Yellow

Above: seats are supportive, doors in the meantime get pull straps. 

But then again the eCOTY prize isn’t going to deter me from giving the Cayman GT4 a thorough spanking on Malaysian roads, so consider this its acceptance speech for Malaysia. And my goodness is the Cayman GT4 good. No let me rephrase that. It is better than good, the Cayman is good, but this is by far in a way far beyond what you would expect from Porsche’s little mid-engine coupe. After all, even in plain vanilla form the Cayman had a lot of good things going for it with a well-balanced chassis and a delectable steering that lets driver’s revel in the drive. 

But as you might have already known, the Cayman GT4 is very far removed from your average Cayman. First off, being the handiwork of Porsche’s motorsport division in Weissach, the same people who could turn the 911 into the genre-defining 911 GT3 RS, is the surest sign that this yellow winged wonder is more than just a Cayman with more power and speed on hand. In making the GT4, Porsche Motorsport’s engineers didn’t just set about fettling what the Cayman had, but looked at what they could stuff into it. 

So out went the engine, followed by the Cayman’s suspension components, and in went the engine from the 3.8-litre naturally-aspirated 911 Carrera S, front suspension components with PASM from the 911 GT3 that inflates its front track width by a wholesome 13mm, a completely new reinforced rear suspension, massive composite disc brakes form the 911 GT3, and a mechanical differential. Oh, and that modest rear wing isn’t just for show, but is part of the GT4’s bodywork that is capable of generating actual downforce – 100kg at its top speed of 295kph by Porsche’s calculations. Reading the engineering blurb alone is enough to send enthusiasts into spasms of overwhelming excitement, I know, because I just couldn’t resist poring over the details before firing up its big new heart.

Fresh off its 2015 eCOTY victory, the Cayman GT4 will now demonstrate its mettle on Malaysian roads. Daniel Wong straps himself in. 

‘Run over the odd bump and the GT4’s responds with taut and steady body control, never sowing a moment of doubt that the tail just might loosen itself and spit you off the road in contempt.’

‘Never mind its downforce generating body, the GT4 has plenty of mechanical grip to work with.’

‘Flat-out in the GT4 is an all-consuming experience that is heightened by the clarity of the feedback.’

Opposite above: bodywork generates actual downforce to keep it stuck to the road.
Opposite right: GT4’s gets the engine from the Carreras S but retains a 6-speed manual.

⁠⁠FEVER

SOMETIMES I WONDER why I need to further validate the sheer brilliance and excellence of this bright yellow and winged Porsche Cayman. After all being crowned as 2015’s evo Car of the Year is high honour for any car worth its salt in the pursuit of the Thrill of Driving. A fast Porsche borne from the heart of Porsche Motorsports would always have the right stuff to challenge for the eCOTY crown, but to surpass the likes of the Ferrari 488GTB, the McLaren 675LT, and even its bigger sibling, the 911 GT3 RS, takes balls of carbotanium. And may be those rumours and legends were true, that a hot Cayman would make a hot 911 a little redundant. 

‘My goodness is the Cayman GT4 good. No let me rephrase that. It is better than good, the Cayman is good, but this is far beyond expectations.’

But then again the eCOTY prize isn’t going to deter me from giving the Cayman GT4 a thorough spanking on Malaysian roads, so consider this its acceptance speech for Malaysia. And my goodness is the Cayman GT4 good. No let me rephrase that. It is better than good, the Cayman is good, but this is by far in a way far beyond what you would expect from Porsche’s little mid-engine coupe. After all, even in plain vanilla form the Cayman had a lot of good things going for it with a well-balanced chassis and a delectable steering that lets driver’s revel in the drive. 

But as you might have already known, the Cayman GT4 is very far removed from your average Cayman. First off, being the handiwork of Porsche’s motorsport division in Weissach, the same people who could turn the 911 into the genre-defining 911 GT3 RS, is the surest sign that this yellow winged wonder is more than just a Cayman with more power and speed on hand. In making the GT4, Porsche Motorsport’s engineers didn’t just set about fettling what the Cayman had, but looked at what they could stuff into it. 

So out went the engine, followed by the Cayman’s suspension components, and in went the engine from the 3.8-litre naturally-aspirated 911 Carrera S, front suspension components with PASM from the 911 GT3 that inflates its front track width by a wholesome 13mm, a completely new reinforced rear suspension, massive composite disc brakes form the 911 GT3, and a mechanical differential. Oh, and that modest rear wing isn’t just for show, but is part of the GT4’s bodywork that is capable of generating actual downforce – 100kg at its top speed of 295kph by Porsche’s calculations. Reading the engineering blurb alone is enough to send enthusiasts into spasms of overwhelming excitement, I know, because I just couldn’t resist poring over the details before firing up its big new heart.

SOMETIMES I WONDER WHY I need to further validate the sheer brilliance and excellence of this bright yellow and winged Porsche Cayman. After all being crowned as 2015’s evo Car of the Year is high honour for any car worth its salt in the pursuit of the Thrill of Driving. A fast Porsche borne from the heart of Porsche Motorsports would always have the right stuff to challenge for the eCOTY crown, but to surpass the likes of the Ferrari 488GTB, the McLaren 675LT, and even its bigger sibling, the 911 GT3 RS, takes balls of carbotanium. And may be those rumours and legends were true, that a hot Cayman would make a hot 911 a little redundant. 

