TESTED: 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

TESTED: 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

It's so good we can't shut up about it

  • For having "only" 414 horsepower, the 718 Cayman GT4 sure is quick
  • This is the best-handling sports car on sale today
  • It might be tough to justify its price, until you drive one

When Porsche takes one of its already capable sports cars and sets out to build a more focused version of it, you know it's going to be good. The 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, which we will refer to as the GT4 from here on out, takes the basic 718 Cayman and adds a bucketload of performance goodies: a special suspension, a lower ride height, larger brakes, a fixed rear wing, ultra-sticky summer tires and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Oh, and there's the 4.0-liter flat-six engine tuned to make 414 horsepower and rev to 8,000 rpm. Yeah, the GT4 is a good thing.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Looks fast, sounds fast, is fast

It is wonderful that Porsche offers the GT4 with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. But if you want to go as fast as possible, Porsche's PDK dual-clutch automatic is the way to go. Summoning the GT4's launch control (just put the transmission into Sport and disable stability control) sends the Porsche off the line with a 6,000-rpm clutch drop and on to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds (3.6 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like the magazines use). Keep your foot in it and the GT4 howls through the quarter-mile in just 12 seconds at just over 115 mph.

It's definitely worth mentioning that the GT4 has this speed with "only" 414 horsepower. Most sports cars need another 100 horsepower to match these numbers, and none sounds as glorious as the Porsche. If we could change one thing, and it really is only one thing, we'd give the GT4 shorter gearing to better match the high-revving nature of the engine and its relatively narrow powerband. We'd still buy one anyway.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

So this is what perfect feels like

Setting aside the GT4's staggering 1.14 g on the skidpad, if we can, let's talk about just how good the GT4 is to drive. There was a time, probably before you were old enough to drive, where you imagined what it would be like to drive a sports car. You imagined the car reacting to your every move, seemingly devoid of limits and giving you the confidence to go faster through every corner. Well, that's what driving the GT4 feels like.

It possesses an amazing balance, and thanks to nearly telepathic steering, the GT4 can go anywhere you're precise enough to put it. At its considerable limits (remember that 1.14 g figure from the skidpad) there's mild understeer, but experienced drivers can will the GT4 to do just about anything they please. Yes, we're gushing. Yes, it's that good.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Edmunds says

More than one of our editors declared the GT4 to be the best sports car they've ever driven. And that feeling isn't just the result of cold, hard numbers. Instead, it's the combination of the sound from the 4.0-liter flat-six, the responsiveness of the chassis, and the car's ability to do whatever you want all day long. Yeah, it's a lot of money. And yeah, you can buy cars with more speed and power for less, but you'll have a very hard time finding a car that simply feels as good to drive as the GT4.


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