Christian Wardlaw has worked in the automotive industry since 1994. He has written nearly 10,000 car-related articles and tested and reviewed more than 2,000 vehicles over the course of his career. Chris is a correspondent at Edmunds and was the first editor-in-chief of Edmunds.com in the 1990s. He has also contributed to Autotrader, CarGurus, J.D. Power, Kelley Blue Book, NADAguides, New York Daily News Autos and WardsAuto. His mom claims that his first word was “car,” and Chris believes that Miata is always the answer.
Kurt Niebuhr has worked in the automotive industry since 2005. A automotive photographer by trade, Kurt is now one of Edmunds' high-performance test drivers. He's driven and photographed hundreds, if not thousands, of vehicles all over the world, so Kurt's library of automotive experiences would certainly make for a good book. When not dreaming about getting his racing license or trying to buy out-of-date film for his cameras, Kurt can usually be found cursing at his 1966 Mustang.
Outstanding handling and steering feel
Available six-cylinder engine delivers stirring performance
Broad range of customization options
Unrefined four-cylinder engine and exhaust noise
More expensive than many of its closest competitors
Tech features list is thin
New Style Edition variant slots between base and S models
Porsche discontinues the Cayman T and GT4
Track-optimized Manthey Kit planned for top-dog GT4 RS
Part of the third 718 Cayman generation introduced for 2017
Serving as Porsche's entry-level sports car, the 718 Cayman is a two-seat coupe equipped with a mid-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder or naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine. However, the four-cylinder strikes the wrong chords in an otherwise symphonic mechanical soundtrack, so you may wish to increase your budget and step up to the GTS 4.0 or GT4 RS, where the song of the flat-six makes you go weak in the knees. Nevertheless, if you can dismiss the turbo-four's bleating, the 718 Cayman supplies the performance and razor-sharp reflexes you expect in a mid-engine sports car. Learn more in the Edmunds Expert Rating.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS 2dr Coupe (4.0L 6cyl 7AM) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
The name tells you what you need to know about the new-for-2024 718 Cayman Style Edition. Parked within the lineup between the base model and the Cayman S, the Style Edition has black or white stripes and 20-inch wheels to match. Inside, you'll find leather on the seats and selected parts of the cabin, with light gray stitching throughout. If that's not exciting enough, Porsche is planning a Manthey Kit for the high-performance 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Optimized for track driving, the aerodynamic and chassis upgrades shaved more than 6 seconds on a run around Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife, according to Porsche.
Competitors to consider
Arguably, the 718 Cayman is in a class of its own. But that doesn't mean there aren't alternatives. For example, the BMW M2 costs less, offers more practicality, and supplies greater performance. Or you could get a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which brings a lot more power and personality to the party. If the Vette is too big and brash, you could try the tailored Jaguar F-Type on for size. Or increase your budget and get the 911 Carrera that you really want.
Edmunds Expert Rating
Our VerdictThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is all about high-performance driving enjoyment. Look no further if you seek exemplary handling and steering unsullied by the latest technological enhancements.
How does the 718 Cayman GT4 drive? Equipped with the PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, our test 718 Cayman GT4 ripped from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and howled past the quarter mile in 12 seconds flat at over 115 mph. For comparison, this is a little slower than the new Corvette (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and 11.6 seconds in the quarter) but still plenty quick.
Braking is even better, with a firm and easy-to-control pedal and tremendous stopping power. We measured an impressively short stopping distance of 98 feet from 60 mph — that's several feet shorter than both the Corvette and the BMW M4. Our test car had the optional carbon-ceramic brakes. They were fade-free in our performance tests and proved to be easy to modulate for smooth stops around town.
Handling is everything you want from a sports car. It's really that good. Steering feel is excellent, and the GT4 displays beautiful balance at all speeds. We pulled 1.14 g on our skidpad, which is pretty much higher than anything else in the class. A six-speed manual or Porsche's slick-shifting PDK automatic is available, but both have gearing that's a little too tall, which fails to make the most of the engine's power output. It's our only, and relatively minor, complaint in this category.
