The Porsche test mule we saw perusing the streets of Germany a few months ago was no fluke. Today, Porsche has officiated its addition of the Cayman GT4 to their model lineup. This is good news for Cayman fans allover. The car, which is a true mid-engine layout unlike it’s rear-engined older brother the 911, has been a fantastic driver’s car since its inception. Unfortunately though, it has always been the red-headed step child in Porsches fleet of 911-centric performance cars. This newest model will represents the most exceptionally endowed Cayman to date.
Engine and Drivetrain
Under the shiny metallic skin of the GT4 is a 911 Carrera S-sourced engine. In it moves six pistons arranged in the Porsche-traditional flat configuration and displacement rounds out at 3.8-liters. Output is a potent 385 horsepower which is channeled through a 6-speed manual transaxle. Diehard row-your-own transmission enthusiasts will delight that is the only transmission available for the car. However, some may find it disappointing that Porsches PDK dual clutch is not available in this chassis. Whether this was a cost cutting option or a move by Porsche to keep the Cayman just a hair slower than its more pedigreed siblings.
Body and Aero
With the camo finally lifted, we can get a clear look at the Cayman GT4’s sheetmetal. While the lines remain unmistakably Cayman in nature, they reflect a much more aggressive character to the car. Also, aerodynamic improvements were a major part of the GT4 program. Three inlets at the front of the car help air flow freely to critical components, such as cooling systems and brakes, and a large fixed wing at the rear guarantees the rear tires stay planted at high speeds.
Suspension and Brakes
A 7 minute, 40-second lap at the Nurburgring is nothing to scoff at. That’s the magic number the new GT4 was able to deliver in testing. It is, in fact, the same lap time as a 911 GT3. Coincidence? We think not, the GT4’s newfound handling prowess is largely thanks to underpinning sourced from a Porsche 91 GT3. The ride height of the GT4 was cranked down a considerable 30 mm from standard Cayman ride height and brakes have been substantially upgraded. For ultimate track duty, a set of ceramic binders is available as a factory option. Track-oriented buyers can push that one step further with a set of carbon fiber bucket seats.
The Cayman GT4 should be a serious performer. Official numbers quote a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds and a top track speed of 183 mph. We don’t have weight figures on the car but we would expect it to tip the scales at or slightly under the base Cayman. Whether it will be lighter than the R likely depends on standard-equipped creature comforts.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 will have its world premiere in early March at the Geneva International Motor Show. This vehicle will arrive at U.S. dealers in July 2015. The starting MSRP for the Cayman GT4 is $84,600.