Porsche has been in an odd predicament for quite some time now. The 911 – historically its most important vehicle – has grown and in many ways become a GT car. Even the most hardcore model, the GT3, now features a dual-clutch automatic transmission; and that’s supposed to be their most driver focused car available. The sub-911 Cayman has become quite popular though, not only as a cheaper entry to the Porsche brand, but because it’s lighter, more nimble, and it has slowly become a more driver-orientated sports car. Porsche have noticed this though, and they’ve given us a full-cream version, the GT4.
Caution has apparently been thrown to the wind with the Cayman GT4, as for the first time the small Porsche gets loaded with a 911 engine; a mid-mounted 3.8-litre flat-six which develops 283kW @ 7400rpm and 420Nm between 4750-6000rpm. That’s a Carrera S engine right there, and it drives the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. All things considered, the Cayman GT4 can rocket from standstill to 100km/h in 4.4s and top out at 295km/h.
But there’s more to the GT4 than just a big engine. It has benefitted hugely from the 911 GT3, sharing a multitude of components such as GT3-spec brakes and aero tech amongst other things. It’s also received a heavily revised chassis and suspension setup (lowered by 30mm vs. the standard Cayman) for optimal driving dynamics, and best of all, there is no PDK gearbox anywhere on the options list – it’s manual only.
A diet saw the Cayman lose a fair bit of weight to make it a track-specialised animal, but with the addition of the larger engine and GT3-spec components the weight was brought back up the scales, finishing at 1340Kg – the same as the Cayman GTS. It also boasts standard bi-xenon headlamps, sports exhaust, optional Sport Chrono Pack with dynamic engine mounts, leather/Alcantara interior trim, sports seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, torque vectoring with a mechanical rear limited slip differential, air conditioning, infotainment system, Porsche Stability Management, and a tracking and anti-theft system.
Perhaps the ‘feature’ most petrolheads will be keen on though, is the Nurburgring time set by the Cayman GT4. 7 minutes and 40 seconds. That’s faster than a Murcielago SV, Audi R8 V10, and Camaro ZL-1, and it matches the pace set by the McLaren Mercedes SLR. Yes, it’s fast, and yes, the Cayman GT4 is officially the cat amongst the 911 pigeons.