In 2015, Porsche announced the car the supercar community thought they would never build. It was the first time Porsche allowed its Porsche Motorsport division in Weissach to sprinkle some magic on a production Cayman since the mid-engine sports car’s introduction ten years previously.
They did not let us down.
With components sourced from the 911 GT3, an engine carried over from a Carrera S and a tweaked and tuned chassis, brakes and aerodynamics, Porsche’s engineers did their best to produce the perfect mid-engine sports car for road and track use.
The GT4’s 3.8-litre flat-six engine produces 385 hp (283 kW) and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with dynamic gearbox mounts – these contain a magnetic fluid that can be manipulated by use of an electromagnetic field to harden or soften to compensate for movements in the gearbox when under load, which in soft settings can improve ride comfort, while harder settings optimize the handling of the Cayman for a more dynamic driving experience.
Compared with the standard Cayman, the GT4’s chassis was lowered by 30mm and bigger brakes were added, with many aspects of its suspension carried over from the 911 GT3. Make no mistake; this is some serious motorsport kit.
Design, Styling & Interior
Based on the 981 Cayman, the GT4 takes the standard car’s already purposeful stance and design and adds aggression. The large, vented front bumper, which makes the GT4 look like a more serious track weapon is not just for show – it improves cooling for an additional radiator. A lower ride height, lower front lip and a fixed rear wing are all clues to onlookers that this is no normal Cayman.
Larger side intakes than the standard Cayman also add to the GT4’s sporting proportions, required to feed more air into the 3.8 litre power plant behind the driver. Inside the Cayman GT4, the sporty theme continues, with sport seats for driver and passenger upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara, with bolsters to support both under hard cornering. In front of the driver sits a compact steering wheel, which Porsche says enhances the feedback to the driver, as well as providing more precision.
The Cayman GT4’s 3.8-litre engine takes the place of the GTS’s 3.4 litres, lifting power from 335hp to 385hp. Combined with a lot of effort from Porsche’s engineers to shed a few kilos from its kerb weight, and the GT4 is predictably a shade faster than the previous quickest Cayman. The GT4 makes the dash from k 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, significantly quicker than the 4.9sec of the GTS, while its top speed has risen by 6mph to 183mph.
More torque provided by the extra engine capacity afforded the GT4 is said to help the Cayman pull its long gearing more convincingly than previously. Some criticized the GT4’s engine for lacking the drama and all-out ferocity of engine note that other Porsches featuring the 3.8-litre engine deliver, though unless you have access or a depth of experience with both of those cars, its 7800rpm redline is likely to still provide enough to satisfy.
The efforts of Porsche’s engineers have clearly paid off – a lap time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the North Loop of the Nürburgring clearly shows that this Porsche is serious about performance. At launch, Porsche offered Cayman GT4 buyers the option of equipping their car with further options geared towards sporty or track use.
These options included a Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) shell seats, a custom Sport Chrono Package including a unique Track Precision app and a Club Sport Package, that added racing harnesses and fire extinguisher to the Cayman GT4’s track accouterments.
Ride & Handling
The standard Porsche Cayman’s handling has always been one of its ultimate selling points. Unencumbered by an engine slung out the back like its bigger brother the 911, the Cayman’s mid-engine balance endows the “middle” child in the Porsche sports car family with precise and nimble handling. Add to that mix the uprated front axle from a 911 GT3, an aerodynamic package designed to spread downforce across all four wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, perhaps the most surprising thing about the Cayman GT4 is its compliance on the road as well as its prowess on the track.
Such features are traditionally the preserve of track-specials and in many cases an extreme focus on track capability can compromise on-road comfort, making a car almost unbearable on regular road surfaces, or overly harsh on less-experienced drivers. But the Cayman GT4 drew critical praise from those that drove it thanks to its strong grip through corners providing the driver with confidence backed up by the car’s communicative chassis.
Porsche’s Motorsport engineers have managed to strike an impressive balance between technical capability and on-road usability. The Cayman GT4 is stiffer-sprung than the standard car without becoming punishing over less-than-perfect surfaces, with enough suspension travel and damping to soak up bumps and undulations in the road.
Prices & Specs
At its launch in July 2015, the Porsche Cayman GT4 retailed at $84,600 MSRP from Porsche dealers. However just 2500 examples of the GT4 were made, and a performance Porsche of this ilk attracts a lot of attention from Porsche purists and driving fans alike, meaning demand far outstripped that production run from the start. This led to many instantly being flipped for an asking price well in excess of the retail price.
