Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, Porsche brings the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder back, BMW makes the 8 Series longer, Ford confirms GT500 power figures, Toyota likes the 86 as much as we do, a new Ford GT is coming to Goodwood, and your automotive news.
Porsche 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4
For a lot of people, the current 718 generation Boxster and Cayman were a two steps forward, one giant step back. They fell victim to the same thing that’s soiled so many other great sports cars, and that’s the quest to be “better” by giving up some of its soul. The 718 platform did away with glorious N/A flat sixes of old and replaced them with a turbo four-cylinder. It made more power and had better efficiency but at the expense of sounding like someone farting into a mason jar. The car’s numbers were undeniably improved with the new engine, but it changed the driving experience in polarizing ways. Fortunately, we all bitched enough and now Porsche is finally giving its enthusiasts what they were really wanting – the two best cars in the lineup.
Though the 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4 serve slightly different purposes, both share a technical platform. The Spyder will feature most of the hardware that makes up the track-day-ready Cayman GT4. They share a custom-tuned adaptive damping system, upgraded suspension hardware, torque vectoring, and mechanical locking rear diff. A big improvement was also made in the aero department with a greatly reworked package. Both cars feature a revised lower valence with air curtains as well as a new rear diffuser with a single-chamber arch rear silencer, all of which have real impacts on downforce.
And finally, the 718’s perfectly-balanced mid-engine architecture that’s finally paired with an engine that’s more exciting than a calculus textbook. The flat-six returns, and it’s naturally-aspirated.
It’s from the same family of turbocharged flat-sixes found in the 911 Carrera models, but with the snails removed. The 4.0-liter unit produces 414 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque and revs out to 8,000 RPM. In a car that weighs just over 3,100 pounds, that’s plenty. It features cylinder deactivation and some complicated fuel injection system aimed at reducing consumption, of course. But there’s nothing getting in the way of the wonderful N/A flat-six sound that Porsche enthusiasts and people with ears crave. And as with older Spyder and GT4 models, the only gearbox available is a six-speed manual.
Even though both cars share an engine and suspension, they both follow slightly different philosophies and offer very different driving experiences.
The 718 Spyder returns with a lightweight, manually-operated cloth top and breathtaking silhouette that yearns for the open road. The cloth top, which may as well be considered a tent, is promised to be easy to stow in just a couple of steps and can sustain high speeds. The Spyder has most of the same bodywork as the GT4 but ditches the fixed rear wing for a retractable spoiler. Part of it being a Spyder means it features a raised, contoured rear decklid, which is… just… perfect. And fun fact: thanks to the rear diffuser area, it’s the first Boxster ever to generate downforce at the rear axle.
718 Cayman GT4
The GT4 on the other hand goes a bit further in that aero department. It adds a front splitter and a fixed rear wing in addition to the aforementioned air curtains up front and the bigger rear diffuser. Compared to the previous Cayman GT4, it offers 50% more downforce without negatively impacting drag. 30% of that downforce comes from the diffuser alone. When Porsche says they utilized “lessons from motorsport” in building this car, that diffuser is what they mean.
The GT4 is the car for mountain road and track day enthusiasts and probably the most universally loved modern Porsche. Those wanting to take its track-readiness to a new level can opt for the Clubsport package. That adds a rear steel roll bar, a hand-held fire extinguisher (you know why), and a six-point seat belt on the driver’s side.
Both cars are available for order now. It’s hard to think of any new car that I want more right now.
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
Hey, remember the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and Convertible that came out a while ago? Well BMW did a BMW thing and made a really long sedan out of one. They added a real back seat, an extra set of doors to get there, and a revised roof line with a full panoramic roof to connect it all. The M8 version will follow in a few months and BMW will never stop this madness for as long as we encourage them… I mean, it looks rather pret *slaps self*.
Ford Confirms GT500 Power Output
When the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 finally hits the streets later this year, it’ll be the most powerful Ford to ever do so. They’ve finally confirmed a power output of 760 horsepower and 625 lb.-ft. of torque from its incredible supercharged 5.2-liter V8.
Think of it as the GT350’s Voodoo motor with a 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger on top. Because that’s what it is. It needed a few modifications to support the extra power though, including an air-to-liquid intercooler tucked inside the valley for a lower center of gravity. The aluminum alloy block also features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication, and cooling passages.
A ten-speed dual clutch, carbon drive shaft, and optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are the unlucky souls chosen to put that power to the ground. But they will, and the car will be awesome. And this Mustang GT PP2 owner would happily accept an invite from Ford to go drive it. *Cough*.
Report: 2nd-Generation Toyota 86 On the Way
In more happy news, some important people at Toyota have told Autocar that they’ve given the green light to a second-generation Toyota 86. It will remain the light-weight four-seater with no power that is so loved in the car community and exist alongside the new Supra. Autocar was told that continued cooperation with Subaru on the new car was “a safe assumption” and they suggested that Toyota’s performance brand – GR for Gazoo Racing – would be involved with it as well. We’re looking forward to more updates about this one.
Ford Bringing a New GT to Goodwood
In news that got me awake this morning faster than my caffeine did, Ford has announced a new GT ultra-high-performance supercar of sorts which will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 4th. All that’s been said officially is that Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance, and Larry Holt, chief technical officer, Multimatic, will make a “special Ford GT supercar announcement” in a dedicated press conference. Those words and this picture are all Ford provided, but that was enough to get the rumor mill working overtime.
The timing of this announcement is very peculiar. Ford just wrapped up their GTE program at Le Mans (which as as Ford fan, I don’t wanna talk about) and will finish out the season in IMSA’s GTLM class. After that, nobody is totally sure yet. Ford has recently ruled out an entry in WEC’s Hypercar class and are looking more likely to join IMSA with a DPi entry. DPi is set to debut with new spec-hybrid regulations in 2022. Call it wishful thinking, but could this be the beginning of their DPi effort? The wing, the super low ride height, the roof scoop, it just has to be. Or it’ll just be a regular Ford GT with race car bodywork that they’ll sell to collectors. Either way, my body is ready and I hope yours is too. I’ll follow up on this when the time comes.
What’s Your Automotive News?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.