How comfortable is the 718 Cayman GT4? Modern performance cars don't sacrifice much comfort in the pursuit of speed. The Cayman GT4's main drawback is its climate control system. It cools and heats the cabin fine, but its combination of very small buttons and rocker switches is far from ideal. The other downside is interior noise. The 4.0-liter flat-six engine dominates the cabin's ambiance at speed and is rivaled by tire and road noise around town.
Ride comfort in such a high-performance car is often a concern. The GT4 is stiff but offers a fair bit of compliance on most roads. The stiffer of the two selectable suspension settings offers better body control for faster canyon and track driving yet maintains some decorum. Our test car was fitted with the one-piece carbon bucket seats. They're relatively comfortable for a few hours of driving, but the Cayman's other available seat designs offer heating and far better breathability.
How’s the interior? The Cayman GT4's driving position is great, but the rest of the controls leave something to be desired. The buttons are small and not easy to find or read without a second glance. The infotainment screen is fairly easy to use and is well integrated into the pared-down interior, but it is one of Porsche's older units and looks a bit dated.
The Cayman is low to the ground, and that can make it difficult to get in and out gracefully. But you'll enjoy ample legroom and headroom once you're situated. Visibility out of the front and sides is very good, but the low roofline reduces your visibility rearward.
How’s the tech? Depending on your priorities, the tech in the Cayman GT4 might be exactly what you want or severely lacking in style and substance. For example, voice controls and a navigation system are both optional. The standard audio system's sound quality is underwhelming. An upgraded system is available, but the Cayman's elevated interior noise might make it difficult to enjoy. Porsche charges extra for Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and Android Auto is not available.
Driver aids are also largely absent. If you want features such as traffic-adaptive adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic warning, you should look elsewhere. On the upside, the GT4 offers track-tuned stability and traction control systems as well as an excellent antilock braking system to get the most out of the car's performance in wet or dry weather.
How’s the storage? The 718 Cayman has a front and a rear trunk. The front trunk on the GT4 can fit a carry-on suitcase or a few bags of groceries, while the rear trunk is suitable for jackets or duffel bags. Combined, they provide 14.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity. That's more than the mid-engine Corvette offers (12.6 cubes), but the split prevents you from loading a larger item that might otherwise fit in one trunk of the same total size.
In-cabin storage is meager. You can fit sunglasses and a couple of smartphones and that's about it. The cupholders are fussy to use and a bit out of reach for the driver. You essentially lose any storage in the center armrest bin if you opt for the wireless charger too. There are two storage compartments located aft of the seats but you can't reach them while driving.
How economical is the 718 Cayman GT4? The EPA gives the PDK-equipped Cayman GT4 a fuel economy estimate of 20 mpg combined. The Corvette and BMW M4 Competition get 19 mpg combined. Our test GT4 managed a credible 22.2 mpg on our 115-mile evaluation route, and that was even with some enthusiastic driving mixed in.
Is the 718 Cayman GT4 a good value? For those who will settle for nothing less than arguably the best-handling car on the market, the GT4's starting price of around $100,000 won't matter much. Our test car stickered at more than $127,000 due to options including carbon-ceramic brakes and one-piece bucket seats. Just know that faster and nearly-as-capable cars such as the Corvette and the M4 are available for tens of thousands of dollars less.
As you'd expect, high-quality materials and excellent attention to detail are everywhere. But we were disappointed by the occasionally creaky plastic spokes on our test car's steering wheel. Warranty coverage is about average — Porsche offers four years/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage and roadside assistance. Several prepaid scheduled maintenance plans are available.
A handful of our editors say this is the best-handling and best all-around sports car they've ever driven. What it lacks in outright power it more than makes up for in balance, capability and the confidence it instills in its driver. There are faster cars, and there are even faster Porsches, but the Cayman GT4 offers the right amount of power, handling and feel to top the charts in many of the performance categories that matter most.
