First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981
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Thread: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

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    First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    As I had noted in a couple other threads, my 718 Base arrived and was delivered on Monday. While all is still fresh in my mind, I thought that I would offer some initial impressions between my previous 2016 Cayman Base and the 2019 Cayman Base. While not apples to apples, I think the two are close enough (including how I set Sport Chrono in the 2019) that this should be ballpark, fair enough.

    2016 Cayman Base PDK, 19" Boxster S Wheels (Pirelli PZeros), X73 Suspension. I always drove this car in Sport mode.
    2019 Cayman Base PDK, 19" Cayman S Wheels (Yokohama ADVAN V105), PASM, Sport Chrono. I have the individual setting for Sport, PASM on Sport, PSE off.

    Acceleration
    Applying as close to same throttle levels/progression in both cars, the 718's acceleration is more linear and seat of the pants quicker while the 981 always had a bit of a flat spot off idle to about 1900-2,000. Net net, I am not feeling any 'dreaded' lag. Interestingly, I am showing between 3-6 lbs of boost in this acceleration. Interesting too is that the 981 had 22,500 miles on it and the 718 has 131 miles on it. So, I expect that the much more aggressive torque curve due to the turbo, is either a or the key factor even though the 718 is still 'tight'.


    Handling/Ride
    Both cars seem to exhibit similar body lean (or lack thereof to be more precise) taking the same turns at about the same speed.....I have a route that I drive regularly that lets me push the cars a bit. The ride is pretty comparable with the X73 being perhaps just a tad/wee bit more 'harsh'. The 718 is quieter which could be the difference in compounds between the Yokohamas and Pirellis. But, there is undoubtedly a substantial set of factors including the 981 rears having about 5,000 miles on them and the fronts 22,500 miles on them-worn down/less rubber and many, many more heat cycles.

    Steering
    The 718s are supposed to have slightly quicker steering...….I may have felt that but not absolutely sure it is pronounced. What I did feel, though, is just that......there seems to be a bit more steering feel/knowing where my front tires are in the 718.

    Just Driving Down the Road.....
    I really, really liked my 981s (both the 2014 and the 2016) and the 718 just seems to have refined much of what I liked. The enhanced torsional rigidity difference is subtle but I can feel it. However, nowhere near the difference that I felt going from my 08CS and Cayman R-987s to the 981s. The GT Steering wheel in the 718 has a great hand feel both in size and structure/design. I like it even more than the Sport Steering wheel that I had in my last 981 which was better than the standard wheel in my 2014 981. I love the backup camera and Lane Change Assist and proximity sensors in the 718. I first had experience with those type features in my wife's 2018 Audi A3 and it was what led me to option them (LCA, sensors) in the 718.

    The sound systems are reasonably comparable and the touchscreen enhancements are good...….not huge for me but easy to get used to and use.

    One thing that did surprise me is that, even though the 718 is brand new...…...I am consistently running slightly lower (5-6+/- degrees) oil temperature under similar driving conditions (including temperature). That surprised me as it is still a brand new engine compared to a fully broken in engine. I was thinking that maybe this is because the engine is not working as hard to get to speed and hold it but, then again, that turbo sure does drop heat into the engine compartment......so, head scratcher for me. Of course, it could just be that the readout is calibrated slightly different.....


    So, for what it is worth...……...

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Very nice comparison. Thanks for sharing.
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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    A very nice (and welcomed) comparison. A review from a real owner that has had multiple versions of the flat 6 cars and sprung for a 718 is worth 10 opinions from the “flat 6 or die” camp.
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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    A quick update - my wife's impressions. We took a 50 mile drive today with my wife driving. She has extensively driven my previous 4 Caymans. She, herself drives an Audi A3 and has, in the past, owned 7 other Audis including a 2000 S4 (6MT), BMW E46 M3 (6MT), and a 2004 Mini Cooper S ((6MT). So, she has more than passing familiarity with what she does and does not like. Her observations were:

    o I like it, it feels very familiar/easy to get used to.

    o The steering feels quicker and a bit more precise.

    o The Sport mode on PASM feels pretty similar to the X73 in our 981.

    o It accelerates noticeably faster than the 981 and is smoother doing it (we talked about this and she agreed with my comment about much more linear).

