Having a Porsche Cayman GT4 for a test drive made me having a big smile on my face. Lately in the automotive world, there have been a lot of improvements, not always positive for petrolheads like us, such as the autonomous driving. In my opinion we are on the way towards the end of the car that can excite and entertain us.
The trend of recent years is to think a car just as something having the sole function to transport us from point A to point B without any efforts, they same more like a washing machine. That’s why when Porsche offered us to test drive a car without an automatic transmission (not even optional thankfully), no parking sensors, no distance control and no lane passing notice but with a beautiful manual gearbox, an aspirated six-cylinder boxer delivering 385cv, with 1340Kg of weight and with the possibility of to disengage electronic controls, the smile returned to me.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 without any doubt embodies the essence of driving pleasure. The real fun, for speed, accuracy and precision returns making the driver make the difference. In an age when supercar are more and more heavy, with a lot of power and electronics, are leading in the market to satisfy whose have the sole intent to go for the city making burning 0-100 at traffic lights with launch control, the GT4 distinguished from them in the perfect way. She was born on the track, and runs the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 40 seconds, and, if necessary, has been domesticated to go on the road for an every day use.
Is really hard to recognize the derivation from the basic model Cayman, the GT4 is so radically changed. Respect to a Cayman GTS, the GT4 has a greater length of 3.4 centimeters and an height from the ground of 18 mm less. The Porsche Cayman GT4 is also equipped with an air exhaust in front of the front hood, typical for track cars, a system that slides an hot air flow on the car helping to improve downforce. The large cross-drilled discs of 380 mm and the fixed rear wing (made by carbon fiber) definitely characterize its unique construction.
Many are the components in common with her older sister 911. The engine is the 3.8 flat 6 petrol engine of the Carrera S and the chassis and the brake system are derived largely from the 911 GT3, which also inspire the beautiful wheel design, except for the five fastening screws. With an amazing noise and an eye catching Racing Yellow painting hardly goes unnoticed. Each line and proportion are perfectly managed, it wants to be extreme without falling into vulgarity.
The special features do not end with the exteriors, even inside is a really special car. The alcantara is the most common material, is present on the roof and on the inner band of the seats, it also can be found on the steering wheel and on the gear lever. You can also mount the 918 Spyder seats as an option and we really recommend that.
For track use you can also do not miss the Clubsport package including a rear roll bar, fire extinguisher and six points seat belts. Separately you can also order the front safety cage that meets the requirements of the DMSB to participate at Motorsport events.
Is finally time to drive it. When you walk around it for the first time with the key in your hand you feel a certain sense of fear. This car is so low that seems to be ready to attack the road. Once you open the door is not so simple to seat at the driver seat due to the carbon fibre seats.
Door closed, turn the key with the left hand, as usual, and a strong roar bursts in the cockpit. Once seated the driving position is comfortable. There are many electronic settings, for example you can choose the stiffness of the suspension with the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system depending on whether you are on track or road with possible asperities. The manual gearbox makes fantastic sounds.
In front of the beautiful Alcantara steering wheel you see the two humps of the wheel arches. This designe remind me a prototype from the 70s ready to race the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pushing the throttle the engine gives you more and more power and torque, up to 7800 screaming loud. The sound is extremely attractive, in the tunnel be sure to lower the windows to hear the amazing sounds.
During the driving you have almost to struggle with steering, clutch, gearbox and brakes, all gorgeous hard commands that require effort and precision at the same time. The scream of the six-cylinder and the “clack” of the gearbox make you live an extrasensory experience. Driving at the limit requires a lot of concentration but reward you with a rare driving experience.
Precise and glued to the road requires to be careful with the throttle and the steering is extremely communicative. You can see the lateral acceleration on the display, and it is not hard to exceed 1 g remaining firmly anchored to the seats. Once you stop the car you have to pull the yellow rope instead of the classical handle to open the door. The smell of burning rubber begins to invade the interior with the door open.
It’s a car that pushes you to the limit redefining the driving pleasure. For those who want to find the best time on the track, lap after lap, Porsche has made available a smartphone app called Porsche Track Precision. You can register the lap times using the phone GPS and review your track actions with the telemetry.
In the end, it is a car very focused on the performance but which can be used as every day car. For example, the engine is very sporty but in sixth gear at 50 km/h as a lot of torque. Fuel consumption is acceptable, you can stay around 10 km/l for normal driving.
Certainly, if you attempt to use it to drive around the city centre, the bucket seats become a problem for getting in and out the car, the heavy clutch makes you fatigues a lot in the traffic, and parking is difficult due to the rear visibility (you can expect this with a rear spoiler). More than problems are things for which this car it’s not really designed.
For me, the biggest problem has been return this car back to Porsche Italy. So if you are lucky enough to have 89,000 euro, which become easily 107,500 for the model in this review you should really buy it. If you are a fan of sporty driving without too many filters, you prefer to listen to the engine rather than the radio and prefer to spend the weekend on the track instead of walking, there are very few competitors that can keep up with this Porsche Cayman GT4.
Text: Leonardo Stefani
Photos: Edoardo Mascalchi