This is one of the few modern cars that needs its driver to make the most of all its impressive mechanicals. It doesn't offer much in the way of distractions and simply rewards the driver with precise, predictable reactions and the flat-six Porsche howl we used to dream about as kids.
Which 718 Cayman does Edmunds recommend?
If you're spending this kind of money on a sports car, then you should get the 718 Cayman Style Edition. Nah. Just kidding! Skip all of the four-cylinder versions of this car and go straight to the Cayman GTS 4.0, which is the most affordable model that has the seductive 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine. It's not cheap, but it represents money well spent.
Porsche 718 Cayman models
The 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman is a two-seat sports car in a coupe body style. It comes in five variations: the base 718 Cayman, 718 Cayman Style Edition, 718 Cayman S, 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (300 horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque) is standard in the base and Style Edition models. The Cayman S uses a larger turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder tuned to produce 350 horsepower and 309 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission powers the rear wheels, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (Porsche's PDK) is optional.
Upgrade to the GTS 4.0 for a 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine (394 hp, 309 lb-ft of torque or 317 lb-ft with the PDK). The GT4 RS also has this engine, but it's massaged to make 493 horsepower and 331 lb-ft and has the PDK as standard equipment.
Highlights of the base 718 Cayman include:
18-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires
Adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
Parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible in front of or behind the vehicle when parking)
Sport exhaust system
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Heated sport seats
Partial leather upholstery
Apple CarPlay smartphone integration
Porsche Connect services with access to a Wi-Fi hotspot
Two USB ports
Eight-speaker audio system
718 Cayman Style Edition
The Cayman Style Edition is all about looks with a little extra luxury:
Black exhaust outlets
Illuminated doorsill guards
Heated steering wheel
718 Cayman S
The Cayman S picks up where the base Cayman leaves off and increases performance with a more powerful engine and:
19-inch alloy wheels
Larger fuel tank
Dual exhaust outlets
718 Cayman GTS 4.0
The GTS 4.0 gets numerous performance upgrades, including a bigger and more satisfying six-cylinder engine. Additional features include:
20-inch black wheels
GTS-specific design and interior trim details
Variable-damping sport suspension lowered 20 mm
Mechanical limited-slip differential and torque vectoring (can enhance traction and agility when accelerating or cornering)
Sport Chrono package (adds performance-enhancing features)
Sport seats with added bolstering
GT Sport steering wheel
718 Cayman GT4 RS
The GT4 RS pulls out all the stops, delivering a track-ready version of the Cayman for use on the street. It builds on the GTS 4.0 model's equipment list with:
20-inch forged aluminum wheels
Variable-damping performance suspension lowered 30 mm
Stainless steel exhaust system
More aggressive aerodynamic package
Larger front air intakes and pressure-reducing vents
Functional air intakes replacing the rear quarter windows
Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CRFP) hood and front and rear fenders
CFRP fixed rear wing
CFRP bucket seats
Leather and synthetic suede upholstery
Fabric door-opening loops
Carbon-fiber interior trim
A Weissach package is available for the GT4 RS, adding:
More carbon fiber inside and out
Added synthetic suede in the cabin
Exclusive interior logos
Porsche allows you to customize any 718 Cayman through a lengthy menu of personalization options. In addition, performance features found on the more expensive models are sometimes available on the more affordable variants. Other notable extras include:
Keyless entry and ignition
Full leather upholstery
14-way or 18-way power-adjustable sport seats
Bose or Burmester premium sound system
Blind-spot warning (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Cayman and the car in front)
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Most films of a Porsche Cayman GT4 RS start like this, a long lens beauty shot, a hard cut to the rev counter spinning to 9,000 RPM, a piece of vegetation fluttering artfully as the car roars past. But we're going to do something a little bit different. Hi, Alistair Weaver here for Edmunds with our full instrumented test of the GT4 RS.
We're going to find out whether this 493-horsepower coupe really can do 0 to 60 in just 3.2 seconds, as Porsche claims. We're going to measure the braking. We're going to measure the lateral acceleration. That's grip. And if our kit can handle it, we're even going to measure the noise. Hoo hoo!
