Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UK Drive: The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 remains one of the motoring greats

The GT4 is an incredibly accomplished road car
The GT4 is an incredibly accomplished road car

What is it?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
The huge rear wing is fitted to aid downforce

How do you follow on from an all-time great? That’s the challenge faced by the Cayman 718 GT4, which arrived in the shadow of its predecessor, the Cayman GT4. Now powered by a 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine – rather than the old car’s 3.8 – the 718 GT4 aims to be just as involving, engaging and downright brilliant to drive as the car it replaces.

We drove the 718 GT4 some years ago, so wanted to give it a thorough going-over to see if it still stands up today. Let’s check it out.

What’s new?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
Compact dimensions mean the GT4 fits in the UK well

Technically not the top dog in the 718 Cayman range anymore – that title falls to the more hardcore Cayman GT4 RS – the GT4 is still packed with go-faster measures and all manner of aerodynamic touches. There’s also a sports exhaust to give this Porsche an even more menacing growl.

Plus, it’s even got adaptive cylinder control that can switch the engine into three-cylinder mode in order to improve efficiency when travelling on the motorway.

What’s under the bonnet?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
The GT4 name is synonymous with dynamic vehicles

As mentioned, the 718 GT4 uses a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine, which actually has its base on the 3.0-litre turbocharged units found in many 911 models. Here, you get 414bhp and 420Nm of torque, equating to a 0-60mph time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 188mph. It’s certainly more than enough performance for a car of this size.

All cars come with a six-speed manual as standard, with power being sent to the rear wheels alone. There’s even a shorter gear level for a more tactile, engaging shift. And, with that cylinder deactivation tech, Porsche says you should see 25.9mpg combined – though we far exceeded that – while CO2 emissions stand at 249g/km.

What’s it like to drive?

All doubts about whether this car could live up to its predecessor’s reputation are quickly put aside once you get behind the wheel. The 718 GT4 is a truly engrossing experience, with all of the main controls put right where you need them.

The gear stick is there to hand, while the fixed-back bucket seats hold you in place well. The steering, as we’ve come to expect from Porsche cars, is utterly superb and though this new engine can’t quite match the old one for outright noise, it’s still wonderfully responsive.

As we’ve found in other Cayman models, the 718 GT4’s gearing is almost hilariously long, with second alone allowing you to reach motorway speed limits. It does mean that, at times, you’re not as encouraged to shift through the gears as you might expect.

How does it look?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
Compact dimensions mean the GT4 fits in the UK well

With its huge wing and large front air intakes, there’s no disguising the GT4 as something ordinary. Our test car came in a particularly eye-catching pink shade – known as Frozen Berry Metallic – which only added to the theatre. This colour is continued inside through a variety of trim pieces finished in the same shade.

Unlike the 911 GT3 models, you can’t get the 718 Cayman GT4 with the Touring package. This lops the rear wing off and gives the car a far more understated appearance. However, few can fault how much drama the GT4 brings to the table.

What’s it like inside?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
The GT4’s cabin is centred around the driver

The GT4’s cabin is centred around the driver, which means that there are actually very few distractions or add-ons to speak of. The Cayman hasn’t been graced with the touch-sensitive buttons that you’ll find in the latest 911 and Panamera models, and instead uses the somewhat old-school-looking controls positioned around the gearstick. That said, they’re easy to use and give you quick access to settings for the traction control and auto-blip gearbox mode.

Luggage space? There’s actually a little more than you might expect, with 130 litres in the ‘frunk’ and an extra 275 litres at the rear. Combined, you’ve actually got a decent amount of storage space and more than enough for a weekend away.

What’s the spec like?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
There’s a good amount of space in the nose

As with most Porsches, the devil is in the detail with the GT4. Prices start from £80,500, but from there you can quickly accelerate the price skywards with all manner of options and additional features. Full bucket seats? £3,788. Upgraded ceramic brakes? £5,597. Even two-zone climate control is an extra at £539.

However, it’s the engineering that you’re paying for here. As one of the sweetest-handling cars around, it feels that the GT4 is well worth the money. It might just be worth going easy with the extras.

Verdict

The Cayman 718 GT4 remains one of the tip-top options if you’re after involvement from your sports car. Yes, it may have lost a tiny bit of outright aural drama, but in all other areas, it’s still hard to beat. In an age of electrification, the GT4 seems like a fitting reminder of just what is possible with an engine, a well-executed chassis and a six-speed manual gearbox.

Given the industry’s fondness for turbocharging, it feels as though this GT4 might be something of a last hurrah. So it’s best to make the most of it.

  • Model: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
  • Starting price: £80,500
  • Engine: 4.0-litre six-cylinder petrol
  • Power: 414bhp
  • Torque: 420Nm
  • 0-60mph: 4.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 188mph
  • Economy: 25.9mpg
  • Emissions: 249g/km

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]