The Porsche 718 range in Malaysia has a pair of new arrivals – enter the 718 Cayman and 718 Cayman S, which made their global debuts last year. Now with numbers to its name, the Cayman – along with its soft-top sibling, the Boxster – is placed in a more clearly demarcated step in the hierarchy of series production Porsche sports cars, below the iconic 911.

As with the 718 Boxster which has already arrived on our shores, Stuttgart’s latest mid-engined coupe comes in two guises. The base 718 Cayman powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged flat-four engine, producing 300 hp and 380 Nm of torque from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm.

Its bigger brother, the 718 Cayman S, is endowed with a 2.5 litre turbocharged flat-four powerplant which produces 350 hp at 6,500 rpm and 420 Nm of torque from 1,900 rpm to 4,500 rpm. These output figures represent gains of 25 hp and 90 Nm over the outgoing Cayman, with advantages of 25 hp and 50 Nm over the outgoing Cayman S.

Both models employ a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission which send drive to the rear wheels, where a mechanical limited slip differential and Porsche Torque Vectoring can be specified optionally as part of the Sport Chrono pack. Thus equipped, the Cayman does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 275 km/h, while the Cayman S attains the same benchmark in 4.2 seconds, topping off at 285 km/h.

In the chassis department, stiffer spring rates and thicker anti-roll bars feature in the 718 Cayman models; rebound buffer springs are also installed in the suspension setup in order to reduce front end lift under acceleration, as well as to reduce roll whilst cornering. Steering is now courtesy of a 10% quicker rack from the 911 Turbo for more direct responses.

Braking duties are handled by 330 mm discs in front and 299 mm at the rear for both models (the base Cayman previously employed smaller brake discs). The Cayman S gains four-piston calipers adopted from the 911 Carrera, with discs that are 6 mm thicker in front.

Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) can also be specified, which lowers ride height by 10 mm on the 718 Cayman and by 20 mm on the 718 Cayman S. Meanwhile, the Sport Chrono pack is also optionally available, which offers an additional Individual driving mode on top of the three standard settings – Normal, Sport and Sport Plus.

When the Sport Chrono package is specified, the Porsche Stability Management programme gains an additional mode, PSM Sport. This essentially gives the driver a longer leash to play with when exploiting the 718 Cayman’s chassis reserves, while remaining active in the background should intervention be required.

All of these are clothed in an exterior revised from the 981 Cayman, giving the new car a wider look overall, with larger air intakes in front. Its headlamps too are new, here being full-LED units with four-point DRLs. The rear of the Cayman has been redesigned as well, now with Porsche badging placed in line with the tail lights. Above that is a spoiler which deploys above 120 km/h for additional downforce.

Inside, the most apparent update is the adoption of a 918 Spyder-inspired steering wheel measuring 360 mm in diameter with a drive mode rotary switch. The Porsche Communication Management infotainment system with smartphone intgration and audio interface is now standard, as is the Sound Package Plus with 150 W powering eight speakers.

The Porsche 718 Cayman is priced at RM530,000 while the 718 Cayman S is listed at RM700,000; these are base prices including duties, without registration fee, road tax and insurance.