Though peppered with bits of the GT3, the Cayman GT4 isn’t an uncompromising track car made for people whose weekend commute involves going round in timed circles on a circuit. I won’t be blasting myself around Sepang this time around, after all a product of Porsche Motorsport is guaranteed to shine on the track – its 7min 40sec boast on the Nürburgring helps reinforce that notion too. Instead I’ve pointed the GT4’s broad new nose towards a set of challenging roads that run near the borders of Negeri Sembilan to see if it is more of a racer or a proper road racer. 

Despite sitting 30mm closer to the ground on firmer dampers, the ride, even with its PASM dampers set in the stiffer “Sport” mode, is surprisingly well-dampened. Run over the odd bump and the GT4’s responds with taut and steady body control, never sowing a moment of doubt in my mind that the tail just might loosen itself and spit you off the road in contempt. Instead it is easy to put the GT4’s power down without it putting the fear of god in you. The steering is precise, with a little more weight dialled in, and bristles with feel, cluing you in on the fine details on what those front wheels are running over. It is so communicative in its character, and benign in its nature that soon I was just revelling in the GT4’s incredible real-world pace. 

Never mind its downforce generating body, the GT4 has plenty of mechanical grip to work with, all courtesy of the quartet of sticky rubber wrapped around its wheels, dynamic engine and transmission mounts, and Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical differential. Put together and the GT4 bites down hard with conviction and delivers impressive levels of traction, giving me the confidence to tap into the potential of its 911-sourced engine. It might have had its power turned down from 400PS to 385PS, over the Carrera S, but it is still good enough to get the GT4 from 0 to 100kph in 4.4 seconds. However the GT4 feels so much faster than that. Its throttle response is immediate, spinning up the revs as though it is hardwired to the sole of your foot, whilst the pure mechanical bellow from the naturally-aspirated 911 flat-six stirs your soul. Flat-out in the GT4 is an all-consuming experience that is heightened by the clarity of the feedback that is sent through the rim of the steering and the chassis.

Fresh off its 2015 eCOTY victory, the Cayman GT4 will now demonstrate its mettle on Malaysian roads. Daniel Wong straps himself in. 

Yellow

FEVER

‘My goodness is the Cayman GT4 good. No let me rephrase that. It is better than good, the Cayman is good, but this is far beyond expectations.’

Bodywork generates actual downforce to keep it stuck to the road.
Bottom: GT4’s gets the engine from the Carreras S but retains a 6-speed manual.

‘Never mind its downforce generating body, the GT4
has plenty of mechanical grip to work with.’

Thankfully, while Porsche Motorsport managed to shoehorn the 911’s engine, they had stayed away from attaching the 991-generation’s criticised 7-speed manual, and instead opted to pair the 911’s engine to the Cayman’s more traditional six-speeder. Slick, weighty, and solid, the GT4’s shifter has a smooth mechanical feel that moves with absolute accuracy between the slots, I can’t think of a more delectable manual shifter out there. On top of that, shifting is also further aided with the addition of a gear shifting assistant that would automatically blip the throttle when downshifting to facilitate a quicker and smoother shift. Unsurprisingly the shifting assistant works too well at delivering the right flare of revs to speed up the engine revs to match the gears. If that gnaws at your purist requirements, don’t worry, Porsche as usual had included an off switch for that feature. 

That being said, it isn’t as though you would need the gear shifting assistant as often as the engine has enough torque and mid-range pull to run the whole distance in third gear through every sort of medium to high speed corner you can point it through, which does take away some of the challenge of slotting in the right gear for the right corner. 

If it sounds like I’m nit-picking on the gear ratios that is because there really isn’t anything to criticise the Cayman GT4 for. It is far more brilliant than I would have hoped it would be, especially on the road where some of Porsche’s greatest hits have had mastery over.  It isn’t just a fast(er) Cayman with more power. 

The GT4 is immense. It is more than the sum of its parts, a completely different animal from your average run-of-the-mill Cayman. More focused, more intense, this is the Cayman that we have always said the world was waiting for, which many assumed that Porsche was unwilling to give – in the interest of protecting the sanctity of the 911. But while Porsche Motorsport’s 911 has gone more high-tech, as seen with the PDK-only and rear-wheel steering equipped GT3 and GT3 RS, the Cayman GT4 is refreshingly old-school and raw where it counts. As mentioned in the beginning, the GT4 needs no further validation of its outstanding qualities, but on roads like these, it had certainly cemented itself the status of a legend, and rightfully so.

‘Run over the odd bump and the GT4’s responds with taut and steady body control, never sowing a moment of doubt that the tail just might loosen itself and spit you off the road in contempt.’

‘Flat-out in the GT4 is an all-consuming experience that is heightened by the clarity of the feedback.’

Seats are supportive, doors in the meantime get pull straps.