The Better Base: 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman T

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Porsche’s new 718 Boxster and Cayman T are following a trail blazed by the 911 Carrera T by becoming the value option for enthusiasts. Equipped with the entry-level engine, T-trimmed models receive swathes of standard equipment that focus exclusively on expanding the “joy of dynamic driving.”

For the 718, that bundles the Sport Chrono Package, Porsche Active Suspension Management (lowing the car by almost an inch), torque vectoring (with a locking rear differential), 20-inch wheels, and a short-throw shifter with the standard 2.0-liter, turbo flat-four. That leaves buyers to make do with 295 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a car that’s not really any quicker in a straight line but superior in the corners. Of course, speed hunters can still ditch the six-speed manual for the PDK. 

The manufacturer claims 60 mph arrives in 4.5 seconds in the 718 T with the PDK and Sport Chrono. Top speed is rated by the manufacturer at 170 mph for both the Cayman and the droptop.

Porsche also replaced its branded communication management (infotainment) module with large storage compartment to help offset the additional weight created by the installation of the European-mandated gasoline particulate filter (GPF). The United States doesn’t require the GPF but is required to have a rear-view camera, mandating the inclusion of the infotainment module. Meanwhile, European customers can ask to have the system re-installed at no extra charge.

As for the interior, T models receive fabric door pulls, gloss black center console trim, two-way electric seats, GT sports steering wheel, and unique lettering for the gears on the manual variants. There’s also a bunch of T-centric badging, which extends to the exterior as well. However, the gray mirror shells and black chrome-plated tailpipes should give it away before you read the emblems.

While the manufacturer declined to include an MSRP with its announcement, it did say the Boxster and Cayman T would “enjoy a price advantage of 5–10 percent compared to a similarly equipped basic model.” Phrased that way, it doesn’t sound like much of a bargain. But you’ll actually be saving yourself a few thousand bucks by not buying those performance goodies à la carte.

It might not be the kind of deal cash-strapped individuals who lust after the brand were looking for, but it’s a deal nonetheless.

[Images: Porsche]

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