Porsche has been around the block a few times. Okay, maybe more than a few times. They know how to sell a car over in Stuttgart, and the brand’s 718 models are a great indication of that. Both the Cayman and Boxster are based on the same platform, which the brand calls the 718. You can really see the similarities in the image below. Basically, a Boxster is a Cayman with no roof, and a Cayman is a Boxster with a roof. It’s classic platofirm-sharing, and the German marque made it work.
Porsche’s 718 models are oddly retro
Perhaps, then, it’s that, as well as how unexpectedly retro the pair are that have helped their sales stay so strong. More on the sales in a minute. Let me pontificate here for a moment. No, the pair of small sports cars are not outwardly retro, both in appearance and performance. In GT4 trim, both are 911-fast. As in you’ll get where you’re going faster than any cop. Also, the sports car.
No, the pair are retro in other ways. Take, for example, the inclusion of a manual transmission. Porsche included one, despite the manual gearbox being a relic of the past. Sure, people like me (a nerd) like them, but the majority of new Cayman and Boxster models come with Porsche’s excellent PDK auto ‘box. That’s not all, either. The whole format is retro. There used to be a plethora of small, sporty coupes for sale. But the segment is dead save for a few examples.
Sales increased during the pandemic
Perhaps that’s because these two are just so damn good. In reality, the 718 models are good enough to make the segment obsolete. Price excluded, that is. Despite that price, the Porsche 718 models experienced a massive spike in sales over the last year. Just a reminder, the world stood still for about a year, while the sales figures didn’t.
Porsche saw a truly massive 176.61% sales increase year-to-date on the Cayman and Boxster last year, per GoodCarBadCar. Now, maybe, just maybe, the pandemic helped. Those who could afford these easily $70,000+ cars were stuck at home with nothing to do. Surely, that attributed to the spike in sales to some degree. However, other cars in the segment, like the Mercedes-Benz SLC, saw a drop in sales, if not a much lower increase than the twin Porsches.
The Boxster is one of the last great roadsters
However, as I said above, the pair are truly fantastic vehicles. The Boxster is one of the last great roadsters, next to the Miata. The Cayman offers the same benefits in a hardtop, daily-drivable configuration that others in the segment, like the Alfa Romeo 4C, struggle to meet. It’s genuinely no surprise to see the cream rise to the top. Hopefully, we can continue to see that, as the roadster formula is something everyone must try at least once in their lives.