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The 2021 Porsche Cayman GT4 is sharp and candy no matter transmission

The GT4 is now obtainable with a handbook or automated.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Some points can’t be quantified. The sound of a naturally aspirated flat-six engine spinning at 8,000 rpm. Loud-and-clear solutions felt by a steering wheel. The crisp, rewarding movement of a handbook transmission clicking from gear to gear. All of these sensations are paramount to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 experience. So what happens while you take one away?


Desk of Contents

  • Super-sharp reflexes
  • Sturdy and sonorous flat-six power
  • Quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission

Don’t Like

  • Small paddle shifters
  • Outdated infotainment tech
  • Can not substitute the handbook experience

For 2021, the Cayman GT4 is available with Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s the equivalent gearbox you might uncover in plenty of the company’s completely different sports activities actions vehicles, and it comes with a number of benefits. No matter together with 68 kilos to the GT4’s curb weight, the Cayman is quicker with PDK. It’s going to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, in distinction with 4.2 seconds with the handbook transmission. PDK moreover permits the engine to supply a skosh further torque — 317 pound-feet, up from 309 — and even makes the GT4 a bit further surroundings pleasant, with 1-mpg will enhance all through the board. In any case, the outcome’s a still-dismal 18 mpg metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 20 mpg combined, nonetheless hey, any enhancements are good.

No shock, PDK works beautifully with the GT4’s 4.0-liter flat-six. Left to its private models, gear modifications are as clear as they’re quick, they normally’re utterly timed, too. The transmission is conscious of when you’re driving laborious and holds gears near redline to accommodate. Press the PDK Sport button on the center stack and the DCT is far more alert, sustaining the engine revving extreme to eke out every one in all its 414 horsepower. Actually really feel like choosing your particular person journey? Metal paddles linked to the steering wheel will let you identify up your particular person shift logic, and inputs are rewarded with speedy responses. I need the paddles have been larger and mounted on the column — the correct way — nonetheless as far as dual-clutch transmissions go, it’s truly laborious to beat PDK.

Nonetheless whereas the DCT’s enhancements are undeniably clear, what the GT4 optimistic elements in aim effectivity it loses in subjective enjoyment. Lots of why I actually just like the Cayman GT4 comes proper right down to its raw, involving character; relating to driver solutions, modern vehicles don’t get rather a lot higher than this. The same old six-speed handbook transmission heightens that engagement, pulling you into the experience with a weighty clutch pedal, a hefty gear lever and a short-throw ‘area so tactile you might find yourself clicking by the gears at stoplights simply because it feels that good.

I’ve heard plenty of folks complain regarding the GT4’s handbook transmission, saying the gearing is just too prolonged to truly make it fulfilling. Nonetheless I don’t get the hate. Merely since you don’t have to shift as normally doesn’t indicate you can’t. You needn’t persistently run between 6,000 and eight,000 rpm throughout the GT4 to have a whale of a time; the 4.0-liter engine has ample midrange shove. You aren’t setting lap data on public roads, finally. In the event you want to shift, merely freaking shift.

I need the PDK automotive had larger paddle shifters.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Nonetheless, whichever transmission you choose, the GT4 is a wonderful automotive. Porsche’s 718 chassis can nearly do no mistaken, and on this most aggressive spec, it’s a pleasure to wring out many times up and down my favorite canyon roads. A relentless stream of solutions flows by the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and I can actually really feel reverberations from the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires up by the chassis and into the fixed bucket seats. These carbon fiber-reinforced chairs aren’t exactly constructed for long-haul comfort, nonetheless then as soon as extra, neither is the GT4.

However on the equivalent time, the Cayman is shockingly livable. The chassis just isn’t so stiff that it’ll punish you for driving on powerful pavement, which is excellent considering how taut this automotive is on a mountain freeway. Wind and tire noise undoubtedly make themselves acknowledged, nevertheless it absolutely’s nothing you might’t drown out with quite a lot of twists of the stereo amount knob. Or, you acknowledge, merely open the sport exhaust and dig into the throttle. There’s nothing similar to the wail of a flat-six.

These full bucket seats are correctly supportive.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Cayman’s inside is certainly displaying its age, though the simple affiliation of fixed buttons on the center stack makes them easy to seek out whereas driving, and there’s a satisfying click on on to their movement. The fabric door pulls have however to lose their novelty, and bear in mind, the Cayman may be pretty helpful. The mid-engine format means there’s a deep frunk and a small nonetheless usable baggage compartment beneath the rear hatch.

If there’s one place the place the 718 truly feels outdated, it’s throughout the tech division. The GT4’s 7-inch color touchscreen runs the oldest iteration of Porsche’s PCM software program program with a relatively elementary menu building. You could get Apple CarPlay nonetheless Android Auto continues to be unavailable. Want the latest and largest driver assist choices? You may have purchased the mistaken automotive, pal.

Look intently and you might uncover this Gentian Blue GT4 has a roll cage behind the seats, nonetheless don’t get too excited. That is part of a Clubsport package deal deal that’s not obtainable throughout the US that incorporates a six-point seat belt for the driving pressure and a lightweight fire extinguisher because of, you acknowledge, racing is likely to be dangerous. The one motive this specific automotive has the Clubsport risk is because of it’s a German-spec GT4 that Porsche imported to the US for testing. The European amount plate on the doorway bumper just isn’t just for current, is what I’m saying.

Love the look of Gentian Blue.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 2021 Cayman GT4 begins at $102,550, along with $1,350 for trip spot, and the model new PDK risk supplies $3,210 to the underside line. Seize quite a lot of key decisions like the whole bucket seats ($5,900), carbon ceramic brakes ($8,000), LED headlights ($2,140) and a not-boring paint color (you’re going to get it in Frozen Berry pink!) and a correctly optioned GT4 will run you spherical $125,000. Considering this issue can chase down supercars costing twice as rather a lot, that hefty-sounding price tag oddly looks as if a bargain. Weird, I do know.

Would I personally go for the PDK risk throughout the Cayman GT4? No. It takes away from the driving experience an extreme quantity of for my liking, and the effectivity optimistic elements can’t make up for that lack of involvement. The Cayman GT4 is no doubt one of many world’s best sports activities actions vehicles, and that’s true whether or not or not you go handbook or automated. Nonetheless for a automotive that’s so focused on an all-encompassing sensory experience, I’m unable to consider searching for one and never utilizing a historically quintessential issue of the bond between automotive and driver.


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