Are the days when the number of cylinders that determine a cars performance, over?
Turbo charged engines is a phrase most purists hate. However, technology prevails and the fight is definitely on to see who can achieve “more for less”.
So let’s take a brief look at two new car rivals and what they can bring to the table.
Porsche Cayman 718S
The external design of the 718S still retains it’s formidable shape and sleek lines. In this two seater sports coupe Porsche have positioned the power plant in the middle, which is optimum for perfect weight distribution. However, the latest car from the famous brand has now lost two of those lovely boxer cylinders and a large amount of cubic capacity!
Behind the wheel, it still inspires confidence and has been engineered for absolute interaction. This means that you always know what the car is doing and what it is likely to do next. The chassis set up is sublime, so no doubt it still allows you the freedom to have some fun on road and track.
However, erase everything you remember about previous Caymans. The big news is that the 718S is totally different because high revs are no longer required to deliver the goods!
At a mere 1900 rpm the single turbo 2497cc engine dishes up 310 lb ft of torque, the rich menu remains all the way to 4500 rpm. The result is that despite the blistering performance, the characteristic Porsche soundtrack is sadly lost.
On paper the new TTRS is still a rival for the Porsche. However we have to consider what else the new Audi has to tempt us from its German neighbour as both cars are similarly priced.
First up the Audi maintains the “5” pot 2.5 litre engine set up at the front with quatro drive to the wheels, serving up a power to weight ratio of 273 bhp per tonne. This means it is only a few tenths of a second behind it’s R8 big brother, achieving an impressive 3.7 seconds 0-62 mph to be exact.
Top speed is restricted until you tick the Dynamic Package Plus to the order form, which increases it to 174 mph. That same tick in the box will also get you the sports exhaust system to play a very satisfying and harmonious soundtrack.
Externally the TTRS retains it’s sharp looks with a fixed wing to the rear. The striking interior is functional and stylishly simple within the acclaimed Audi Virtual Cockpit.
Unfortunately you can’t ask for a manual. Though you will probably choose to forgive Audi for this omission as you become obsessed with the TTRS sound, which doesn’t disappoint.
On the road
On paper the two contenders in this category have a lot in common, but on the road they reportedly display quite different strengths and weaknesses.
The Audi TTRS wears a flash and aggressive outfit. Delivering the goods when pushed and it’s dynamic potential is easily accessible, which easily flatters the driver.
The Cayman 718S is a more complete car than it’s previous GTS of last year. Ticking all the critical boxes it is certainly another step closer to the 911.
Despite the paradigm shift towards the turbo charged “Flat Four”, the Cayman definitely appears to be the more engaging drive and definitely a proper sports car, whereas the Audi is more of a ‘sporty’ car.
Having said that it might be that the number of cylinders now or even in the future doesn’t matter. Essentially it has to really be all about how it makes you feel.
Either way I can’t wait to compare them both out on track, before giving a definitive answer as to which earns my vote.
Facts and figures
- 2497 cc 16v turbo 4 cylinder
- 345 bhp @ 6500rpm
- 310 lb ft @ 1900 – 4500 rpm
Transmission – Seven speed PDK Rear wheel drive
- 4.2 sec 0-62 mph
- 177 mph top speed
Price – From £48,834
- 2480 cc 20v turbo inline 5 cylinder
- 395 bhp @ 5850rpm
- 354 lb ft @ 1700 – 5850 rpm
Transmission – Seven speed dual clutch S-tronic four wheel drive
- 3.7 sec 0-62 mph
- 174 mph top speed if derestricted
Price – From £51,000