2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 review: Repeat performance

Jonathan Harper There’s a good deal to be said for the meditative high-quality of a

Jonathan Harper

There’s a good deal to be said for the meditative high-quality of a extensive travel on a good street by your self, but I often locate that running as a result of the canyons north of Los Angeles is far more enjoyment with a pal. And given that my major other owns a Porsche Cayman GT4, lots of of our date nights require me staring at the again close of his Brewster Green coupe while I am chasing it down Angeles Forest Freeway.

With its huge rear wing and lightweight fixtures, the hardcore GT4 tends to make no bones about its positioning as Porsche’s most race-concentrated Cayman. Yet in the yrs I have been privy to seat time in my partner’s GT4, I have instead come to regard its qualities as a street motor vehicle. No make any difference what supercar I am driving, the GT4 generally retains up. And while the 2020 GT4 enhances on lots of of the coupe’s livability variables, it provides up absolutely nothing in the way of go-like-hell satisfaction.


  • Beautifully tuned chassis
  • Highly effective flat-6 motor
  • A tactile expertise that puts the driver and motor vehicle in ideal harmony

Never Like

  • Out-of-date infotainment tech
  • Could be far too severe for some

The new GT4’s four.-liter flat-6 is shared with the 718 Spyder, as effectively as Porsche’s current Boxster and Cayman GTS styles. It is not, having said that, the exact four.-liter motor from the 911 GT3. The good news is that the new four.-liter has quit/start out and cylinder deactivation, which assistance it run far more effectively, for whichever that’s truly worth in a motor vehicle designed to be driven hard. The bad news is that this four.-liter doesn’t audio pretty as good as the GT3’s motor, or even the 3.8-liter motor from the aged GT4. Of training course, this is nonetheless a cost-free-respiratory flat-6 that’ll spin up to 8,000 rpm, so I need to explain that “doesn’t audio pretty as good” isn’t genuinely a demerit. Additionally, it is really a welcome little bit of salvation for those people put off by the lesser 718s’ turbo-four soundtracks.

With 414 horsepower, the four.-liter motor enhances upon the 2016 GT4’s 3.8-liter flat-6 by 29 hp. The torque specs are equivalent, at 309 pound-ft. Porsche says the 718 GT4 will speed up to 60 mph in four.two seconds, which doesn’t audio all that speedy for a sports motor vehicle in 2020, especially when a base 911 Carrera will do the exact dash in four seconds flat. But the excess emotion that arrives with winding out a huge flat-6 far more than tends to make up for any discrepancy in straight-line speed. Aside from, the GT4 isn’t about acceleration periods. Toss it into a corner. That’s when it arrives alive.

Jonathan Harper

Both the Cayman GT4 and its 718 Spyder sibling share a front axle with Porsche’s 991.two GT3, a motor vehicle I individually put on a pedestal as one particular of the ideal-handling sports cars I have at any time driven — at any time. In comparison to other 718 styles, the GT4 has a unique rear axle, stiffer chassis and a one-inch lessen ride top. Drivers can tinker with camber, toe and anti-roll bar changes. The wing has a a little bit distinct condition and the big rear diffuser homes a new exhaust system, all of which accounts for a fifty% improvement in downforce about the aged GT4, resulting in bigger high-speed balance. All told, while the 718 GT4 is only a little bit quicker than its predecessor in a straight line, it is really a good deal faster in the corners.

And holy smokes, can it hustle. The 718 Boxster-Cayman chassis is currently a matter of brilliance, but the GT4 can take it to a further level. Distinctive balance regulate tuning and a mechanical limited-slip differential assistance you put the electric power down with terrific regulate, but they hardly ever get in the way of a good time. There’s just sufficient participate in in the chassis to maintain you on your toes, and sufficient grip from the 245/35ZR20 front and 295/30ZR20 rear Michelin Pilot Activity Cup two tires to permit you safely and confidently exploit its limitations.

Jonathan Harper

The GT4’s reflexes are so speedy and its steps so exact, it varieties an prompt bond with the driver. It doesn’t take extensive before you might be putting your entire religion in the GT4’s hardware, getting into corners way faster than you’d if not dare and coming out the other aspect contemplating it was all a piece of cake. The new GT4’s steering is a little bit lighter on heart than its forebear, but the response is nevertheless fast. This motor vehicle presents the sort of tactile expertise that prospects me to consider this need to be the benchmark for all of Porsche’s potential sports cars.

The 6-speed guide gearbox has provoked the ire of some individuals. Its rather extensive gearing implies you can achieve triple-digit speeds not extensive after shifting into 3rd gear. Reported a further way, you don’t genuinely have to change gears all that much, which sort of defeats the goal of a guide transmission. But I individually don’t get the detest. There’s far more drama in one particular push of the clutch and one particular pull of the shifter than in an full high school theater office. The new GT4’s clutch is basically lighter than the aged car’s, far too, so I am compelled to use it far more often, just shifting for the sake of shifting, repeating corners at distinct details in distinct gears just to see what feels much better. It can be enjoyment, and enjoyment is good. Or just hold out a number of months and purchase your GT4 with the future dual-clutch automated, which is a good deal considerably less enjoyment.

Substantial, 16.one-inch front and 15.four-inch rear carbon-ceramic brakes deliver the celebration to a halt with a quickness, though beware, they’re an $8,000 increase-on. Adaptive dampers permit you toggle between Standard and Activity options, though this genuinely just adjustments the ride high-quality from rigid to stiffer, which I suppose may well be a grievance if this motor vehicle was not designed from the get-go to be an complete scalpel of a driver’s software.

Jonathan Harper

On that notice, you can find not much to communicate about as significantly as ease and comfort or convenience options are concerned — at minimum, no far more than the previous GT4, or genuinely, any other Cayman. Most of the inside is lined with Alcantara suede, and while I identified as the $five,900 entire bucket seats a minor comfortable when I reviewed the 718 Spyder, I have given that dropped twenty pounds, and now they’re a good deal far more tolerable. A 7-inch touchscreen operates the more mature variation of Porsche’s Communication Management software package with Apple CarPlay incorporated, which is pretty simple to use but undoubtedly powering the periods, especially in contrast to the newer PCM tech in the 911. There usually are not any state-of-the-art driver-support devices to speak of, possibly, but that’s not why anybody buys a GT4.

At $a hundred,550, like $one,350 for place, the GT4 is a much far more expensive proposition than a further keep track of-ready sports coupe like, say, a Ford Shelby GT350. But Porsche men and women don’t invest in Mustangs, so it is really a moot issue. The 2020 Evora GT offers a pretty good mid-motor threat, far too, but hilarious as it is to travel, I could not stay with the Lotus’ inside just about every day, not to mention the brand’s considerably less-than-stellar keep track of record for dependability.

The GT4 is the ideal expression of the inherently excellent Porsche Cayman, and the new one particular is no far more or considerably less exclusive than the initial. That’s especially good news for 2016 GT4 owners like my much better 50 %. I can chase him as a result of the canyons, GT4 powering GT4, and nonetheless awe at the greatness of the aged motor vehicle while enjoying the magic of the new.