Cayman 981s vs. 718 - Rennlist - Porsche Discussion Forums

Cayman 981s vs. 718

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Old 07-31-2017, 11:08 AM
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lajoiedp
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Default Cayman 981s vs. 718

I've driven 981 base Cayman and did not care for the low end acceleration. I am now considering purchasing either a used 981s or a new 718 base Cayman. For those who have owned or driven both, how would you compare the performance / driving characteristics of the 981 Cayman S vs. 718 Cayman base? The 981s has 10% more HP (325 vs. 300) but the 718 has a little higher torque rating (280 vs. 273). Also, other than the engine type (and sound), what are the other major differences between the two vehicles that I should be aware of (and consider)? This will be a dd for me (except in poor weather conditions) and I don't plan on tracking the car. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:03 PM
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This is a often-discussed topic. I've driven both, and drove both (and the 718S) before deciding on the 981S. The new tweaks on the suspension and interior on the new model are nice (10% faster steering rack feels nice), but the major, major difference is 6 cylinder or turbo 4. The 718 base is much torquier off the line than my 981S, but has a ton of vibration and arguably unpleasant noise (at least unpleasant comprared the the flat 6, which is amazing). Top end should be similar between 718 base and 981S, meaning 5k RPM-rev limiter, and performance is similar between the two. I could not get around the 4 cylinder sound and harshness, and also feel that the flat 6 cars may hold value better (will definitely do so in short term since I bought it used). You have to drive both and decide. Plenty of people love 718's and nobody can fault them for that - it's just a different experience in some ways (torque or sound).
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PorscheAddict View Post
This is a often-discussed topic. I've driven both, and drove both (and the 718S) before deciding on the 981S. The new tweaks on the suspension and interior on the new model are nice (10% faster steering rack feels nice), but the major, major difference is 6 cylinder or turbo 4. The 718 base is much torquier off the line than my 981S, but has a ton of vibration and arguably unpleasant noise (at least unpleasant comprared the the flat 6, which is amazing). Top end should be similar between 718 base and 981S, meaning 5k RPM-rev limiter, and performance is similar between the two. I could not get around the 4 cylinder sound and harshness, and also feel that the flat 6 cars may hold value better (will definitely do so in short term since I bought it used). You have to drive both and decide. Plenty of people love 718's and nobody can fault them for that - it's just a different experience in some ways (torque or sound).


Thanks. I plan on driving both. I'm surprised to hear that the "718 base is much torquier off the line than my 981S". Can you tell me what you mean by "a ton of vibration"?
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lajoiedp View Post
Thanks. I plan on driving both. I'm surprised to hear that the "718 base is much torquier off the line than my 981S". Can you tell me what you mean by "a ton of vibration"?
718 base only has a tad more torque than my car, but it makes it at 1800 RPM or so. My car makes peak torque at 4500-5000 RPM, so off the line it is not there yet.

Vibration in terms of NVH. It feels to run rougher, harsher, than the flat 6. That is characteristic of 4 cylinders generally, they're less balanced. It is not a huge deal, but detracted a bit for me. The sound was the biggest issue for me. But like I said, plenty love torque more than sound and may prefer 718.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:47 PM
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Agree with much of what PorscheAddict has said. I currently own a 981GTS, and have had a good amount of seat time in multiple 718 variants...even considering getting a 718 as a daily driver myself. The turbo 4, as expected of a new turbo motor, makes a ton of torque at the low end compared to the H6 motor in the 981. I found it easier to putt around town or merge at part throttle for this reason...in the real world, that torque is really great. I do agree that the new motor does lose out a bit in terms of NVH, but it personally did not bother me much...I used to own a WRX and loved it, so perhaps that's why.

In terms of other details that are relevant to daily driving, I found the infotainment system in the 718 FAR superior to the 981. The addition of Apple Carplay just makes life much easier as well.

All in all...you really can't go wrong with either...it just comes down to driving style and what kind of features you're looking for on your daily commute...both in driving dynamics and interior stuff. As for me, I see the pros and cons of both models pretty clearly now...that's why I want both!!!
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JAhmed View Post
Agree with much of what PorscheAddict has said. I currently own a 981GTS, and have had a good amount of seat time in multiple 718 variants...even considering getting a 718 as a daily driver myself. The turbo 4, as expected of a new turbo motor, makes a ton of torque at the low end compared to the H6 motor in the 981. I found it easier to putt around town or merge at part throttle for this reason...in the real world, that torque is really great. I do agree that the new motor does lose out a bit in terms of NVH, but it personally did not bother me much...I used to own a WRX and loved it, so perhaps that's why.

In terms of other details that are relevant to daily driving, I found the infotainment system in the 718 FAR superior to the 981. The addition of Apple Carplay just makes life much easier as well.