Then we're going to push it to the limit on our tight and twisty circuit to find out whether this $143,000 plus options Cayman finally has the bite we've always craved. And now, without further ado, let's get on with it. Actually, before we get on with it, please subscribe to the channel, and don't forget the bell. And if you're looking to sell your car, head to edmunds.com/sellmycar for a cash offer. Right, onwards.
This is the car we thought Porsche might never build. For years, the marketing types held back the Cayman for fear of undermining the 911. But having sounded the death knell of the gas powered Cayman, they're finally letting the motorsport engineers have their way. Translated into German, it's sod it. What's the harm now? What we have here, then, is a mid-engine Cayman with the flat 6 from a 911 GT3 and a 7-speed flappy paddle gearbox with cogs from a race car.
You get 493 horsepower, 9 less than a GT3, thanks to a more challenging exhaust. It starts at just over 150 grand, but a few choice options sees our test car topping out at over 195. We're going to take a closer look in a moment, but let's get on with the action. Here's our testing guru, Kurt Niebuhr with the straight line stuff. Talking of which, better get out of here.
KURT NIEBUHR: All right, launch control, 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Really not much to it. PDK Sport. Got the exhaust wide open. Should just be able to left foot, right foot, and then let it rip. And it's going to rip. That's fast. That sounds [BLEEP] rad-- all capital letters. Oh, boy. This is the hardest stopping car I've ever tested.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Now, it's going to take us time to crunch the numbers. And I say that just to rile P1ca550, who may own a McLaren and a Ferrari and live in California, but definitely doesn't like artistic license. Anyway, here's the walk around I promised you. There are two big things that Porsche is trying to achieve aesthetically. One is to reduce the mass, and the second is to improve the aerodynamics.
So let's start with the mass saving first. If you go for the Weissach package, you get this exposed carbon fiber hood, but that's not all. This front fender is also carbon reinforced plastic. Magnesium wheels, they're $15,500 and include a wonderful center lock there. Carbon fiber wing mirrors, little carbon fiber triangle here, that's an extra $740, a bargain. More carbon here, more carbon here. Of course, the delicious rear wing. And this rear window now has special weight saving glass that honestly sounds more like plastic.
And then inside, you get rather fantastic bucket seats. You get a little fabric door pull in place of a plastic handle and a little bit of net in the door pocket, which removes a bit more plastic. Then, of course, there's the piece de resistance, the stick-on Porsche badge. Gone is the enamel, helping you save a fraction of an ounce.
Is it silly? Yes. Is it cool? Absolutely. And frankly, it makes me feel very guilty for last night's massive pizza.
What does this actually mean on our scales? The RS weighed in at 3,247 pounds, 32 pounds less than a GT4, and a whopping 341 pounds less than a 911 Carrera 4 GTS, but the GT3 was lighter still, coming in 8 pounds under the RS, despite being much larger.
The other part, of course, of the aesthetic transformation is all about air and cooling, which, let's face it, it's two sides of the same coin. Now, let me start with the so-called NACA ducts. Now, indulge me for a moment, because this is fantastic track day banter. NACA stands for National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It was actually the forerunner to NASA.
And what these things do is to improve the cooling without increasing the drag, which is really the Holy Grail. Now, you might wonder what they're actually feeding, but if you open the hood, you can see there's a little hole in here. And what it's doing is channeling air down to the brakes to cool off the stoppers.
So that's the first part of it. What else do we have? Well, we have these ducts here, which derive from a 911 GT3 RS. They're designed to reduce the pressure around the front wheels at high speed. If you look down the side of the car, the vent at the bottom is no longer providing air to the engine. It's really just for cooling, and instead the intakes sit around your shoulders. Now, that's a big clue to this car's character, and we'll talk more about that when we're actually off and running.
What else? Well, if you're a proper track day warrior, you can adjust the rear wing through several positions using a little Allen key. But if you do that, you also have to adjust the front splitter to balance out the aero.
