Porsche unveils new 718 Cayman GT4
Mid-engined sportster goes back to high-revving naturally-aspirated power
The Porsche 718 Cayman is a mid-engined sports car that handles incredibly well but has received much criticism over its turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sounds and feels coarse – even in the S models. Purists lamented the fact that the lovely six-cylinder naturally-aspirated motor of Cayman models past were no longer available. The outcries of disdain could be heard far and wide. Fortunately Porsche took note - it has now whipped the covers off a new 718 Cayman GT4 that comes equipped with a 4.0l six-cylinder boxer engine blissfully free from any form of forced induction whatsoever.
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Essentially a bored and stroked version of the turbocharged 3.0l mill doing duty in the new 911, this naturally-aspirated screamer makes 309kW at 7,600rpm and 420Nm of torque from 5,000 to 6,800rpm. The actual red line is a stratospheric 8,000rpm. In terms of performance Porsche claims that the 718 Cayman GT4 will scamper to 100km/h in 4.4s and onwards to a top speed of 304km/h. So quick enough for most people then.
Transmission? A six-speed manual is your only option here. A six-speed manual with electronic rev-matching that can be turned off with a simple press of a button. Heaven.
In keeping with this pedigreed power plant Porsche also turned up the wick when it came to handling dynamics. As such the new 718 Cayman GT4 rides atop a specially-tuned GT chassis that includes a front axle lifted from the glorious 991.2 GT3. You also get a Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping system with a 30mm drop plus Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) partnered to a proper mechanical rear differential lock. A Clubsport package is available as an option (as are ceramic composite brakes), which throws in a rear steel-roll bar, handheld fire extinguisher and six-point driver's seatbelt.
Add in a revised aerodynamics package (the official press release says downforce has increased by a whopping 50%) and you get a sports car that now laps the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife more than 10 seconds quicker than its predecessor – a car that was already no slouch and remains one of the best-handling cars we have ever driven.
Production of the new 718 Cayman is not limited and Porsche will make as many as they're capable of – no traditional GT-car production rules apply here. As usual a roadster version will also be available in the form of the gorgeous 718 Spyder. At the moment local pricing is not available and it is still unknown when these two newcomers will be making their way to South African shores. But they will and we cannot wait to sample them for ourselves.