GT4 might be the least powerful of the GT racing classes, and for amateur drivers only, but apply the suffix to a roadgoing Porsche Cayman and you are pretty much guaranteed an absolute belter of a car.
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That’s Porsche’s latest trick, announced today and on sale in the summer. The new Cayman GT4 arrives just months after the Cayman GTS – but that car is from Porsche, the new one is from Porsche Motorsport…
And it shows. True it still looks more pretty than potent – new and purely functional aerodynamic package notwithstanding – but under the the skin things have been done that you wouldn’t have thought possible for Porsche’s sweet-handling mid-engined coupé just a few years ago.
It’s more 911 GT3 than Cayman. The lowered body sits on GT3-derived suspension. The brakes are GT3 size. There’s downforce over both axles. And power comes from a version of the 3.8-litre flat six from the Carrera S, sitting on dynamic engine mounts and boasting 380bhp at 7400rpm.
It’s good for 0-62mph in 4.4secs and a top speed of 183mph. So it’s quicker in a straight line than most 911s. It’s the Nordschleife time however that will be of most interest to potential GT4 owners, surely all of whom will take this car on the track. At 7mins 40sec the GT4’s time is a match for big brother GT3.
Two things are not shared with the GT3: the GT4 comes with a manual six-speed gearbox only (the GT3 is PDK of course), and at a starting price of £64,451 it is £35k cheaper.
It’s a theoretical comparison because the GT3 is sold out, but even so it makes you think. Thirty five grand might even cover some of the seriously tempting options (ceramic brakes, shell backed seats, Sport Chrono and Club Sport packages). Then again, the price of Porsche options…
Either way, as one correspondent on an American enthusiast website commented, potential savings with the GT4 over buying a properly fast 911 will certainly be enough to buy an awful lot of track days.
And that ultimately is what this most focused Cayman ever is all about – and any motorsport-influenced package of pure driving pleasure that this car promises to be gets our vote.
It is also the car to shine a giant spotlight on Porsche’s elephant in the room. For here surely is final proof that it’s the Cayman, not the 911, that is now the standard bearer of Porsche sports cars.
Cayman GT4 or 911? So where would you put your money, Zuffenhausen or Weissach?