What else? Well, you can tweak the camber. You can tweak the anti-roll bars, and you can tweak the towing, because obviously you know far more than Porsche about how to set these things up. Being a little bit cynical here.
As you'd expect, the whole thing sits on RS specific springs and dampers. And on this car in particular, you get Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which, as you can see, are basically hand-cut slicks. Super soft compound, very similar, if not identical, to the Porsche Super Cup race tire. They work fantastically well when it's super hot. I mean, it's about a million degrees here in Southern California. Not so good if it's cold or raining, so just bear that in mind.
Anyway, that's the exterior. Let's take a peek inside. Inside, it's pretty much standard Cayman fare, but you do get lashings of race tech, a bit of carbon fiber, a gearstick pinched from the 911 GT3, a cute little Racetech steering wheel, and, of course, these fabulous carbon fiber bucket seats.
Now, debate rages about how comfortable they are. I think they're superb. My old friend and coworker, Carlos Lago, thinks they're the worst things ever invented, but, you know, he's now at Car and Driver. So what does he know? Miss you, buddy.
Beyond that, well, it's proper practical Cayman affair. You get these wonderfully overengineered cup holders that Porsche will never ever build again, presumably because they're vastly expensive. Apple CarPlay, front trunk, rear trunk. The only thing you don't get at the rear is a luggage cover, so keep that gold Rolex in the front.
Don't get a luggage cover. Why? Because it's extra weight.
Of course, we can't do a Porsche review without playing the comedy options game. Racetech sun visors, $590. Personal favorite, though, this holder for your cell phone-- $530. When I say holder, I don't mean wireless charger. I mean holder.
One piece of kit I would have, though, is the nose lift system, which raises the front end. Yes, it's $3,000, but if you're serious about driving this car on the road, you have to have it. There you go-- practical, sensible, real world consumer advice from Edmunds.
It's time for the tale of the tapes. Welcome, Kurt. 0 to 60 was?
KURT NIEBUHR: 3.5 seconds.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Which is slower than Porsche claims.
KURT NIEBUHR: It is, but even with launch control activated, we got a lot of wheelspin. So I mean, we can't do anything about that, but these Cup 2 R tires aren't really built for standing starts.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: I did take the liberty of pulling some of our own stats on some of the rival vehicles. Standard GT4, 0 to 63.8 seconds, so it is faster than that, but that, of course, is a manual, not a PDK. But 911 Carrera 4 GTS, tested it only last week, similar money to this, actually faster-- 3 seconds, which is a crazy result.
KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, well, it is all-wheel drive, and that car makes the most of it.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: And the way the 911 puts its power down has always been extraordinary. The other one that we had in recently, similar in philosophy, but twice as much money, 400 grand, Lamborghini Huracan STO, also 3 seconds. But interestingly, quarter mile of the Lambo was 10.9 seconds at 125.9. This car got close to that?
KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, it did. I mean, it was 11.7 at like 122.6, which is not shabby at all. But I think, in today's modern world, we kind of expect cars to be slightly faster, but there's still nothing wrong with this.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: It's still mighty fast. Let's talk braking--
KURT NIEBUHR: Yes.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: --because this has got not only $8,000 worth of carbon ceramic brakes. It's also got super sticky tires. Super-- can't say that-- super sticky tires.
KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, this is-- I believe this is the best number we've ever recorded braking, and 89.5 feet, and it did several of those stops pretty much in succession.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Well, that's extraordinary, because the standard GT4 I got down here is 98. Even the Lamborghini, 98 feet. 911 GTS, 96 feet. That's amazing. And then on the skid part, lateral acceleration, or you might call grip, g-force, this car did?
KURT NIEBUHR: 1.18 g.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Which is 0.1-- no, 0.01 of a g less than a Lamborghini, but actually quite a bit better than the Carrera 4 GTS at 1.12, and a chunk better than the standard GT4 at 1.14. So we're a little bit down on the straight line sprinting, but everything else is pretty impressive.
KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I mean, you have to take into consideration that, if you do compare it to the Huracan STO, like you said, this is less than half the price.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: So very fast and absolute bargain.