All in all...you really can't go wrong with either...it just comes down to driving style and what kind of features you're looking for on your daily commute...both in driving dynamics and interior stuff. As for me, I see the pros and cons of both models pretty clearly now...that's why I want both!!!

I prefer low end torque for dd around town. Top end speed is not my thing. Sounds like the 718 is the right choice for my driving style/needs. Now comes the option choices. Let the fun begin.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:51 PM
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At the risk of being painted a 718 hater by the 718 lover community, I'll recount an experience I had this weekend.

I was sitting in front of the local car wash waiting for my Tahoe to be cleaned on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon. The car wash is right down the street from the local Porsche dealer and the test route they run comes right around the corner on which the car wash sits. Out of the left corner of my eye I see a nice shiny silver Porsche pull up to the light at the corner. 718, couldn't tell S or base from my vantage, very nice looking, nice wheels, really sharp. Then it made the right and accelerated away spiritedly. The sound was horrrrendous, exactly like a Honda Civic with a fart can exhaust on it. So bad I couldn't believe it and I stood up to see if there was also a Civic with a fart can exhaust on it going down the road as well. There wasn't. I honestly could not believe how bad it sounded on the gas.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:04 PM
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^ Pretty much my experience too. I loved the new steering/interior/lights, but the sound killed me. You can make them sound less bad with exhausts, but it is not even close to the 981. See also
.

I'm not a 718 hater either, as anyone can see from my above posts; I liked the torque quite a lot. I just won't personally trade torque for sound/feel. We don't buy these cars for power. You can get much, much more power for your hard earned dollars from Corvettes and even the later BMW's, but you get the feel from Porsche. To me the 718 had less of that.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:37 PM
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Test drove the following cars lately: 981 S, 981 GTS, 718 base and 718 S.

Ending up getting a 918 GTS.

The 718 is a better car; faster, more torque on the low end, feels sharper, improved PCM etc... However i could not get passed the 4Cyl noise.

If you are lokoing for a cayman S i came across one that was a good deal then didnt pull the trigger as I went for a GTS.

it is a 2016 new 0 miles Cayman S for about $69k full warranty and decent specs.

hope this helps
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:26 AM
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Test drive them both - its pretty obvious which is the sharper car . I own a 981 GTS and have no problem saying the 718 is a real improvement across the board, suspension, handling, brakes, acceleration (as objectively proven) and I also quite like the sound - its just different to the sound of the flat six.

Do the test drive, the 981 is a great car but the 718 has moved it on a lot.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:59 AM
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IMHO. I have Cayman GTS PDK. Drove the 718S to compare to flat 6. Bought 981 Spyder. 718 no comparison to my 2 flat 6 cars. If you want to drive on twisty roads for fun - flat 6. If you want to play music while on cruise control - 718.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmartin View Post
IMHO. I have Cayman GTS PDK. Drove the 718S to compare to flat 6. Bought 981 Spyder. 718 no comparison to my 2 flat 6 cars. If you want to drive on twisty roads for fun - flat 6. If you want to play music while on cruise control - 718.
Had a '15 Cayman GTS MT. Drove the 718S to compare to my GTS. Fell in love with the usability of the torque and overall improvements of the 718S in steering, brakes and electronics, in general. As far as sound: GTS wails, 718S growls. IMO, GTS no comparison to the 718S, ergo the GTS is gone. If you value torque over sound, the decision is easy.

See, each to their own - make up your own mind by driving both.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by pc4ever View Post
Had a '15 Cayman GTS MT. Drove the 718S to compare to my GTS. Fell in love with the usability of the torque and overall improvements of the 718S in steering, brakes and electronics, in general. As far as sound: GTS wails, 718S growls. IMO, GTS no comparison to the 718S, ergo the GTS is gone. If you value torque over sound, the decision is easy.

See, each to their own - make up your own mind by driving both.

I definitely value low end torque over sound. In fact, I really don't care for a loud exhaust sound, I much prefer a more subtle sounding exhaust with some growl. I haven't driven the 718 yet but I believe once I do my decision will be an easy one.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by lajoiedp View Post
I definitely value low end torque over sound. In fact, I really don't care for a loud exhaust sound, I much prefer a more subtle sounding exhaust with some growl. I haven't driven the 718 yet but I believe once I do my decision will be an easy one.
This sounds like 718 territory to me. Drive one and see.

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Old 08-01-2017, 11:20 PM
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Having owned/driven flat-6s for 15+ years (996.1, 996.2 and 987S) I must honestly confess the sound (as separate from dynamics) never made that much of an impression on me....as opposed to my flat-plane V8 Ferrari 328 where the sound definitely was part of the overall driving experience.

My 718S is such a significant -- I would call it 'disruptive' -- evolution in dynamics from all of the above, that questions of sound (pro or con) fade in importance. But if forced to distract my attention from the scarily fast-approaching landscape to take note of the sound, I'd say it's just fine as heard from the driver's seat....
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