Video: Cayman GT4 Transformed into a Rally Beast

Some enthusiasts might argue the Cayman GT4 is the most enjoyable road car on the market today. With a diminutive size, a usable amount of power, a responsive motor, a linear power delivery, lots of grip, and superb chassis balance, there’s everything going for this micro-monster when it comes to real-world exploitability. Even some of the faster 4WD offerings these days might not be able to match the Cayman on a damp backroad with the right driver — the car is just so well-sorted.

Well, it seems that 2011 French Rally Champion Gilles Nantet wanted to prove that notion. His history in a wild, Porsche 997 GT2 as well as a Cup Car with a little more suspension travel have garnered quite a few views on YouTube. Yet, despite their edge in pure firepower, Nantet has recently been seen campaigning a mildly-tuned Cayman GT4. Why? Well, the size of a car cannot be underestimated when running on roads this narrow. The GT3 and GT2 wear a much larger rear tire, take up more space on the stage, and are not as placable as the petite Cayman.

Nantet pulls his hydraulic handbrake to set the Cayman's angle into the damp hairpin.

Nantet pulls his hydraulic handbrake to set the Cayman’s angle into the damp hairpin.

What’s more, the hot 911 variants seem to be much busier behind the wheel, and are undoubtedly harder on rear tires. For longer stages, that could be a significant problem. In the case of the turbocharged GT2, its incredible torque might help at altitude, but the power delivery looks quite tricky to manage.

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By contrast, the Cayman looks so supple everywhere it goes, with traction rivaling its rear-engine siblings and wonderful, crisp throttle response helping it fire out of corners with as much urgency as any. Rarely does Nantet seem caught out by a the sliding of the rear end; it looks predictable, and never waywards, unlike the 911 which snaps violently on occasion. With that added level of precision thanks to the mid-engine layout and smaller dimensions, the GT4 looks to be the modern response to anodyne, turbocharged, 4WD rally cars, and an homage to some of the great MR rally machines of the past.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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