KURT NIEBUHR: Absolutely.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: What we did want to call out while we stood here, we talked about these tires being basically hand-cut slicks. You can see how soft they are, but I like how much kind of rubber deposit they've actually picked up. It's basically a race car tire.
KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, it is, but these are tires that you can buy with the car, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs. And I think these are the tires that they set the Nurburgring lap record on.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Right, I'm going to give it a little bit more abuse.
KURT NIEBUHR: Go for it.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: So before I boot it, let's deal with the significant elephant in the room. We run our noise measuring kit in this car pretty much from here, which is kind of ear level. And it measured 102.6 decibels, which is the loudest car by some margin we've ever measured. Now, to give you some sense of how loud that is, OSHA says that anything above 85 decibels can lead ultimately to potential hearing problems. And it's not a linear curve, so 102.6 decibels inside the cabin. It does sound good, though.
Let me give you some sense of what we're talking about. So we have the exhaust in Sport, our PDK gearbox also in Sport. I've turned all the stability and traction control systems off, so this is very much reliant on my talent, such as it is. We're in-- going to knock you down to second gear. The straight away opens up, and we're going to give it a punch. 3,000, 4,000.
Now, this car has the optional carbon ceramic brakes, which are 8,000 bucks. And of course, as we talked earlier, it has the Pilot Cup Sport 2 R tires, so it has insane amounts of grip and insane amounts of braking potential. Honestly, the way this thing stops-- I've driven, what, thousands of laps of this circuit? And you've got to have a reference point in your head of where the breaking points are.
And in this car, you're kind of like, wait for the braking point. Count 1, 2, and then bang on the Ankers. And because it has Porsche torque vectoring as standard, it can actually brake at inside wheel as you start to turn in. What tend to do is brake all the way to the apex, so really kind of heavy trail brake. The way it changes direction-- seriously, is this road legal? I don't think I have ever driven a road car of any description-- not Lamborghinis, not Ferraris, not anything else you can imagine, which is this noisy, this visceral.
And although it's a GT3 engine, it's a very different noise. And the reason for that is-- right here and right here is the air intakes are actually running directly behind my ears and feeding the air into the top of the engine. So it's almost like you're wearing the engine as a backpack, and then all this air is being sucked in and dumped into the engine.
So in a GT3, what you tend to hear is exhaust. In a GT4 RS, you're really hearing induction, so it has a very different character. It's a lot more kind of immediate. Maybe less cultured, but it's really visceral.
If you're hard on the brakes, you can actually feel the ABS start to come in a little bit, but only in a very kind of gentler considered way. Whoa. Oh, this thing is good. It really is. It's cars like this that are the reason why I got into the job in the first place.
I've actually got the damper geared in the lesser of the two settings. Now, apparently this was actually set up for the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the famous racetrack in Germany where Porsche does a lot of its development testing. And that track is actually quite bumpy.
Our circuit here is much bumpier than it looks. It's actually quite deceptive. It looks very smooth. It's not. So this suspension gives you a little bit more compliance. Even in the lesser of the two damper settings, it's still firm. It still moves around more than you'd expect in, say, a GT3, which has-- it's just that much bigger and has slightly more sophisticated suspension, particularly at the front.
This is a lot more immediate. Porsche's engineers talked a lot to us about it being more like a go-kart. They wanted to create that sort of sense of immediacy and connection between the driver and the road, and they've done a fantastic job of that.
It's not for the faint hearted. You feel everything. The car moves around. You have to concentrate really hard. It's exhausting to drive really hard, but it's also unbelievably rewarding.
Is it more fun than a GT3? I've been asking myself that this afternoon. And honestly, on a circuit like this, when you're on it, when you're on in the mood, it's a lot more-- it's just a lot more intense. If you asked me to write down on a piece of paper what an ultimate sports car could be, then I kind of would have arrived here-- naturally aspirated, super high revving, small, compact, agile, maybe a manual gearbox. That's probably the only thing that would be in my recipe that this car doesn't have, but honestly, this PDK is such a good system.
