2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 review: Now with PDK

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The GT4 is now offered with a handbook or automated.

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Some things cannot be quantified. The seem of a obviously aspirated flat-six engine spinning at 8,000 rpm. Loud-and-apparent suggestions felt through a steering wheel. The crisp, rewarding motion of a handbook transmission clicking from equipment to equipment. All of these sensations are paramount to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 experience. So what comes about if you take 1 absent?


  • Super-sharp reflexes
  • Robust and sonorous flat-six power
  • Quick-shifting twin-clutch transmission

Do not Like

  • Compact paddle shifters
  • Outdated infotainment tech
  • Won’t be able to change the handbook experience

For 2021, the Cayman GT4 is offered with Porsche’s seven-velocity PDK twin-clutch automated transmission. It can be the exact same gearbox you can discover in a large amount of the company’s other sports activities cars and trucks, and it comes with a range of advantages. Despite including sixty eight kilos to the GT4’s curb fat, the Cayman is faster with PDK. It’s going to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, as opposed with 4.two seconds with the handbook transmission. PDK also enables the engine to produce a skosh far more torque — 317 pound-ft, up from 309 — and even would make the GT4 a little far more economical, with one-mpg raises across the board. Of system, the result is a continue to-dismal eighteen mpg town, 24 mpg freeway and twenty mpg mixed, but hey, any advancements are good.

No surprise, PDK operates beautifully with the GT4’s 4.-liter flat-six. Left to its possess devices, equipment improvements are as easy as they are swift, and they are perfectly timed, as well. The transmission appreciates when you happen to be driving hard and holds gears close to redline to accommodate. Press the PDK Sport button on the center stack and the DCT is even far more inform, trying to keep the engine revving substantial to eke out each 1 of its 414 horsepower. Feel like picking out your possess journey? Steel paddles attached to the steering wheel permit you phone up your possess change logic, and inputs are rewarded with immediate responses. I would like the paddles were larger and mounted on the column — the proper way — but as much as twin-clutch transmissions go, it is really truly hard to conquer PDK.

But while the DCT’s enhancements are undeniably apparent, what the GT4 gains in goal overall performance it loses in subjective enjoyment. So significantly of why I adore the Cayman GT4 comes down to its uncooked, involving character in terms of driver suggestions, modern day cars and trucks do not get significantly superior than this. The common six-velocity handbook transmission heightens that engagement, pulling you into the experience with a weighty clutch pedal, a significant equipment lever and a brief-toss ‘box so tactile you can discover yourself clicking through the gears at stoplights simply just mainly because it feels that good.

I have read a large amount of people complain about the GT4’s handbook transmission, expressing the gearing is as well extensive to truly make it pleasurable. But I do not get the loathe. Just mainly because you do not have to change as typically does not mean you cannot. You do not will need to frequently run amongst six,000 and 8,000 rpm in the GT4 to have a whale of a time the 4.-liter engine has sufficient midrange shove. You usually are not placing lap documents on public roads, just after all. If you want to change, just freaking change.

I would like the PDK car had larger paddle shifters.

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Continue to, whichever transmission you choose, the GT4 is a outstanding car. Porsche’s 718 chassis can rather significantly do no wrong, and in this most aggressive spec, it is really a pleasure to wring out around and around up and down my most loved canyon roads. A frequent stream of suggestions flows through the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and I can feel reverberations from the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup two tires up through the chassis and into the mounted bucket seats. These carbon fiber-reinforced chairs usually are not exactly crafted for extensive-haul consolation, but then all over again, neither is the GT4.

But at the exact same time, the Cayman is shockingly livable. The chassis is just not so rigid that it will punish you for driving on tough pavement, which is exceptional taking into consideration how taut this car is on a mountain street. Wind and tire noise definitely make them selves recognized, but it is really practically nothing you cannot drown out with a handful of twists of the stereo volume knob. Or, you know, just open up the activity exhaust and dig into the throttle. There is certainly practically nothing like the wail of a flat-six.

These full bucket seats are nicely supportive.

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The Cayman’s inside is certainly showing its age, although the simple arrangement of mounted buttons on the center stack would make them straightforward to locate while driving, and there is certainly a fulfilling simply click to their motion. The material door pulls have nonetheless to drop their novelty, and do not overlook, the Cayman is also very purposeful. The mid-engine format usually means there is certainly a deep frunk and a compact but usable luggage compartment under the rear hatch.

If there is certainly 1 spot exactly where the 718 truly feels out-of-date, it is really in the tech section. The GT4’s 7-inch color touchscreen runs the oldest iteration of Porsche’s PCM program with a relatively basic menu structure. You can get Apple CarPlay but Android Automobile proceeds to be unavailable. Want the latest and greatest driver guidance attributes? You have got the wrong car, pal.

Look intently and you can observe this Gentian Blue GT4 has a roll cage powering the seats, but do not get as well energized. This is part of a Clubsport package deal that is just not offered in the US that incorporates a six-point seat belt for the driver and a light-weight fireplace extinguisher mainly because, you know, racing can be risky. The only explanation this specific car has the Clubsport option is mainly because it is really a German-spec GT4 that Porsche imported to the US for screening. The European range plate on the front bumper is just not just for exhibit, is what I am expressing.

Love the look of Gentian Blue.

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The 2021 Cayman GT4 begins at $102,550, such as $one,350 for spot, and the new PDK option adds $3,210 to the base line. Grab a handful of crucial choices like the full bucket seats ($5,900), carbon ceramic brakes ($8,000), LED headlights ($two,one hundred forty) and a not-tedious paint color (you can get it in Frozen Berry pink!) and a nicely optioned GT4 will run you close to $a hundred twenty five,000. Looking at this matter can chase down supercars costing two times as significantly, that significant-sounding cost tag oddly feels like a bargain. Weird, I know.

Would I individually go for the PDK option in the Cayman GT4? No. It requires absent from the driving experience as well significantly for my liking, and the overall performance gains cannot make up for that loss of involvement. The Cayman GT4 is 1 of the world’s greatest sports activities cars and trucks, and which is real whether you go handbook or automated. But for a car which is so targeted on an all-encompassing sensory experience, I cannot consider getting 1 with no a traditionally quintessential aspect of the bond amongst car and driver.