and less sound deadening. Some of the luxury features will be gone as well, with fabric door pulls and a sound system delete, all of which will save precious pounds (or grams, as the case may be) in the long run.

Regardless, the important stuff needed for actually driving this thing will remain as is.

Passengers stay in one spot thanks to sporty seats with big side bolsters. The seat design itself will also help to cut weight.

Overall, expect a very stripped-down cabin space. The focus will be on providing as much feedback as possible to the driver, and any extraneous distractions will fall by the wayside.

2020 Porsche Cayman T Drivetrain And Performance

  • Mid-mounted drivetrain layout
  • More standard go-faster equipment
  • Sports exhaust, adaptive dampers, Sport Chrono package all included
  • Lower ride height
  • 360 horsepower, an increase of 10 ponies
  • More aggressive brakes
  • PDK automatic and manual transmission options
  • Upwards of 50 pounds lighter
2020 Porsche Cayman T Exterior
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While the interior gear will see a significant cutback with the T, the drivetrain and performance bits will include more standard equipment throughout.

For example, the Porsche Active Suspension system will come as standard spec for added sharpness in the bends, plus a Sports exhaust will come as standard to help it sound the part of a performance machine. The popular Sport Chrono Package will come as standard as well, with an overall lower suspension setup that drops the body by about 10 mm (0.4 inches) overall. The basic layout will once again utilize MacPherson struts in front and in the rear.

Of course, the main party piece is mounted in the middle of the machine, with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder used to make the go. In the Cayman T, this engine will see a tune to deliver 360 horsepower, all of which will get sent to the rear wheels exclusively.

For the sake of comparison, the standard Cayman S produces 350 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 309 pound-feet of torque between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm. Redline is set at 7,500 rpm and is likely to remain the same in the T.

The standard Cayman S also mounts brakes measured at 330 mm (13 inches) in front and 300 mm (11.8 inches) in the rear. We expect a more aggressive braking package for the T as well.

What’s more, the T will also likely come with options for both a PDK automatic transmission and a manual gearbox.

A mechanical limited-slip differential will put the power down on corner exit.

Finally, as previously mentioned, one of the T’s biggest draws will be the reduction in mass. Thanks to thinner glass, a near total lack of infotainment features, and fabric door pulls, among other changes, the T will cut around 40 to 50 pounds from the final curb weight. Compared to the standard model’s curb weight of 2,988 pounds for the manual and 3,054 pounds for the PDK, the diet will definitely have an effect on how the car feels when driven aggressively.

2020 Porsche Cayman T Prices

2020 Porsche Cayman T Exterior
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As for where the 2020 Porsche Cayman T sill slot into the German automaker’s lineup, look for it to occupy the gap between the Cayman S and the GTS. Overall, the T won’t be as quick as the more hardcore Cayman GT4, and the pricing will reflect that.

It’s believed the 2020 Porsche Cayman T will hit dealers sometime next year, most likely kicking off in the first half of 2019.

As for pricing, let’s take a look at the current lineup. As of this writing, the standard Porsche Cayman S goes for $67,700 for the manual and $70,910 for the PDK. With that in mind, we think $75,000 makes sense for the Cayman T, especially with the GTS slotting in at $80,000.

2020 Porsche Cayman T Competition

Lotus Evora 400

2016 Lotus Evora 400 High Resolution Exterior
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While a bit more expensive than the Porsche, the Lotus Evora 400 has everything needed to scratch that stripped-down driver’s car itch. With a curb weight rated at about 3,150 pounds, the Evora is still pretty lightweight, and it’s got loads of power too thanks to a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 mounted just behind the cabin. Output is rated at 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed to the rear wheels by way of a six-speed manual transmission. Properly motivated, the Lotus Evora will hit 60 mph in the low-4-second range, with top speed clocking in at 172 mph. Inside the cabin, things are just as basic as the Porsche, with Alcantara and leather upholstery and srufaces providing the only comfort. Pricing starts at $94,900.

Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus Evora 400.

Audi TT RS

2017 Audi TT-RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 674034

If you prefer a little extra comfort inside, and a little more grunt under the hood, then the TT RS should fit the bill nicely. Up front, the TT RS arrives at the party with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, which is turbocharged to produce as much as 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Directed through a seven-speed automatic transmission and quattro AWD system, this fast Four-Ringer can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Top speed clocks in at 174 mph. The cabin is pretty plush as well, with features like a digital virtual cockpit display and MMI infotainment system. Curb weight tips the scales at 3,300 pounds. The higher weight and AWD makes the Audi a bit softer in the corners compared to the Lotus and Porsche, but the magnetic ride suspension helps sharpen it all the same. Sweetening the deal is a very attractive price, with the latest model starting at just $64,900.

Read our full review on the2017 Audi TT RS.

Final Thoughts

2020 Porsche Cayman T Exterior
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While most carmakers out there with a taste for performance search high and low for new methods to extract even more power from their engines, Porsche seems more focused on simply cutting out weight. We like that.

Not only is it smarter when it comes to ever-tightening emissions guidelines, but it’s also more effective in creating feedback and enjoyment than stuffing a chassis with crazy output levels.

And when it comes to making for a ‘driver’s’ car, weight is usually the enemy, not a dearth of power.

Besides, the 718 Cayman already comes with a good amount of power to begin with, considering the weight it needs to push around. Cut out 50 pounds, then add a small dollop of ponies on top, and you’re sitting pretty.

What’s more, with the latest 718 headed for a generational refresh soon (a new generation is expected to drop sometime in 2020), it makes sense to get as much as possible from the current gen.

So far, so good.

  • Leave it
    • Spartan interior appointment
    • Definitely not cheap
    • Much faster alternatives available

Further reading

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T Exterior
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A tenth-second quicker to 60 mph

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 673776

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 739173
317 pound-feet of torque

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 615254

Read our full review on the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4.

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 637442

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS.

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