I'm not even bothering with the flappy paddles. I've just got it in PDK Sport, and it's kind of learning the circuit now, and it's sort of doing its thing. Hoo, hoo! This is a $200,000 go-kart with the best part of 500 horsepower.
I'm going to show you just how light I can brake. Just feel the ABS starting to kick it, throwing it all the way. It just leaves it off, changes direction. Feed out the power. Oh!
Honestly, on a circuit, that's as tight and twisty as this, I can't think of any car that I would drive faster around here than this. We know it's awesome in a straight line. We know it stops incredibly well, but it's through the tight and twisties that it really comes to life. If you care about these things, this car did a lap at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes 4 and 1/2 seconds, which is almost 24 seconds faster than the standard GT4, which is an inordinate amount of time.
You get the impression that the engineers really burned the midnight oil for this car. They've only got one shot at this. This is the last GT4 RS. There will not be another, so this is kind of all they've got. And you really get the impression that they were determined to have this car as the last testament to their genius, their brilliance, their ultimate ability, and that they've really thrown everything at it. This is the car that the engineers always wanted to build. I'm going to miss cars like this.
Just as impressive is the Cayman's ability to handle the real world. Go easy with the loud pedal, and the GT4 RS is happy to poodle around with something approaching civility. The ride is on the sporting side of firm, of course, and at times, it runs out of compliance, hopping and skipping. But this is still a toy that you could realistically road trip.
This is the low grip handling circuit where we famously showed the futility of the Tesla yoke, but its real purpose is to simulate driving on ice so you can explore the dynamic repertoire of the car. And I was reminded that, many years ago, I spoke to Walter Rohrl, the legendary Porsche test driver and former World Rally Champion. He told me that the Cayman was simply sensational in winter testing in the Arctic.
So I thought we'd come down here and have a bit of fun. So stability off, everything else on, and here we go. See, the interesting thing is, unlike a 911, a Cayman pivots about its center point, whereas a 911 pivots a little bit further back because, of course, it's rear engine. A little bit of patience here, a little kick of the throttle.
It's also where you benefit, of course, from the instantaneous throttle response of a naturally aspirated power plant. Oh, kind of getting the impression that Walter, after the first time, knows what he's on about, because this is fabulous. This is heaven.
Kick it out, turn it back in, do the old Scandinavian flick. Easy on the power. Patience, patience, Weaver. Patience. Oh, pendulum, pendulum. Flick it in. Oh, feel like a hero. Let's see if we can complete the turn. Honestly, if you ever get the opportunity to do this, this is so much fun. Flick it back the other way. Great day to be alive.
We get to drive lots of cars while the engineers hold that little bit back, maybe to protect another model, and maybe to save something for the future. But this isn't one of those. This is a kitchen sink car. It's all in.
Why? Because even Porsche admits that the next generation Cayman will not be gas powered. It'll be a pure EV, so this-- this is as good as it gets. And it is very, very good.
With the exception of a couple of race cars, this is the most extreme Porsche I've ever driven. It's a step even beyond the 911 GT3 RS. It really is that visceral, that exciting, that immediate in its response. It really blurs the line between road and race as never before.
On a track, it feels utterly superb. And then it manages to combine that with a degree of usable civility on the road is a supreme achievement. A GT3 is easier to live with day to day, but-- and I'm going to say it-- it's less exciting. It really is.
Spending close on $200,000 on what is effectively a toy, an indulgence is, of course, a hell of a lot of money. But if you can find a dealer who will sell you one for MSRP or close to it, frankly, you're never likely to lose money on a GT4 RS. Who knows? You might even make money.
So if you've got the cash, do it. You won't regret it, and you'll never ever get the chance again. Honestly, this is the car that many of us, including me, thought we'd maybe never see, but I'm certainly glad that we did. If this is the last hurrah, then it's a hell of a send off.
