2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS Review: This is a sports car

Lionel Kong
Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

The Cayman’s naming system may have gone all chunky with numbers, but the GTS is everything that every sports car aims to be

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

Launched: June 2020 – Price: S$469,788 without COE (Sept 2023)
Two-door coupe, two seats
400hp, 4.0-litre flat-6, VES C2, 10.1L/100km

Fast and well-balanced
Nice engine note
Easy to drive even around town

Small cabin
Thirsty even at urban speeds
Carries Porsche-level price tag


A couple of years after we first sampled the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS in Portugal, we finally got our mitts on the right-hand drive, Singapore-spec version. Getting behind the wheel of a 400 horsepower coupe with a 4.0-litre flat-six cylinder engine is quite an experience when you’ve just been driving new electric vehicles for the last couple of months. With the Cayman GTS, it’s a powerful reminder of just how much fun a sports car in moderately aggro specification can be. 

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

Now known as the 718 Cayman, the little brother of the Porsche 911 was born in late 2005. It was essentially the coupe version of the ragtop Porsche Boxster, which was already into its second generation by 2005.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

In the effort to harmonise the naming system of its sports cars the Cayman was given the 718 number with its third-generation model in 2016. The 718 number itself wasn’t plucked from thin air, but rather, from Porsche’s history with its late 1950s racing cars. Of course the brand didn’t want to drop the 718 name so the whole series is the 718 Cayman. 

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

After a spell of Caymans equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, we’re back to horizontally-opposed six cylinder engines, which many argue is the only way a Porsche sports car must be powered by. Here in the Cayman GTS, it’s a 4.0-litre, naturally aspirated engine that develops 400 horsepower.

Unlike the Porsche 911 coupe which is actually rear-engined, with the centre of the engine’s mass hanging over the back of the rear axle, the 718 Cayman has always been mid-engined. This means that the engine block sits behind the driver but in front of the rear axle’ centreline. The result is a more maneuverable car as all of its heavy componentry is within the front and rear axles.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

Taking off from a standstill either calmly or with some spirit, the immediate sensation you get is that the  seven-speed twin-clutch, self-shifting transmission is an authoritative bunch of gears. They select and click into place automatically, but with a smooth, solid sense of engagement. As a driver you’ll know that this isn’t just any run of the mill gearbox.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

In traditional sports car style, power is sent only to the rear wheels. There’s enough power to launch it to 100km/h in four seconds flat, but that’s less than half the story. It’s a very agile and balanced car, with pointability that no superfast electric vehicle can hope to match.

You could take control of the sequential gear shifts with the paddle-mounted shifters, leave the car to its own devices and it’ll move through the gears seamlessly. When driving spiritedly, there’s a faintly metallic snick to each gear change that’s very pleasing to hear.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

The sports exhaust button on the centre console doesn’t actually make the exhaust note louder like some outdated boy-racer, but simply added a bit more baritone bass notes to the proceedings without turning the whole thing up to obnoxious levels.

The same with the sports suspension damping mode, which can be felt with the car engaging a firmer damping rate that’s more applicable to flat racetrack surfaces than public roads.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

Other go-faster buttons include the car’s mode selector dial on the steering wheel, which will be familiar with Porsche fans and owners, along with its Sport Response button in the middle of the selector dial that will let the engine rev higher before shifting up for 20 seconds. 

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

It’s one of those must-have gimmicks in luxury sports cars these days but quite unnecessary. The car is fast enough in standard form on public roads, and if you’re driving it on a racetrack you’re better off shifting the gears manually with the paddles than to rely on the Sport Response button to hold the gear longer and let the engine rev higher. 

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

Negatives of the Cayman GTS, like all others in its family, is that it is only a two-seat sports car with a shallow luggage compartment in the back. The engine is completely hidden out of view under a cover  and under the rear window. There’s some room to carry small items behind the passengers, but reaching for them is quite a stretch. The good news is that the front luggage compartment is very deep, reaching to practically the bottom of the chassis.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

There’s also the stigma of this being a small 911 coupe. But they are very different cars and the 911 has the weight of history behind it to drag along. The 718 Cayman has much less of that, and its design as a lighter sports car makes it arguably much more fun to drive in nearly every instance. If you want faster, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS exists with another 100 horsepower of extra power, if you want to go higher up the chain. Yet even as electric vehicles start to appear everywhere, it’s reassuring to know that ICE sports cars still have that same thrill.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS  in Singapore

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

Drivetrain type Petrol engine 
Engine3,995cc, flat 6
Power400hp at 7800rpm
Torque430Nm at 1900-5500rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h4.0 seconds 
Top Speed288km/h
Fuel Efficiency10.1L/100km
VES Band C2 / +S$25,000
AgentPorsche Singapore
PriceS$469,788 without COE
Verdict Possibly the best balanced Porsche sports car now in production


718 GTS Porsche porsche cayman

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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