RE: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 first ride

RE: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 first ride

Thursday 4th July

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 | First ride!

A ride will never be as good as a drive, but who'd pass up a chance to experience the new GT4?



The 2019 Cayman GT4 might have a new 4.0-litre engine and comprehensively revised chassis setup, but few would describe it as anything more than a thorough evolution of the old car. The last GT4 was so lovely to steer, so engaging and so wonderfully in tune with your inputs that any drastic alteration would have been wholly unnecessary. Yet still, even in the company of ultra-rare exotica, the new GT4 that PH gets to ride in at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is garnering as much attention as the 935 parked beside it. It doesn't need to shout; people are just excited about the GT4.

Still, this new car, with its bored-out and naturally aspirated version of the present 992 turbo engine, must be sublime to make even a slight improvement on its predecessor. And it really needs to do that in order to restore some credibility to the Cayman nametag, which has suffered under the introduction of the ill-received 718 flat four motors. As our yellow GT4's flat-six fires up, there are smiles both inside and outside the awning as people all collectively enjoy the tone. There's nothing quite like a Stuttgart flat six, is there?


With 420hp and 310lb ft of torque produced by the Porsche's 9A2 Evo powerplant, there's a healthy 35hp advantage over the old car on offer. And while an 8,000rpm redline can't compare to the Speedster's GT3-sourced 4.0-litre and its 9,000 limit, we doubt many will care in a Cayman that has three pedals and a manual gear lever. Our driver, former Britcar and British GT4 champ Ross Wylie, knows his way around Porsches thanks to a season in Carrera Cup GB. But this is his first go in a GT4 and his first run up the Goodwood hill since last year, so let's not expect anything too fast, shall we?

Thing is, pro drivers are a different breed from the rest of us, so as soon as we're at the front of the Supercar Paddock queue and the marshal waves the flag, Ross has us charging towards the first turn as if he knows nothing else. Can you notice the extra grunt from the passenger seat? It's impossible to tell subjectively, obviously, but rest assured this GT4 is rapid to get going and the mid-range feels strong. It's also clear this is a motor that likes to rev as just before Ross hits the brakes it seems to find a second wind.


The way the GT4 reacts through the next bit feels indistinguishable from the old GT4; the nose dips only slightly with Ross's hard hit of the middle pedal, then the car hunkers down as he angles it right. It's all subjective again, but the GT4 feels almost race-car like from the left seat and Ross even comments later that the steering is very responsive to make the front end feel ultra-eager. Again, all former GT4 traits, but with real potential that things have been ramped up five or ten per cent with Porsche's chassis improvements.

Indeed, Ross is so confident in what's beneath him that's he's back on the power in what he later described a "linear fashion" - we'd see it as stamping back on the throttle. The limited-slip differential behind, now aided by torque vectoring, duly responds and those rears bite into the surface beautifully. Ross reckons his decision to not change down into second meant that our exit was compromised; we exit at 4,000rpm and the car powers out intently, but there's clearly lots more to be had at the top as the thrust builds and builds.


We fire under the bridge, flat six behind making all the glorious sounds we've missed so dearly from the 718 range until now, before Ross is hard back on the brakes. There's so little rock from the body as the dampers are quick to tense, meaning at the first stroke of steering lock the car feels beautifully loaded up from the passenger seat; it must inspire much confidence on the other side as Ross's first ever GT4 run through Molecomb is taken with a scary (for yours truly, anyway!) amount of commitment and he's back on the power long before the hay bales have passed our vision. Traction is brilliant and the engine really does spin enthusiastically towards its redline. Without a back-to-back in the last GT4, we can't decisively say things are better, but rest assured the new 4.0-litre feels very good.

There is, however, one teeny, tiny thing. The engine doesn't sound quite as vocal as the old 3.8. Perhaps it's the noise-reducing influence of a race helmet, but the tone in the cabin certainly feels like it's a few decibels lower than before. And the exhaust note from outside also sounds a little smoother, lacking the endearing gruffness of the old flat six at low revs that made it sound like a proper race car at times. Is this the impact of a particulate filter? Perhaps so. But, then again, the Goodwood paddock and hill climb are probably not fair places to test such a thing; there are enough unsilenced V12s around to alter the context a bit. So let's cut the GT4 some slack for now. First impressions are good - very, very good.







[Photos: Dan Bathie]

Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

946 posts

40 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Great that Porsche has not limited production numbers on this gen GT4. One day I’ll have one of these in the garage. cloud9

Plate spinner

13,194 posts

143 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Lovely car and great to see a 6 back in the Cayman thumbup

Ursicles

827 posts

185 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Is it possible to buy one of these?

Lots of things saying numbers aren't limited - might need to pop to the OPC and have a chat.

isaldiri

4,686 posts

111 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
the article said:
but the GT4 feels almost race-car like...
Talk about laughable hyperbole....the old one definitely was anything but race-car like and neither will the new one.

Burnham

3,498 posts

202 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
isaldiri said:
the article said:
but the GT4 feels almost race-car like...
...the old one definitely was anything but race-car like and neither will the new one.
Really? Maybe a little more race-car like than the standard model.
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Riverside Red

826 posts

78 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Well the Boxster Spyder is certainly limited, my local OPC basically isn't interested in selling one to a mere mortal, who has only bought one previous Porsche in his motoring lifetime.

I really don't enjoy the Porsche ownership experience tbh.

RR

Wills2

15,719 posts

118 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Ursicles said:
Is it possible to buy one of these?

