2016 Porsche Cayman GT4
Porsche has been expanding its Cayman lineup over the years to more thoroughly mirror its bigger sibling-the 911. The latest effort in that regard is the Cayman GT4, which parallels the 911 GT3.
Like the 911 GT3, the Cayman GT4 is a performance-first offering. Behind the seats, you'll find the 3.8L, naturally aspirated flat-six from the outgoing 911 Carrera S. It makes 385 horsepower at 7,400 RPM and 309 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 RPM.
Unlike the hopped-up 911 variant, however, the GT4 comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Fear not: if you're after the quickest lap times, Porsche hasn't forgotten you. The manual transmission is equipped with selectable rev-matching for optimum downshifting performance.
The combination is good for a 0-60 sprint in 4.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 183 MPH. Unfortunately, the GT4's focus on performance comes at the expense of efficiency. On the highway, the GT4 is rated at 23 MPG.
The 911 component sharing extends to the GT4's chassis, where its active suspension (PASM) system and brakes are largely borrowed from the GT3. The front track is half an inch wider than the standard Cayman's and the body sits more than an inch lower.
Porsche also took the time and effort to overhaul some of the GT4's finer details, upgrading components from the wheel bearings to the anti-roll bar mounts to the suspension wishbones themselves. The GT4 is ready for camber adjustment plates straight off the showroom floor.
The GT4's lower ride height and wider front track are backed up with fixed-wing rear aero and a menacing lower front grille.
The GT4 also adds additional aero effects on the factory body kit and rear intake vents to further enhance the speedy coupe's aggressive look.
The GT4 takes the base model's interior to a focused, no-frills extreme. The standard seats are two-way Sport Seats Plus wrapped in Alcantara. The steering wheel is also unique to the model.
The rest of the interior is largely indistinguishable from that of a Cayman S. The instrument cluster remains a simple, legible three-gauge design with the tach front and center in the best sports car tradition, while the right gauge is now 4.6-inch TFT screen that can be configured to display numerous different types of vehicle information.
Despite its high-performance focus, the GT4 is actually a fairly practical machine - it offers 15 cubic feet of cargo room, although that space is divided between a traditional rear trunk and a frunk (front-trunk) where the engine would be in a normal car. Larger items may not fit.
Standard and Optional Features
As with other Porsche models, the Cayman GT4 offers a nearly endless array of interior treatments and paint schemes in addition to available luxury and convenience features. While most other automakers offer such options as part of bundled packages - forcing buyers to sometimes pay for features they don't want to get desired items - Porsche offers all of its extras as stand-alone features. This means that buyers can create unique, custom cars, although doing so can quickly get very pricey.
The GT4 comes standard with a hill hold function, power windows, Bluetooth connectivity, Halogen headlights, a sport steering wheel, tinted windows, heated mirrors and a four-speaker CDR audio system controlled by a dash-mounted seven-inch touch screen and auxiliary inputs located in the glove box.
Since the GT4 is a performance-oriented model, it comes standard with several of the base model's performance-oriented options. Porsche Active Suspension Management system, or PASM, actively regulates the damper force to each wheel based on a combination of road conditions and driving style to provide an optimum blend of roll stiffness and ride comfort.
Also available is a Sport Chrono Package, which includes Porsche's Track Precision app, a performance display, a digital and analogue stopwatch and additional drive modes.
Carbon ceramic brakes are also available as a stand-alone option, as are 18-way adaptive sport seats or, for the truly hardcore, the 918's carbon-fiber-backed single-piece buckets. Customers who want the lightest possible example of the GT4 can delete the air conditioning and radio. A Lithium-Ion battery can also replace the standard battery at a weight savings of nearly 30lbs, but at the cost of less powerful cranking ability in low-temperature environments.
The coupe is available with an optional infotainment system called Porsche Communications Manager (PCM). PCM groups the car's audio, navigation and communication functions into a single easy-to-use interface that packs a 40 GB hard drive, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. All of PCM's functions can be controlled by buttons, knobs or a built-in voice recognition software.
Adventure-minded buyers can choose to pick up their GT4 in either Zuffenhausen or Leipzig, Germany.
Even without add-ons, the Cayman is a revelation on a winding road. Communicative, precise steering and lightning-quick transient responses combined with the punchy, dulcet flat-six add up to a driving experience not soon forgotten.
The Cayman comes standard with dual front, front knee and front side head/thorax airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Although Porsche will tell you that there's no substitute for its sporty coupe, it's at least worth taking rivals like the Audi TTS, the Nissan 370Z and the Chevrolet Corvette for a test drive before parking the Cayman in your driveway.