Specs & Performance Numbers
Launched as a 2015 model at the Geneva Motor Show, the Cayman GT4 was limited to about 2,500 units and with a starting with the base price of $85,595 in the U.S, it is immediately clear that this is not a normal Cayman model variant.
The spec sheet is a lovely list of the best performance bits from the Porsche Motorsport division. It takes its suspension from the GT3 and steals the Carrera S 3.8-litre engine along with a sweet 6 speed manual transmission. Great start.
Power comes in at 380 bhp @ 7400 rpm, with torque of 309 lb-ft. As expected, the benchmark 0-60mph sprint passes in ~4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 183mph. While this isn’t that fast on the spec sheet, in the real world it is plenty fast enough and with a 7:42.00 Nurburgring lap time it is clear that the sum of all the parts makes one hell of a machine both on street and track.
Cayman 981 GT4
911 991 GT3
The Details & Full Story
The GT4 was basically a Cayman with the chassis from the 991 GT3 and the engine from the 997.2/991 Carrera S. The GT4 was 38% cheaper than the GT3. To fit into the Cayman, the 911 engine had to be modified a bit, so it got different crankcase and naturally different intake system. The GT3 chassis made the GT4 1.2″/30 mm lower than standard Cayman. The brakes were also directly from the 991 GT3, with 380 mm discs front and rear. The GT4 was equipped with the best road legal racing tyres, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2. Like with the GT3 (or any other racing car), the interior was available only in black in order to not to distract driver’s vision away from the road.
The standard equipment of the GT4 included:
Adjustable racing suspension (toe, camber, stabilizers)
LSD Limited Slip Differential with asymmetrical locking (27% in acceleration, 22% in decelaration)
PTV Porsche Torque Vectoring (brakes the rear inner wheel for quicker cornering)
PASM Porsche Active Suspension Management
PADM Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts
Sports exhaust system
Variable ratio electric power steering
TPM Tyre Pressure Monitoring
20″ wheels painted in Platinum (optionally in Silver or Black)
On request: deletion of air conditioner (or optionally a 2-zone automatic AC)
On request: deletion of audio system (4 speakers, CD-radio with 7″ touchscreen, universal audio interface in glove compartment)
To shave a bit from the officially announced DIN curb weight (measured with 90% fuel), the standard fuel tank had only 54 litre capacity. In reality most of the cars were equipped with the no-cost 64 litre tank, which wasn’t very large either.
From the optional equipment list the following could be needed: adaptive sports seats or bucket seats, Club Sport package (roll cage behind the seats, a 6-point racing harness in red for driver’s side, a bigger fire extinguisher with mounting bracket and preparation for battery master switch). The optional equipment list continued with 6-point harness for the passenger, cruise control, stitching in red or yellow, 9 speaker sound system (heavy Bose system naturally not available for a track day car), navigation. The stop-watch in the Sport Chrono package still was useless as it was still unable to use car’s own GPS signal. Much better (GPS-based) systems were available for lap timing. For example, from the App Store you could download the free Porsche Track Precision app for your smartphone. In addition to lap timing, the app communicated with the car for telemetrics (Sport Chrono package needed). The front part of the roll cage, the structural cross behind the seats, the battery master switch and the track day lap trigger could be purchased from Porsche Motorsport.
The fact that the automatic PDK gearbox was not available, made clear for whom this car was destined – to the Porsche drivers who enjoy the engagement in really mastering a car. The GT4 was able to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:42.39.
Original Press Release
February 4, 2015: This is the new Porsche Cayman GT4
The new member of the Porsche GT family is the Cayman GT4. This is the first time Porsche is introducing a GT sports car based on the Cayman.
A lap time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the North Loop of the Nürburgring positions the Cayman GT4 as the new benchmark at the top of its market segment. It also makes a clear statement that Porsche will continue to promote radical two-door sports cars in the future – sports cars that are developed at the Motorsport department in Weissach.
The engine, chassis, brakes and aerodynamic design of the Cayman GT4 are configured for maximum driving dynamics; yet the top model still retains the versatility and everyday utility that are typical of the two-seat Porsche coupe. It is powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six engine with 385 hp (283 kW), which is derived from the 911 Carrera S engine. Its power is always transmitted by a six-speed manual gearbox with dynamic gearbox mounts.