Lots of things saying numbers aren't limited - might need to pop to the OPC and have a chat.
They are limited by the amount they want to or can build, so yes limited but not to a specific number.



av185

8,595 posts

70 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Wonder how Porsche managed to change the colour of the Goodwood car from Racing Yellow to Speed yellow......

Interesting there are no 718 numbers on the rear unlike the Spyder.

GT4RS

1,753 posts

140 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
Great that Porsche has not limited production numbers on this gen GT4. One day I’ll have one of these in the garage. cloud9
You may want to check that comment, from my understanding they will be restricting supply as normal. Have you spoken with your OPC?

SidewaysSi

5,414 posts

177 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
I got offered one but turned it down. Easy to get one IME.

Not sure with the current economic climate that speculators will be that interested this time.

Roma101

468 posts

90 months

Thursday 4th July
quotequote all
Well, I put my name down for one last month. There was an unspoken understanding between the salesman and me that I am at the very bottom of the list! Stranger things have happened though!

jimmsy

108 posts

70 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
Having heard both the test miles at the Nürburgring and this car at FOS yesterday, I have to say that the sound was really disappointing. The previous gen car sounds a lot better to me, and this one is really flat and characterless.

Sandpit Steve

211 posts

17 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
Want. Hopefully they’ll tell all the speculators unofficially that it’s limited, then just keep making them.

I seem to recall that these are going down the standard 718 production line, rather than coming out of Weissach, so it’s likely that they’ll keep building them if the demand is there. Demand for the four-pot 718 definitely isn’t there, it’s dropped off a cliff compared to the old n/a six.

RudeDog

1,477 posts

117 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
Roma101 said:
Well, I put my name down for one last month. There was an unspoken understanding between the salesman and me that I am at the very bottom of the list! Stranger things have happened though!
I sent a letter of intent for one of these to the Reading OPC two years ago and I am on my second Porsche (and currently own one of them). I haven't heard a peep so I wouldn't hold your breath if I was you.

PhantomPH

3,050 posts

168 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
I got offered one but turned it down. Easy to get one IME.

Not sure with the current economic climate that speculators will be that interested this time.
Not 100% sure I agree with the second sentiment - When 'economic climate' is a concern, physical assets tend to be where people will put some money. And TBH history tells us that any GT series Porsche product will always command a strong price on the open market.

I have just lost a handful of cash on my 718CS (lost thick end of £20k in it's first year) and I put that down to two things - the 4-pot being a bit misunderstood and the fact that I dared to use it - so the mileage reads 10k right now.

Ironically, I think that the 718 values firmed up a little during the factory shutdown as people couldn't get them (perfect example of supply and demand) but that seems to have reversed now.

Shame really, as the 718S is a great car. Yes, the engine is an acquired taste but on the whole it's fast as feck, handles brilliantly, turns heads (if that's your bag) and has the badge on the nose that counts.

I see no reason why this GT4 will not do very well in the speculator arena - just perhaps not AS well as the previous generation.

frayz

1,217 posts

102 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
Porsche saying these will be available to buy is absolute BS for 99.9% of us.

Yes they're not limited numbers, but 100% limited availability. The usual Insta-tubers will get one blah blah.
Its embarrassing owning a Porsche to be honest.

av185

8,595 posts

70 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
SidewaysSi said:
I got offered one but turned it down. Easy to get one IME.

Not sure with the current economic climate that speculators will be that interested this time.
Not 100% sure I agree with the second sentiment - When 'economic climate' is a concern, physical assets tend to be where people will put some money. And TBH history tells us that any GT series Porsche product will always command a strong price on the open market.

I have just lost a handful of cash on my 718CS (lost thick end of £20k in it's first year) and I put that down to two things - the 4-pot being a bit misunderstood and the fact that I dared to use it - so the mileage reads 10k right now.

Ironically, I think that the 718 values firmed up a little during the factory shutdown as people couldn't get them (perfect example of supply and demand) but that seems to have reversed now.

Shame really, as the 718S is a great car. Yes, the engine is an acquired taste but on the whole it's fast as feck, handles brilliantly, turns heads (if that's your bag) and has the badge on the nose that counts.

I see no reason why this GT4 will not do very well in the speculator arena - just perhaps not AS well as the previous generation.
The possible 10 %Brexit surcharge could be the deciding factor.

This would potentially make a decent specced 718 GT4 around £100k otr.

A high price for a Cayman.

paul whittaker

3 posts

79 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
The teeny tiny thing - noise I think was reduced in volume on purpose.
I have a 2016 GT4 and it measures a static 105 db which is on the limit for most circuits, and I have been chucked off Donington and Bedford together with other GT4 drivers.
Porsche do not communicate very well on how to reduce the noise levels.
But it sounds wonderful as it is.


PhantomPH

3,050 posts

168 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
av185 said:
The possible 10 %Brexit surcharge could be the deciding factor.

This would potentially make a decent specced 718 GT4 around £100k otr.

A high price for a Cayman.
Which is why the 10% surcharge will never happen. It would be the sttest move for trade on both sides of the fence...and we all know that politicians have too many 'friends' who would be deeply unhappy in the event of that. *nudge wink*

rockin

6,633 posts

188 months

Friday 5th July
quotequote all
frayz said:
Porsche saying these will be available to buy is absolute BS for 99.9% of us.

Yes they're not limited numbers, but 100% limited availability. The usual Insta-tubers will get one blah blah.
The used market is, and will be, full of nearly-new GT4s. If you really want one, just buy one.