    As she drove into the garage...……...she said, I like it.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    OK, so I bit the bullet and pulled the 7.5 amp fuse for the Soundaktor. Wow...….significant difference. The 718 now sounds so much more familiar.....I hear the mechanicals, particularly, the transaxle 'whirring' that I am used to hearing in my 981s and to a degree in the 987s. The exhaust sound is now, just that, the exhaust. And, the delta between closed valves and open in the PSE is VERY noticeable. Thanks for all the good info on this change. It may just be me, but I suspect that much of the early hand wringing about the 718 'sound' was brought on by or at least significantly exacerbated by the artificiality of the Soundaktor. Porsche did not do themselves any favors with the inclusion of this device.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldvetteron View Post
    OK, so I bit the bullet and pulled the 7.5 amp fuse for the Soundaktor.
    Which fuse is this? Havent seen this mentioned in other threads. Ive only seen disconnecting the device in the trunk, and unplugging the wires behind the drivers seat. Id much rather go remove a fuse route.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    It is the 7.5 amp in the fuse block in the right rear of the trunk. As you face the trunk from the rear, there is a trim piece with a notch in it for your fingers......pull that towards the center of the trunk, once off, if you look in and back towards the rear of the car you will see the fuse block. The 7.5 is in pos#10 adjacent to two (2) 5 amp fuses. This was covered in another forum and the schematic was referenced showing the Soundaktor is the only thing on that circuit.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    I had a base 981 (2014) and decided I wanted a bit more zip, so I ended up with a 718 GTS - I like the extra zip (quite a lot of extra zip, in fact), I really like the sports seats - for me much more comfortable, but I don't like the new radio display, and I don't like the smaller GT steering wheel because it doesn't have the touch controls for radio and phone which are a great boon for normal driving - the smaller wheel is nice on autocross events though. The GTS comes with Michelin tires, they are apparently stickier, they don't skip in tight turns, but that may be suspension or something - with the 981 the front tires would "skip" when turning at min radius. It is particularly irksome though that on the US cars, the connection to the amplifier and antenna for your cell phone (when you put it in the little compartment between the seats) is disabled, and of course voice command doesn't work on US cars (mostly) either, the dealers didn't order that option and the reputation is that it's worthless.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Just to clarify:

    The GT wheel does come in a multi-function version--I guess the dealer didn't order it.

    The wheels will skip in cold weather at full lock, although mine mostly only do it while reversing.

    The voice control isn't great, but it does 'learn' and can be useful.

    I don't know about the phone in the armrest compartment.

    Anyway--the car is marvellous and the handling is sublime. While the engine doesn't sound as good as the 6 it still sounds good to me and the power and torque increases are substantial.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Good point on the front tires 'skipping' difference. I did not have that much at all in either 987 I owned. It was pronounced in both 981s and I have not noticed it in the 718 thus far.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Thanks for the comparison. It is getting close to the time for me to turn in my 981 (or just buy it). Haven't made up my mind. I'm really interested in what you have to say about your new 718.
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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    As the miles add up, I am becoming more aware of the improvement in steering feel with the changed rack compared to either of the previous 981s. Tip of the hat to Porsche for making that change. I would have to say that the 718 is the most cohesive/balanced experience day-in, day-out for me.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldvetteron View Post
    As the miles add up, I am becoming more aware of the improvement in steering feel with the changed rack compared to either of the previous 981s. Tip of the hat to Porsche for making that change. I would have to say that the 718 is the most cohesive/balanced experience day-in, day-out for me.
    Balance and cohesiveness are the companion characteristics that make some cars an absolute pleasure to drive. Sure, some Porsches may sound better, some are faster, some are even arguably prettier. The only cars I’ve owned that achieved a measure of balance and cohesiveness that was more than the sum of the parts were my 1997 Type R, AP1 and AP2 S2000s, E46 M3 (even if a bit brutish), and our current 987.2 CS. Every time I drive a 718 of any flavour I come away thinking “yeah, that’s good...really good.”