The Cayman GT4 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds; its top speed is 295 km/h. The car’s NEDC fuel consumption is 10.3 l/100 km. The chassis – which features a 30 mm lower body position and a generously sized brake system – consists nearly entirely of components from the 911 GT3.
Fit for the circuit race track: first Porsche Cayman with downforce at both axles
On its exterior, the Cayman GT4 is clearly differentiated from related mid-engine coupes. Three distinctive inlet openings at the front and a large fixed rear wing are part of an aerodynamic package which is systematically designed for downforce. Upon request, the Cayman GT4 can be equipped even more comprehensively for sporty use. Options include the PCCB ceramic brake system, full shell seats made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), a custom Sport Chrono Package with the unique Track Precision app and a Club Sport Package.
The interior of the Cayman GT4 is designed so that the driver and front passenger can experience unfiltered driving enjoyment. They sit on sport seats, upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara, which are distinguished by very good lateral support. The new GT4 sport steering wheel guarantees ideal control and direct steering feedback due to its compact dimensions.
Technical aspects of the new GT sports car are based on the 911 GT3. As a mid-engine sports car and a prime example of driving dynamics in its class – it follows the conceptual tradition of such cars as the 904 GTS, 911 GT1, Carrera GT and 918 Spyder.
The Cayman GT4 celebrates its world premiere in early March 2015
GT sports cars from Porsche embody the most passionate connection possible between everyday driving and the race track and thereby the sporty core of the brand: Intelligent Performance. Four out of five drivers of Porsche sports cars with this classification also use them on the race track.
The Cayman GT4 celebrates its world premiere in early March at the Geneva International Motor Show. It can already be ordered now, and it will arrive at dealers at the end of March. In Germany, the price of the Cayman GT4 is 85,779 euros including VAT and country-specific features.
February 3, 2015: The benchmark in its class: the Porsche Cayman GT4
A new member of Porsche’s GT family
Atlanta. Porsche’s GT family is proud to announce the addition of an exciting new member: the Cayman GT4. This is the first Porsche GT sports car based on the Cayman and features components of the 911 GT3. Clocking a lap time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the North Loop of the Nürburgring, the Cayman GT4 earns the same lap time as the 2011 911 GT3 and positions itself as the new benchmark atop its market segment. The Cayman GT4 clearly demonstrates Porsche’s dedication and passion to continue to promote truly industry-leading two-door sports cars in the future – sports cars that are developed at the Motorsport department in Weissach.
The engine, chassis, brakes, and aerodynamic design of the Cayman GT4 are configured for maximum driving dynamics while retaining the versatility and everyday utility that are typical of the two-seater Porsche coupe. Powered by a 385 hp 3.8-liter flat-six engine derived from the 911 Carrera S engine, the Cayman GT4 transmits its power solely through a six-speed manual transmission with dynamic gearbox mounts. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in 4.2 seconds; its top track speed is 183 mph. The chassis – which features a 30 mm lower ride height and a generously sized brake system – consists almost entirely of components from the 911 GT3.
Ready for the race track: The first Porsche Cayman with added downforce at both axles
The exterior of the Cayman GT4 highlights it as a member of the Porsche GT family and provides a clear distinction to related mid-engine coupes. Three pronounced inlet openings at the front and a large fixed rear wing are part of an aerodynamic package which is systematically designed for downforce. Upon request, the performance capabilities of Cayman GT4 can be taken even further. Available options include the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system, full bucket seats made of carbon fiber composite, and a custom Sport Chrono Package featuring a Track Precision app.
The interior of the Cayman GT4 focuses on maximizing the experience of unfiltered driving enjoyment for both driver and passenger. Standard sport seats, which are upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara®, offer excellent lateral support. The new Cayman GT4 sport steering wheel guarantees ideal control and direct steering feedback due to its compact dimensions.
Technical aspects of this new GT sports car are based on the 911 GT3. As a mid-engine sports car and a prime example of driving dynamics in its class, it follows the conceptual tradition of such cars as the 904 GTS, 911 GT1, Carrera GT and 918 Spyder.
GT sports cars engineered by Porsche embody the most passionate connection possible between everyday driving and Porsche’s competition heritage and highlight the sporty core of the brand: Intelligent Performance.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 celebrates 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. MSRP does not include a destination charge of $995.