► Porsche Cayman finally muscles up
► Cayman GT4 gets Carrera S 3.8
► 0-62mph in 4.4sec, manual only
What could possibly be more exciting than the announcement of a new Ferrari? We’re going to go ahead and suggest this might just hit the buzzer for a good number of you: meet the awesome-looking new 2015 Porsche Cayman GT4.
Yes, for the first time Porsche is introducing a GT version of its mid-engined Cayman, and it’s powered by a 911 motor. From the way it looks to the way it’s set to perform, this might just be the junior GT3 we’ve all been waiting for.
And best of all, the Cayman GT4 is only available with a manual gearbox.
Whoa! Porsche has built a Cayman GT4 and given it a stick shift?
That’s right people, no namby-pamby PDK nonsense here. Which means that the Cayman GT4 immediately scores one over its 911 big brother for many a purist. If Porsche’s decision to equip the latest 911 GT3 exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission was a disappointment, now you have your absolution.
We strongly suspect that Porsche has made the decision to include a six-speed manual here on the basis that a clutch pedal and a stick really do provide the most involving driving experience. After all, the GT4 won’t be competing with the GT3 for raw speed, so you might as well concentrate on enjoying the ride.
So are you saying the Cayman GT4 isn’t that fast?
Far from it. Sitting amidships just behind the cabin is the 3.8-litre flat-six from the 911 Carrera S. It’s been detuned a bit – 380bhp instead of 395 horses – but still has enough oomph to propel the Cayman to 62mph just 4.4sec after launch and give the GT4 a topspeed of 183mph.
To put that into perspective, that’s half a second quicker to 62mph than a Cayman GTS manual (the next most powerful Cayman), and 0.1sec faster than the 911 Carrera S that donated the boxer engine. A new 911 GT3, however, sees off that sprint in 3.5sec, and tops out at 196mph.
For what it’s worth, the Cayman GT4 has already lapped the Nürburgring in 7min 40sec, says Porsche, which matches the best time recorded by a previous-generation 911 GT3. It ain’t short of pedigree...
Is that a picnic table bolted to the back?
The new fixed rear wing isn’t exactly subtle, is it? But together with the trio of inlets in that GT3-style nose it works to give the GT4 genuine downforce. Porsche hasn’t yet revealed any figures but says this is the first Cayman with real downforce over both axles.
The GT4 sits 30mm lower than a standard Cayman, has upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and it even shares a few chassis components with the GT3. For all this, Porsche claims it retains ‘everyday utility’. We take that to mean the ride shouldn’t snap your spine. At least, not immediately.
Want to make your Cayman GT4 stand out even more? Then you’ll be specifying the optional carbon-ceramic brakes and the carbonfibre shell-back seats – although the standard-fit leather and alcantara sports seats are said to offer ‘very good lateral support’. Oh, and then there's the Club Sport Package.
The Cayman GT4 is available with a Club Sport Package? Tell me more…
As is traditional, the Club Sport Package is aimed at serious track-day enthusiasts. It includes a rear half-rollcage, preparation for a battery cut-off switch, a fire extinguisher and a six-point racing harness for the driver, compatible with a neck-saving HANS device.
There’s also a Cayman GT4-specific Sport Chrono Package with a unique Track Precision app. This adds an additional ECU to the car in order to deliver telemetry data to your phone, including speed, steering angle, acceleration and braking behaviour, lateral G and rpm. Plus it uses the GPS to automatically record laptimes. Sounds like the cycling Strava app for petrolheads to us...
How much is the Porsche Cayman GT4 going to cost, and when does it go on sale?
It’s your lucky day: if you’re prepared to join the ranks of squealing Porsche fans already queuing up to get their mitts on this car, the Cayman GT4 is available to order in the UK right now, ahead of its debut at the 2015 Geneva motor show. The first examples are set to arrive in UK dealerships in summer 2015.
The price of a Cayman GT4 is £64,451. That’s not only a mere £9000 more than the Cayman GTS, it’s £36k cheaper than the 911 GT3.
In other words, it could almost be called something of a bargain.