    I’m still (barely) holding out for a Spyder allocation, but if it isn’t in the cards I’ll go back to the idea of a 718 BS. The sales manager at the local dealer suggested he’d make sure I came out OK on a deal that saw purchasing a 718 BS as an interim ride after selling my 911, then trading it when the Spyder arrived. That was 16 months ago, and I kept thinking the GT4/Spyder will be announced at (insert auto show here) so I’ve just been using the 987.2. Now, if a new Spyder comes along soon with an old-school, relatively torqueless NA flat six, I think I’d be disappointed. A GT4/Spyder with a turbo 4 cranking out a bit more power, along with a slightly tweaked chassis might well take the balance and cohesiveness up another notch.
    2012 Cayman S, PDK, Platinum Silver/Black
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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Thanks for posting your impressions. Do you typically lease for 2 years? I assume so since this is your 4th cayman in 8 years.

    Now that you had the car for a month, is there anything you miss about the 981?
    2016 Blk/Blk Base Cayman 6mt X73 // SportDesign Steering Wheel // Sport Seats plus // Porsche Crest on Headrests // Smoking Package // Model Delete // GT4 Amber LED Side Markers // GT4 Rear Brace // Ultra Racing Strut Bar // GT4 Short Shifter // Raceseng Topology Shift-knob // GTS Tail Lights // Fabspeed Maxflo Exhaust // 987 Gloss Black Cayman Emblem

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Nope, buy. At this point, no, nothing missed in the 981 which is not to say there was anything that I did not like in the 981. It is just that the 718 refined/enhanced what I like about the 981. The tweaked steering and acceleration are both unexpected (or under estimated) improvements.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Quote Originally Posted by GregW View Post
    Just to clarify:

    The GT wheel does come in a multi-function version--I guess the dealer didn't order it.

    The wheels will skip in cold weather at full lock, although mine mostly only do it while reversing.

    The voice control isn't great, but it does 'learn' and can be useful.

    I don't know about the phone in the armrest compartment.

    Anyway--the car is marvellous and the handling is sublime. While the engine doesn't sound as good as the 6 it still sounds good to me and the power and torque increases are substantial.
    If you have Connect and CarPlay is plugged in, for voice control you can use Siri (FWIW), and even better, the Waze app (responds to “OK Waze”). I love Waze on CarPlay. Drawback with phone use in CarPlay is you can’t use steering wheel phone controls with it.


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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    I have a 2013 981S which gives me as much driving pleasure in 2018 as it did in 2013. I get a monthly letter from my local Porsche dealer offering me a "great deal" on a 2018 718S: my car + $60K. So the biggest advantage that my 981 has over a 718 is that I get to keep my $60K.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Quote Originally Posted by fast1 View Post
    I have a 2013 981S which gives me as much driving pleasure in 2018 as it did in 2013. I get a monthly letter from my local Porsche dealer offering me a "great deal" on a 2018 718S: my car + $60K. So the biggest advantage that my 981 has over a 718 is that I get to keep my $60K.
    That shows how good Porsche's are.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Quote Originally Posted by chester43 View Post
    That shows how good Porsche's are.
    I've lost count of the number of people who have recently complemented me on my "new" Porsche. When I tell them it's six years old, they are amazed.

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    Re: First Impressions My New 718 vs Previous 981

    Quote Originally Posted by fast1 View Post
    I've lost count of the number of people who have recently complemented me on my "new" Porsche. When I tell them it's six years old, they are amazed.
    Absolutely! When I had my 2014 981 Cayman, I received compliments like this on a regular basis. Of course, most people had no idea what it was but commented on the looks of the car. Now, with my 2018 982, which as @ronaldvetteron noted in his review is better than the 981 in virtually every way, the compliments keep on coming. And the confusion as well since this one is debadged.

    The only "downside" I have yet to see on the 982 is that since it is black on black with 19" Cayman S wheels, just like the 981, my friends who do not own a Porsche or do not keep up with the marque do not realize I have a new, 2018 Cayman! Yes, Porsche design is timeless.
    Current: 2018 Cayman, Black with black leather interior, Cayman S wheels, manual transmission, numerous performance and luxury options
    Previous: 2014 Cayman, Black with black standard interior, Cayman S wheels, manual transmission
    Previous: 1986 944, Stone Gray with black leather interior, phone dial wheels, manual transmission

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