Porsche is finally doing something about its most overlooked sports car

Porsche 718 Cayman Boxster

Porsche just unveiled the latest version of its Cayman sports car ahead of the 2016 Beijing auto show.

The update re-badges the Cayman as the 718 Cayman — joining the Boxster which was rebranded earlier this year as the 718 Boxster.

As a result, the Boxster and Cayman will no longer exists as separate models. Instead, they will now serve as the soft- and hardtop versions of the Porsche 718.

The 718 designation evokes a classic race car from Porsche’s past. It also distinguishes Porsche’s 4-cylinder engines from its legendary 6-cylinder power plants.

With the 718 name also comes the company’s new turbocharged, flat-four-cylinder engines.

Currently, the Cayman and the Boxster are the only two cars in the world the feature the new engines which Porsche recently developed at great cost.

In base trim, the standard Cayman is comes with a 300 horsepower 2.0 litre version of the engine, while the upmarket Cayman S get a more powerful 350 horsepower, 2.5 litre unit.

Porsche claims the Cayman will be able to hit 60mph in brisk 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 170 mph.

At the same time, the Cayman S has a claimed 0-60 time of just 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph.

Porsche and parent company VW Group are said to be exploring more avenues to recoup their investment in the new engine.

Porsche 718 Cayman

Last week, German car magazine Auto Bild reported that the company is believed to be working on a derivative of the 718 Boxster that will be badged as an Audi called the R6. Both Audi and Porsche declined to comment on the rumoured sports car.

The Cayman is the most overlooked car in sports car maker’s vaunted lineup. It doesn’t have the iconic status of the 911, nor does it have the distinction of saving the company like its sibling, the Boxster. It doesn’t have the massive sales figures of the Cayenne and the Macan, nor does it have at-times derided look of the Panamera.

Despite all of this, the Cayman is generally regarded as one of the finest driving vehicles Porsche has produced in recent memory.

Porsche 718 Cayman

It’s light, compact packaging and mid-engine layout provide the Cayman with particularly desirable driving dynamics.

The 718 Cayman starts at $53,900 while the 718 Cayman S will require at least $66,300. Both versions are available for sale in the US. Although the cars won’t reach showrooms until November of 2016.

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