Tour Chrono – Porsche Cayman GT4 RS: would it be the best?

There are three types of sports cars. Those who do the job but do not move. The ones we think we need in the garage. Those finally where, at the end of the test, it is difficult to contain the surge of emotions and to find the words to describe all the good that one thinks of them.

You have understood to which category the GT4 RS belongs. I had the privilege of discovering this frenetic Porsche a few months ago, in Portugal. Like eminent colleagues, subjugated by the mechanical rage of the 4 l of the 911 GT3 in the little Cayman, flabbergasted by the metallic partition, amazed by the feel of the road, I had said many good things about it.

But the second passing exam is rarely so exhilarating. Love at first sight is behind us, flaws are surfacing. In the case of the GT4 RS, the main grievance concerns damping. On the highway billiards, still passes, but as soon as the bitumen is wrinkled or studded with irregularities, the vertebrae are expensive.

There is a button controlling the suspension, but it is intended for the track, and stiffens compression and rebound further. Above all, there is this very handicapping problem of rear vision. In the center, the top of the mirror is occupied by the carbon ironing board, and in the sides, it is the cheeks of the wing, branded GT4 RS, which obstruct the field of vision.

So we don’t see anything. So the GT4 RS is flashy. If the finish does not suffer from reproaches, the very dark presentation and the very small central screen are old-fashioned. I told you: the second meeting undermines the first loves.

However, at the end of this supertest, a question arises: what if it was the best Porsche? In front of the GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS? Here is why the answer does not flow from source…

Music, master!

In terms of pure performance, our frame, with its atypical colorimetric configuration, is disappointing. The reason is twofold. Firstly, our Mortefontaine test base being privatized when the Porsche was loaned, we had to fall back on the Montlhéry road circuit, where we are not used to it.

Second, the car was delivered to us with very well-established Michelin Cup 2s and not the Cup 2 Rs, which would allow great lap times. The GT4 RS may well repeat the exercise of launch control over and over again, nothing helps, and the promised 3”4s are unattainable. 3”8 to speed up a 0 to 100 km/h, we grant you, that’s not enough, but the immediate loss of traction at the start confirms that the Auvergne tires have exceeded their optimal shooting window.

This does not bode well for the Vigeant. The 1,000 m DA is shot in 21” all round, which puts this 718 on par with a very overpowered F-Type SVR from 2017, or with the radical Donkervoort GTO 40.

The journey to the Val de Vienne is more pleasant than expected. At legal speed, the regulator just exceeds 3,500 rpm in 7th and final gear. You can almost hear yourself chatting with Clément, and the comfort is precarious but acceptable.

« It seems that the sound after 8,000 rpm is really crazy », adds the photographer. It’s up to me to prove it to him. At mid-range, the valves open. The basses agree, the drummer raises the rhythm. Around 6,500 rpm, it’s the brass that come into play with a frankly metallic range. Clement with banana. He hasn’t heard anything yet, because the finale is simply grandiose.

With its location at the heart of the passenger compartment, the flat 6 is, quite naturally, more present than in a GT3 (it has undergone a 180° rotation). But it is the admission, completely revised compared to the big sister, which makes this experience so special. We feel the pistons vibrate in the kidneys, the hindquarters sag as the tachometer climbs.

Then comes the 8000 rpm. At this rate, the normal GT4 abdicates, and we cannot hold it against it. The RS shoots your eardrums. It would be interesting to know if the noise level is as high without the Weissach pack, which adds carbon air inlets to the titanium exhaust, the deep bucket seats and the roll cage.  » What is that thing ?! », yells Clement. One of the most exhilarating mechanical experiences I have ever had, for sure.

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In front of the GT3?

It’s time to leave the wheel to Christophe, always more balanced than a journalist, and who after a few laps detects the faults of a sports car, even if it is dedicated to track day like this GT4 RS. Back in front of the box to lower the pressure.

“It’s completely crazy as cash! Why did they deliver it to us with the tires rinsed? », regret the pilot. His time, 1’44”65, confirms what we were hoping for. No, the GT4 RS is not just a brilliant marketing stunt aimed at moving organ lovers. This 718 is cut for the circuit.

“Honestly, with new Cup 2 Rs, I think it is ahead of the GT3”, continues Christophe. Rightly, we will be reminded that our Cayman of the day is badged Rennsport and that its performance on the track is quite legitimate.

We will just emphasize that the standard 718 has never been able to come and worry the GT3, queen of the circuits, when it comes to efficiency. It is now done. It must be said that the crocodile is reworked from head to toe.

