The new Porsche Cayman GT4 was a hot discussion topic for years. Will it get a four-cylinder turbo? Is the old six-cylinder compatible with the new gasoline particulate filter? Or will we see a new six-cylinder turbocharged engine in the GT4? Now the new Cayman GT4 is here and the answer is quite a surprise. The new ‘718’ Cayman GT4 comes with a new 4.0 liter six-cylinder naturally aspirated boxer engine. As a petrolhead I was very pleased when I heard the news.
The new engine is based on the 9A2 evo engine family of the 992. It produces 420hp and 420Nm of torque and redlines at a whopping 8,000 rpm. 0-100km/h is done in 4.4 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 13.8 seconds and for the first time a Cayman breaks the 300 km/h mark with a top speed of 304 km/h. To comply with the latest emission standards it comes with two gasoline particular filters mounted behind the rear wheels.
The Cayman GT4 is one of my favorite sports cars of the last decade. It might not be as fast as a McLaren or Ferrari but this works in its favor on the road. Just like its predecessor the 718 Cayman GT4 is a real driver’s car both on track as well as on the road. When accelerating from corner to corner on one of the many twisty mountain roads in the Alps you don’t immediately have to worry about going double the speed limit and don’t have to restrain yourself like you would have to in a 911 Turbo. The lack of sheer straight line speed it makes more than up for in the corners. With improved levels of downforce and grip the 718 Cayman GT4 is 12 seconds per lap faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife than its predecessor.
The 718 Cayman GT4 at launch comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The short shift gearbox is a lot of fun to drive. At the tip of a bottom you can also engage auto blip mode which provides a throttle blip between gears. Other settings include a soft and hard suspension mode. Soft is nicer to drive on bumpy tracks like the Nurburgring but the hard setting provides a great go-kart feeling.
On the challenging Knockhill Racing Circuit just North of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland the Cayman GT4 feels right at home. The circuit has an exceptional height difference of 60 meters on just 2 km total length. Downhill through the tight first bends it feels extremely planted, with the PCCB ceramic brakes providing excellent stopping power. Uphill it lacks a bit of power but we should not forget that the Cayman GT4 is the entry model to the Porsche GT range so it would be a bit inappropriate to have 500hp+.
After two dozen laps around the track we continue our test with the Cayman GT4 on the Scottish roads. Even though Porsche took a very purist approach to the Cayman GT4, it comes equipped with climate control, Porsche’s PCM infotainment system, adaptive damping, stability management with traction control and torque vectoring as standard.
One option I would consider are the full bucket seats from the Porsche 918 Spyder. They provide excellent support and are still quite comfortable at the same time. Those keen on taking their 718 Cayman GT4 on track days should consider the PCCB ceramics and optional clubsport package with partial roll cage, 6-point seatbelts and fire extinguisher.
The Cayman GT4 is 30mm lower than the standard Cayman which makes driving around the former Scottish capital of Dumfermline with all of its speed-bumps a bit of a challenge. But having successfully navigated the towns obstacles the quiet twisty roads provide a excellent proving ground. Like the 718 Spyder the Cayman GT4 is a bit quiet below 4,000 rpm and at lower speeds due to EU noise regulations but when you keep the engine above 4,000 rpm it sounds great. I prefer the 718 Cayman GT4 over the Spyder because the sound in the coupe is not subdued by wind noise.
The new 718 Cayman GT4 looks very similar to its predecessor. A new GT-style front, larger front splitter, redesigned rear diffuser with rising duct and new wing with integrated winglets represent the most significant changes both optical as well as aerodynamically. The new Cayman GT4 generates 50% more downforce than its predecessor. The racing version of the previous GT4 played a key role in development of these new elements that define the new GT4.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is not a dedicated limited edition with a specific number of cars build but it is still limited by both production capacity and runtime. Around 7,000 Cayman GT4s have been built of the last generation and Porsche expects the new GT4 will top that. It will be sold worldwide except in China.