Test: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, the good genes (2022)


When Porsche unveiled the first Cayman in 2005, opinions were – to be kind – divided. Indeed, almost every time Stuttgart dares to build something that isn’t a 911, the result is met with a few frowns. Since then, the Cayman has struggled to prove that a Porsche doesn’t have to be a 911 to be fun, and that struggle now comes to a head.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS (2022) statisch, vooraanzicht

Inflator

Indeed, Porsche has developed the queen of all Caymans and it comes in the form of this 718 Cayman GT4 RS. This is of course a model that takes the principles of the normal GT4, but adds an even spicier sauce. So this Cayman also sports the much-discussed mid-engine silhouette, complete with a lavish array of spoilers and air vents. These elements stand out even more with the Weissach package, which, in addition to the air intakes and the hood, adds many carbon fiber parts.

This all probably sounds like unnecessary bloat, but trust us: it’s not. The GT4 RS not only receives a manually adjustable blade under the front bumper, but also a huge gooseneck spoiler at the rear which already gives the first hint of the genes of this sports car. The air outlets located in the wheel arches allow better management of the air flow. The fact that the rear side windows are replaced by two huge air intakes is not to stir up claustrophobia. They bring extra breath to the engine and do nothing to hide where the beast sleeping in the back comes from.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS (2022) statisch, achteraanzicht

Every second counts

We’ve already mentioned that recognizable spoiler, but the engine is also almost identical to that of one of the most famous Porsches: the 911 GT3. Thus, between the cabin and the rear axle, there is a 6-cylinder boxer of 4.0 liters which manages to send 500 hp and 450 Nm of torque to the rear wheels without any pressurization. However, connoisseurs will note that the block of the 718 is 10 hp weaker compared to the 911 GT3. Porsche points out that the exhaust on this mid-engined sports car is naturally a bit longer than that of the 911 and that those 10bhp got stuck somewhere.

By the way, the remaining 500 hp still goes through a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, while the normal GT4 is also available with a manual transmission. Porsche does not offer it here because the RS version is resolutely aimed at the best performance. With the manual transmission, for example, the normal GT4 loses half a second to reach 100 km/h and that’s half a second too long for a car with the RS logo. The PDK gearbox is also not simply copied identically from the normal GT4, since Porsche has shortened the reports. This too should benefit stronger acceleration, and the result is worth noting. Indeed, this GT4 RS reaches 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, half a second less than the normal GT4 with PDK.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS (2022) dashboard

Until the breaker

It may seem strange, but these shorter reports have less impact on our driving license. Yes, in the conventional GT4, we already reach 140 km/h in the bottom of second gear at 8,000 rpm. On the GT4 RS, the switch is even higher, at 9,000 rpm, but the shorter ratios mean that the end of second comes at 110/120 km/h.

One can wonder who will go to the end of the red zone but the answer is easy: “we…at the wheel of a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS! After all, the sound of boxers is more addictive than caffeine, nicotine, and every other substance imaginable combined.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS (2022) interior

Still, just because you can achieve that ecstasy without breaking the law doesn’t mean the GT4 RS is sweet as a lamb. This Porsche produces so much grip that it becomes frightening – at least if you decide to push the limits. On dry roads, moreover, these limits are far beyond our capacity for self-preservation. After a few quick corners, the stomach will drop before the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup. It’s obviously down to all that aerodynamic work, because if the blade and wing have been tuned by someone in the know, they give this GT4 RS up to 25% more downforce than to a normal GT4.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS (2022) rijdend, vooraanzicht

Between GT3 and GT4

Of course, you have to be ready to pay to put your hand in your wallet. After all, 25% more support is 25% more expensive. For example, the regular Cayman GT4 already costs at least €108,441.65 (France: €105,332) but the GT4 RS version comes in at €157,620.65 (France: €147,375). It’s a lot more, especially when you know that you will still have to dip into your pockets for a few colors and options. An example ? Our test GT4 RS had a staggering price of €204,296.40, a small house.

However, this balance is completely reversed when comparing the 718 Cayman GT4 RS not just to its sibling, but to the 911 GT3. Indeed, the latter costs €190,893.23 (France: €182,167), while offering essentially the same engine masterpiece and similar performance. One could say that the only difference is that the engine of the 911 is placed behind the rear axle while the 718 opts as always for a mid-engine. This means that the GT4 RS is potentially the best track weapon, and that even adding its favorite color and the €13,754.07 Weissach Pack (France: €15,948) – yes, really – you don’t achieve the final invoice of a 911 GT3…

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS (2022) rijdend, achteraanzicht

Conclusion

We are not going to beat around the bush: the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is a real bomb. It may not bear the 911 logo on the rear, but it combines the best of this primitive Porsche with all the advantages that the 718 platform can offer. That not only makes it the best Cayman or the best GT4, but also the most expensive.

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