For 2016, Porsche has renamed its entry level sports cars, the Boxster and Cayman, as the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, referencing the 718 RSK racecar from the 1950s. Moreover, the new 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will share the old car’s engine layout, a flat-four engine, albeit supplemented with a turbocharger.
In addition to the name and engine changes, the 718 Boxster will been priced higher than the 718 Cayman, to be more in line with the traditional pricing of other coupes and convertibles across the industry. The two cars will be more similar than ever, with their new engine being equally powerful in both cars, as well as other visual and technical similarities.
After years of slowly and deliberately moving away from numeric names, it’s a nice change of pace knowing that people will stop confusing Porsche’s mid-engined sports car with their full-sized suburban-sheikh SUV. It will be much more convenient to distinguish the new 718 from the old 987 and 986 with the new name. And you’ll know exactly where it falls in the lineup with Porsche’s other current sports car, the 991 911, which succeeded the 997; which is far superior to the previous 996, the terrible successor to the 993 (the last of the air-cooled greats). But, even the mighty 993 has nothing on the legendary 930 or 965. The 718 will join the ranks of other great four-cylinder Porsches in addition to the original 718, including the 914, 924, 944, 951, and 968. See Porsche? Numbers are way easier to understand.
But the most important news is that Porsche’s best car is now Porsche’s cheapest car. The 718 Cayman is the driver’s Porsche, and will be cheaply available for your local investment account manager to snap oversteer into your neighbor’s mailbox in a torrent of four-cylinder, turbocharged, liquid-cooled fury.