MALIBU, Calif. — Forward of driving the upcoming Porsche 718 Spyder RS later this month, I wished to get myself reacquainted with the hardcore wing of the 718 household. Till the RS got here alongside to successfully substitute it, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 was essentially the most severe model you could possibly get (with its Boxster Spyder sibling a detailed second). I’ve been fortunate to drive the GT4 twice earlier than: as soon as at a monitor in Scotland and a second time early within the pandemic driving from Portland to Detroit (Oregon) by means of lovely forest that will quickly thereafter be burnt to a crisp. In different phrases, vigorously driving the GT4 by means of the Santa Monica Mountains would someway be the least fascinating drive I’ve had on this magnificent sports activities automobile. Life is tough.
To briefly reacquaint you with the GT4, it successfully comes with a naturally aspirated model of the turbocharged 4.0-liter flat-six discovered within the 911. It produces 414 horsepower and 309 pound-feet, and screams to a redline of 8,000 rpm. The 0-60 time is 4.2 seconds, however that’s so not the purpose of this automobile. It’s concerning the noise from that flat-six and the suspension wizardry that ends in one of many best dealing with automobiles on the planet. Up entrance is identical setup because the 2018 GT3 RS, which additionally donates sure components (subframe, management arms, shocks) to an in any other case distinctive suspension design. The experience peak can be decreased by 1.8 inches, and the PASM adaptive dampers had been specifically tuned for the GT4. The brakes additionally come over from the final GT3 and there’s an intensive aerodynamic routine, together with a wing.
For a extra full tackle the GT4, I’d recommend studying my Scotland monitor drive and my Get Motion! street check from 2020. For some lasting impressions from this newest go, nevertheless, listed below are 9 ideas concerning the 718 GT4.
1. The engine sends chills up your backbone
Is there a greater mixture of engine, placement and lack of sound deadening on the market? Exterior of a race automobile? Until it’s some some basic or fashionable exotica, I haven’t pushed it. The naturally aspirated flat-six is the largest a part of it, as you rev it out to eight,000 wonderful rpm. You even have to inform your self to maintain going previous 5,000 or 6,000 rpm … however then you definately keep in mind you’ll be able to, because the engine is completely able to protecting issues speedy with out wringing the boxer’s neck, and it’s pleasant.
In fact, the location of the engine simply behind your proper hip places your ears even nearer to the motion than in a 911, whereas the GT4’s stripped-out sound deadening ensures that this received’t be the very best setting for having fun with your music assortment. The automobile is the primary deal with for the ears, right here.
And that’s with out even mentioning the dual-mode exhaust that has all the time appeared to be loud no matter whether or not you press the little exhaust button on the middle console.
2. And the nominees for finest gearbox are …
When you had been to ask, “What’s the finest guide transmission?” my reply would contain three nominees: the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Civic Sort R/Integra Sort S and the Porsche 718. The shifter itself is a bit shorter within the GT4, however the peerless precision and mechanical weighting are comparable. If this was strictly my monitor automobile (and it might be fairly a good selection, too), I’d most likely go for PDK since I don’t want to consider a clutch and even shifting usually when negotiating a monitor. PDK’s Sport+ setting is simply that good. Alternatively, the Auto Blip rev-matched downshifting is superb sufficient that I would rethink that place. And if this was extra a road-going automobile, there’s little doubt which I’d select.
3. The suspension distinction is extra apparent in regular driving
Whereas slicing alongside Mulholland Freeway, I used to be surprisingly in a position to maintain the GT4 in its firmest suspension setting. Normally such settings are a recipe for getting the chassis out of whack (to not point out punishing you), when hitting an inevitable bump, however the adaptive dampers lived as much as their adjective in the actual world. You possibly can completely inform the distinction in regular driving, although, so the flexibility to have a extra forgiving choice is certainly appreciated.
4. The complete-bucket seats don’t work for me within the 718
I’ve pushed loads of Porsches with the fixed-rake full-bucket seats at this level and customarily been OK with them. I naturally sit upright in a automobile, and I favor a agency seat. That mentioned, their lack of adjustability is a better difficulty within the 718 than it’s within the 911. Particularly, it’s the dearth of peak/tilt adjustment for the ahead portion of the seat, which might yield better under-thigh assist, notably for these lengthy in leg. Porsches with absolutely adjustable seats are excellent on this regard, together with seats in different 718s. As you’ll be able to see within the above images, although, my proper leg has zero under-thigh assist and, in consequence, most of my leg weight rests on my heel. That will get previous. And sore. It’s because I want to sit down nearer to the brake and throttle than is right as a result of I additionally want to totally depress the clutch. On a monitor, this isn’t a difficulty since consolation goes out the window and I favor sitting nearer to the wheel anyway.
Now, there might be an answer: Porsche now presents a 3D-printed body-form full bucket driver seat. It’s accessible in delicate, medium or onerous firmness, in addition to a selection of six colours. They go for $2,930, versus each full buckets at $5,900. Maybe this might be an answer.
5. Will this shoe break the press automobile?
Again at my previous home in Portland, I used to do a operating collection on my Instagram that includes numerous automobiles parked on my crazily bent driveway. In some way, nothing ended up high-centered in 5 years. However there was one automobile that couldn’t even make it over the completely regular driveway lip: the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. Remembering this, I didn’t even hassle making an attempt to park it in my completely regular driveway. One thing to recollect when buying a automobile with 1.8-inch experience peak discount and an unlimited chin spoiler: you could not have the ability to park it at your home.
6. Your folks might remorse asking for a experience …
A comically low automobile with full-bucket seats reside as much as their bucket title make for ingress and egress that’s, for example, inelegant. I ended up taking a pair of associates out for drives within the GT4 (one for enjoyable, one other to truly go someplace), and each occasions, it was a comical entry. I’ve now had sufficient follow stepping into them, however with out it, you’re certain to fall additional than you had been anticipating and land indirectly on the thinly padded and carbon-hard bolster. “Ow!”
7. … However they are going to be impressed by the cupholders
Porsches have had tough cupholders like these for fairly some time, however for those who haven’t been fortunate sufficient to be in Porsches, they’re really fairly cool. Take it away photograph collage.
7. I don’t perceive suede steering wheels
In the course of the first drive of the brand new GT3 RS, three or 4 journalists loved stints on the monitor in the identical check automobile. Because the day wore on, you could possibly undoubtedly inform simply how hardcore Porsche had made the newest GT3 RS as a result of the steering wheel was disgustingly damp from all these totally different sweaty palms. Even when it was simply you behind the wheel, versus this Le Mans-style scorching bunking scenario, I don’t perceive the enchantment of suede steering wheels. You’re principally wrapping the steering wheel in a towel … it even appears prefer it. Anyway, this Cayman GT4 had one. No thanks.
9. When you don’t have a very good street or monitor close by …
This isn’t a automobile you drive casually. Fairly merely, for those who don’t intend to do monitor days or reside close to a good street, the GT4 can be wasted. And by good street, I imply the kind of twisting, turning, elevation-gaining majesty of the type that exists right here in Southern California. I managed to discover a respectable playground again in Oregon, however even that was iffy. This automobile deserves higher than to preen in South Seashore or languish in a group.
As for the remainder of the automobile, the GT4 can be missed. No less than the GTS 4.0 lives on as a barely extra civilized house for the improbable naturally aspirated 4.0-liter, whereas the brand new RS resides on the opposite finish of the spectrum. I look ahead to making an attempt out the droptop Boxster/Spyder model of it later this month.