Ever since Porsche’s mid-engined Cayman coupe arrived on the scene, there’s been grumbling that Porsche has deliberately held it back to avoid stepping on the toes of the 911.
That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The long-awaited Porsche Cayman GT4 takes the Cayman to a new extreme, thanks to a number of performance upgrades including some parts cribbed from the vaunted 911 GT3.
The GT4’s aggressive attitude is apparent just from looking at its massive rear spoiler, gaping front fascia, and other aerodynamic modifications meant to increase downforce.
Power comes from a 3.8-liter flat-six derived from the engine in the 911 Carrera S, and available only with a six-speed manual transmission. With 385 horsepower, it will scoot the GT4 to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.2 seconds, and propel it to a top speed of 183 mph.
The suspension is also 30 millimeters lower than in a standard Cayman. It and the braking system (including a carbon-ceramic option) use parts from the 911 GT3, and help the GT4 blitz Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschliefe in just 7 minutes and 40 seconds.
That’s the same time as the previous-generation 911 GT3. The little brother is catching up.
To keep driver and passenger from sliding around under hard cornering, the GT4 comes standard with heavily-bolstered sport seats, as well as a sport steering wheel. The interior is trimmed in a mix of leather and Alcantara.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 all be formally unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March, and go on sale in the U.S. in July. Prices will start at $85,595, including destination.
That’s about the price of a base 911 Carrera, which the GT4 outperforms. Yet the bigger, more luxurious 911 will probably be easier to live with than the track-rat Cayman.
So, in this case at least, the 911 vs Cayman debate isn’t just about head-to-head performance, and that may be why Porsche feels comfortable selling the hardcore Cayman many enthusiasts have been pining for.