2022 Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS Review | Instrumented Test of Porsche's Luxury Sports Car
NOTE: This video is about the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman, but since the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is a luxury sport coupe and the most hardcore, track-focused Cayman to date. In this video, Alistair Weaver from Edmunds gets behind the wheel of the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS to see just how well it performs out on the track. Alistair pushes the… Cayman GT4 RS to the limit to see if the 493-horsepower sports car can really do 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds as Porsche says. Can the 718 GT4 RS live up to the hype of being called the purest track version of the Cayman? Alistair and his team are here to find out. This is our instrumented test of the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
The BMW M2 delivers more performance for less money than the Porsche 718 Cayman. The M2 is equipped with a sweet turbocharged six-cylinder engine feeding power to the rear wheels through a proper six-speed manual gearbox, and it's mightier than all but the Cayman GT4 RS. Plus, it has a back seat and a proper trunk. Granted, the BMW's Mondrianesque design isn't to everyone's preference, but the Porsche's now familiar styling themes are comparatively dull.
We understand the allure of the Porsche 911. The classic design. The meticulous engineering. The cachet at the valet stand. But for less than you would spend on a base 911 Carrera coupe without any options, you could get a nearly as fast 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and leave yourself with 20 grand to blow on upgrades. But when you're spending this kind of money on a toy, you ought to get what you really want, not the runner-up.
Adjusts the headlights automatically to help drivers better see around corners and curves.
Lane Change Assist
Warns the driver when another vehicle is in the Cayman's blind spot to prevent an unsafe lane change.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Maintains a safe following distance to traffic ahead, and with the PDK transmission can bring the car to a stop in traffic.
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2024 Porsche 718 Cayman First Impressions
What is the 718 Cayman?
The 718 Cayman is Porsche in its purest, no-nonsense form. This fixed-roof cousin of the 718 Boxster convertible has only two seats and limited cargo space, but its mid-engine configuration means it has more predictable handling characteristics than even the vaunted 911. But be careful with your spec, however — choosing the wrong configuration means that this supremely capable sports car could provide a merely OK driving experience.
The key to the right 718 is the powertrain. The turbocharged four-cylinder in the Cayman and Cayman S isn't particularly engaging, but at least in the latter, it's pretty potent. Just don't spec the sport exhaust — the engine note is uninspiring at best and grating at worst. If you have wiggle room in your budget, the naturally aspirated flat-six in the Cayman GTS 4.0 and upper trims is the winner of the bunch. Not only is it far more sonorous, it adds quite a bit of power, too. It's also the powertrain to get if you want to wipe the smile off the faces of 911 owners on a racetrack.
It costs a pretty penny to get that 4.0-liter motor, but it single-handedly justifies the 718 Cayman. And you'll want to act sooner rather than later, as the next-gen Cayman (due any year now) is rumored to go electric-only. Grab your six-cylinder Cayman now while you still can.
The Porsche 718 Cayman is a terrific all-around sports car — provided you order the right engine. Certain trims offer 911-beating performance at a fraction of the price.
Is the Porsche 718 Cayman a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2024 718 Cayman both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.1 out of 10. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the 718 Cayman has 9.2 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Porsche 718 Cayman. Learn more
What's new in the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman:
New Style Edition variant slots between base and S models
Porsche discontinues the Cayman T and GT4
Track-optimized Manthey Kit planned for top-dog GT4 RS
Part of the third 718 Cayman generation introduced for 2017
To determine whether the Porsche 718 Cayman is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the 718 Cayman. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the 718 Cayman's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2024 718 Cayman and gave it a 8.1 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2024 718 Cayman is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman?
The least-expensive 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman is the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS 2dr Coupe (4.0L 6cyl 7AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $160,700.
Other versions include:
GT4 RS 2dr Coupe (4.0L 6cyl 7AM) which starts at $160,700
What are the different models of Porsche 718 Cayman?
If you're interested in the Porsche 718 Cayman, the next question is, which 718 Cayman model is right for you? 718 Cayman variants include GT4 RS 2dr Coupe (4.0L 6cyl 7AM). For a full list of 718 Cayman models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more