Lighter, more powerful Porsche Cayman T due next year

Purist-focused last hurrah before brand new model expected in 2020

In June, AutoGuide discovered VIN decoder documents that Porsche sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concerning certain vehicles for the 2019 model year. The paperwork translates the unique alphanumeric identifiers for the government agency. Four cars were mentioned: the Panamera GTS, Panamera Sport Turismo GTS, 911 Speedster, and 718 Cayman T. Both Panameras and the Speedster have been confirmed. A new Auto Express report confirms the 718 Cayman T is on the way, treading a similar purist-focused path as its 911 T inspiration.

AE says the Cayman T will lose around 44 pounds thanks to sport seats, fabric door pulls, the omission of a stereo system, and thinner glass. That will improve motivation from the "tuned" 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder that powers the Cayman S, but here should get roughly 360 horsepower, a 10-hp bump over the Cayman S. A sport exhaust will upgrade the sound. And the Sport Chrono package, 10-millimeter lower ride height, and 20-inch alloys will upgrade the looks and manual-gearbox sharpness.

The details in the Auto Express report differ from those in the VIN documents, though, and from the precedent established by the 911 T. The NHTSA documents say the Cayman T will get the 2.0-liter flat-four that powers the base Cayman, and lists horsepower as "TBD." We're inclined to expect the 2.0-liter, since Porsche put the regular Cayman and Cayman T on the same document, instead of pairing the Cayman S and T. On top of that, in June of this year, Porsche should have been certain of which engine it intended to put in the Cayman T. That engine would also be in line with the 911 T playbook, the more expensive coupe using the base Carrera's engine, with the same 370-hp output.

So whereas AE believes the "718 Cayman T will sit between the Cayman S and GTS," it seems more likely that AutoGuide had it right, and that the last-hurrah coupe will "fill gap between base model and pricier Cayman S." The latter idea, again, would be simpatico with the pricing ethos on the 911 T.

On the VIN documents, Porsche didn't provide a separate Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for the Cayman T; the two weights noted being 3,649 pounds for a base Cayman with a manual gearbox, and 3,715 for the PDK. Both numbers represent one additional pound over the GVWRs of the current base Cayman. If AE is correct that the Cayman T loses around 20 kilograms, that would result in a manual Cayman with a roughly 2,900-pound curb weight ( not GVWR). That's a serious advance over the 911 T's slimming program, said coupe losing just 11 pounds compared to the base model.

It's best, we think, to wait for an official announcement, and know in the meantime that enthusiasts are about to get another gift.

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