Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Track Drive Review

ROSAMUND, California – With fourteen corners packed into the 1.6-mile circuit, Streets of Willow is a tight, specialized road program in which athletics cars packing 200 to 250 horsepower normally feel to shine the brightest – think Subaru BRZ, Honda S2000, Mazda Miata and the like. Nonetheless even with two times the electricity on tap, the 2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS carves a surgical line through the zigzagging tarmac, simply devours the straights, and then appears to inquire, “Is that all you’ve bought?”

The promise of the GT4 RS has been a lengthy time coming. Considering the fact that the Cayman’s unique debut again in 2005, Porsche has created a string of progressively far more potent iterations of its mid-engined sports activities car, but vocal users of the peanut gallery posited that the automaker would always hold the platform again from its genuine functionality likely due to fears about it probably outshining the 911. It could be argued that the idea was set to bed back in 2016 with the introduction of the prior-era Cayman GT4 (aka the 981), but if there was any lingering question still left, the new GT4 RS (aka 982) has decidedly ended the discussion.

The significant headline is the powerplant, which is a wholly distinct mill from the 4.-liter, by natural means aspirated flat-six that motivates the 982 Cayman GT4. Plucked from existing 911 GT3 (992) ostensibly unchanged – its deficit of 10 horsepower and 15 pound-toes compared to the GT3 chalked up to the backpressure made by the Cayman’s extended exhaust method – the 4.-liter flat-6 fantastic for 493 hp and 331 lb-ft bestows the GT4 RS with the GT3’s prodigious grunt as very well as its soaring 9,000-rpm redline. Right here the side scoops that are positioned just powering the doors supply engine cooling as a substitute of feeding the throttle bodies, and with the loud pedal pinned to the floorboard, the flat-six’s banshee wail competes with the sound of air hurrying into new RS-precise intakes that are set up wherever the rear quarter home windows would generally be, correct at the rear of the occupants’ heads.

But there’s a ton a lot more going on in this article than just an motor swap. Since that flat-6 is mounted backwards relative to its orientation in the 911, engineers desired to acquire a new seven-speed PDK gearbox specially for the GT4 RS. It utilizes the exact gear and axle ratios applied in the previous-era 911 GT3 RS PDK, which Porsche says successfully would make this the most aggressively-geared GT product generated consequently significantly, whilst ancillary factors like the dual-mass flywheel occur immediately from the GT4 Clubsport race automobile.

Supporting the beefed up powertrain is a host of chassis tweaks that consist of the integration of the preceding-era Carrera 4 entrance construction to enhance rigidity, the use of ball joints for all the relationship points on the entrance and rear axles, revised dampers, and elevated spring costs all about. Stopping ability is bolstered by the greater common forged-iron entrance brakes from the GT3 with cooling enhancements presented by new wheel effectively air guides as properly as the NACA ducts on the hood. That hood is made of a carbon fiber, by the way, as are the 911 GT1-inspired entrance fenders. On the aerodynamic front, enhancements like the adjustable front diffuser and swan neck rear wing also supply up to 25% far more downforce than the normal GT4 at 125 mph.

Fixed-back again carbon bucket seats appear normal in the GT4 RS, but sport seats are also offered as a no-charge solution. If you opt for the latter, nevertheless, I’d argue that you are doing it erroneous. These buckets are shockingly cozy regardless of the intense bolstering, and because they place you lessen in the motor vehicle, even taller drivers like myself can discover an great seating position with a helmet on and however have headroom to spare.

With relatively small straights and restricted corners, Streets of Willow tends to showcase a car’s chassis harmony and speak to patch far more than everything else, but Porsche’s decision to run the monitor counter-clockwise threw an exciting curveball into the blend. Soon after expending a lap having re-acclimated while chasing Porsche manufacturing unit driver Patrick Lengthy in a 911 Turbo S, the tempo swiftly commenced to ramp up and it all started off to make perception.

The format permitted us to fly flat-out via the chicane main up to the again straight, which correctly extended the duration of that straight and authorized us to develop up more speed prior to promptly scrubbing it off and diving into the steep banking of the bowl that serves as the centerpiece of the training course. From there it’s a collection of increasingly demanding corners that check precision, patience, and grip ahead of the training course opens again up for a dash back down on to the major straight.

I generally like to cope with swapping the cogs myself, but with the rapid adjustments in velocity and course on this system, I opted to let the PDK do its have issue for the very first handful of periods. With quick, seamless shifts and in close proximity to-clairvoyant programming in PDK Sport method, the transmission dutifully held the motor in the meaty pieces of the powerband at all occasions for utmost response.

But doing so also sales opportunities to a good deal of quick shifts. For the sake of my very own ego and a wish to listen to that flat-six wind out to 9,000 RPM as frequently as doable, I made the decision to bump the shifter about to handbook mode for a session later on in the day to see how I’d fare on the paddles. Though nowhere close to as effective, it’s a noticeably much more involving and visceral knowledge because the noises only get far better as the revs climb, and I found that the flat-6 also has no difficulties pulling the car out of slower corners with authority when you are in a equipment greater than what is perfect.

Porsche furnished two unique cars and trucks for our keep track of classes – just one with the Weissach Deal and another with out. Despite the fact that the enhancements are largely beauty, opting for the Weissach Package deal enables consumers to verify the box for the optional magnesium wheels that have been fitted to the Arctic Grey instance that you see listed here. While each cars were being outfitted with the conventional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (the even-stickier Pilot Sport Cup 2 R is out there as a dealer-installed choice), the advantage of the lessened rotating mass offered by all those sharp-looking mags was apparent thanks to additional responsive first transform-in and lessened Abs intervention in the large braking zones at the ends of the front and back again straights.

Those Cup 2 Rs certainly would have allowed for even bigger rate, but the GT4 RS surely isn’t lacking for grip with out them. Paired with a fast, communicative steering rack and the unyielding halting ability of the optional carbon ceramic brakes, the vehicle is a honed weapon on a race track which is consistently furnishing info about what the tires and chassis are undertaking.

And there are no surprises: running as while the driver is the middle of mass, the GT4 RS is playful and approachable at the limit regardless of its intense tuning. Whilst a 911 GT3 is a uniquely satisfying driving practical experience in component owing to its engine placement, the Cayman GT4 RS is an intuitive instrument of speed that merely does just what you inform it to do. With a beginning value that puts it in the similar ballpark as the GT3 (when you are this deep into six digits, $141,700 compared to 161,100 qualifies), it appears to be inescapable that some will check out to suss out which equipment is in the end the far better sports car or truck. Considering how closely matched the two are when it arrives to outright performance, it’s mainly a subjective endeavor.

1 thing’s for sure, however: At a level in time when downsizing, turbocharging and hybridizing have turn into the purchase of the day, the GT4 RS philosophically stands in immediate opposition to recent automotive developments. And if ideas like the Mission R provide as foreshadowing, it’s crystal clear that the upcoming is on the way regardless of whether we’re completely ready for it or not. With that in thoughts, traditionalists would be smart to smoke ‘em though we’ve acquired ‘em.

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