With upgraded suspension, power output, a new differential and a serious boost in all-round performance compared with their predecessors, the new Porsche 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS might be enough to give even Porsche 911 owners second thoughts.
Now that purists are finally getting used to the idea of two compact Porsches with intelligently turbocharged four-cylinder, rather than the traditional flat-six naturally aspirated block at their core, Porsche has taken the wraps off the extra fun GTS iterations of the Boxster and its hardtop companion, the Cayman.
And regardless of your feelings towards the move towards smaller blocks and intercooling, on paper alone they should send more than a frisson of excitement through the Porsche-buying community.
The existing Cayman GTS was pound-for-pound one of the best performing, best handling 2-seat sportscars money could buy. And in true Porsche fashion the new models pick up where the old ones left off. In terms of vital engine statistics, that means a 2.5-liter, 365hp engine (that's 35hp improvement over the last-gen GTS), 430Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h dash covered in just 4.1 seconds (when the car is specified with the PDK paddle-shift transmission).
What's more, to ensure that drivers enjoy the car right up to its 290km/h limit, whether in soft-top or hard-top guise, the GTS comes with a manual six-speed transmission as standard plus torque-vectoring and a mechanical locking rear differential to share out power and grip to the wheel that needs it most as well as Porsche Active Suspension Management which drops ride height by 10mm.
For the first time, the GTS models also get the Porsche Chrono Package as standard, while cockpit toys include a centrally mounted analogue stopwatch, Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, complete with GTS logos on the headrests and increased lateral support for cornering at speed, an Alcantara-wrapped dashboard and steering wheel, and the Porsche Precision App for recording driving and improving on lap times.
On the outside, the GTS models stand out from their less potent brethren thanks to a unique front apron design, black trim elements including badges, tinted headlamps and tail lights and 20-inch black satin-finish alloy wheels.
The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS will be available to order from December. Prices in Europe will start from ?76,137 while in the US prices (excluding delivery, processing and handling charges) will begin at $79,800 for the Cayman GTS, rising to $81,900 for the Boxster.