Doubled front spring stiffness (+ 80% at the rear), increased negative camber which can be increased by up to 2.2°, wider tracks, revised mechanical self-locking (30% in traction, 37% in thrust), rear window thinner, bonnet and fenders in carbon: this RS requires a circuit to express itself, and Le Vigeant is perfect for it.

Driving a mid-engined sports car to the limits has always been a source of concern for me, the non-driver that I am struggling to perceive how far the natural efficiency of this architecture can withstand my antics. To sum up: on a 911, you feel the backpack is too heavy on the go-around.

On a Cayman, not at all. « It requires a certain margin for whoever discovers this car »confirms the friend Tinseau. “Its potential is such that we want to add more. She accepts it willingly and does not show herself to be tricky in fast driving. It’s when you violent her that the reactions can be surprising. »

First double right: take wide before diving to the rope. The GT4 RS consents to oversteering with good grace, while maintaining its attitude perfectly parallel to the ground. The sequence before arriving at “Too fast” gives me the chips, but once again, the Cayman is reassuringly neutral and very effective.

There is not, I have to admit, this wow effect that had aroused the GT3, whose double front wishbones throw themselves ferociously on the apexes. As retouched as its chassis is, the GT4 RS retains its pseudo-McPherson. One of the many strengths of this version is its handling.

Steering, durable brakes (carbon-ceramic on our model), reactions to the vibrators, ergonomics, driving position, visibility (front): whatever your past with the sports car, this Cayman seems made for all sizes, all driving styles.

Impossible not to mention the other major mechanical asset: the gearbox. Some will be fooled by the shape of the gear knob, because it is indeed a PDK, but it is, dare we say it, perfect. Forget the endless tiering on which I plague so often. Pinion and axle ratio are taken from the 991 GT3 RS phase 2.

As for the dual-mass flywheel, it is recovered from the GT4 Clubsport (Type 982). Admittedly, the paddles attached to the pretty Alcantara steering wheel deserve a few centimeters more, but this double-clutch box responds with dazzling and intelligence.

Only the PDK Sport program lacks responsiveness on the main axes, keeping the report too long. « It’s really a crazy car! » cries Christophe as he takes me away in a sandbag. They really pulled off a sensational trick. Obviously, love at first sight is contagious.

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS: Specifications

  • Engine: flat 6, atmo, 24 S
  • Position: central rear, longitudinal
  • Displacement: 3,996 cc
  • Bore x stroke: 102 x 81.5mm
  • Compression ratio: 13.3
  • Maximum speed: 9000 rpm
  • Maximum power: 500 hp at 8,400 rpm
  • Power per litre: 125 hp/l
  • Maximum torque: 45.9 mkg at 6,750 rpm
  • Torque per litre: 11.5 mkg/l
  • Transmission: rear wheels, 7 speeds, double clutch
  • Self-locking: standard mechanical
  • Traction control: disconnectable as standard
  • SCx – Cx: 0.67 – 0.33
  • Suspension: pseudo-McPherson, electronic dampers, anti-roll bar
  • Steering: rack, variable electromechanical assistance
  • Steering wheel turns/turning circle: 2.6 turns/11.4m
  • Front/rear brakes: 408 mm ventilated and drilled discs, 6-piston calipers/380 mm ventilated and drilled discs, 4-piston calipers (carbon-ceramic discs optional)
  • Anti-lock braking system: standard
  • Manufacturer/tested weight: 1,415/1,491 kg
  • AV/AR distribution: 44/56%
  • Weight/power ratio: 3 kg/hp
  • L – W – H: 4,456 – 1,822 – 1,267 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2482mm
  • Front/rear tracks: 1,545/1,542 mm
  • Wheels: 8.5×11 ZR 20
  • Front & rear tyres: 245/35 & 295/30 ZR 20
  • Tank: 54 l (90 l optional)
  • Base price: €144,485
  • Price of options/penalties: €40,152/€40,000
  • Price of the model tested: €224,637

The opinion of Sylvain Vetaux

We were waiting for confirmation that the GT4 RS was indeed the fabulous tool that track day enthusiasts were hoping for, and we got it. That the journalist ignites for such a machine is in the logic of things.

That the professional pilot joins him was not certain. More exuberant than a GT3, less expensive and almost as efficient on the track with equivalent tires, this Cayman proves that the chassis of the 718 withstands extreme conditions.

Find our “Chrono Tour” of the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS in the Motorsport No. 727 of 07/29/2022.

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