Porsche is really pushing the limits on this car. According to an article by Steve Sutcliffe from Evo Magazine UK, Porsche admits the GT4 won’t make much money. And if you look at the hardware, you can believe so - Porsche’s GT team has opened up their treasure vault for the 718 Cayman GT4. Under its skin, you get the steering, brakes, and suspension from the 911 GT3, just minus the rear-wheel steering system – fair enough omission.


To commit even further, they’ve created a bespoke engine for the 718 Cayman GT4. Although the engine started as the 9A2EVO engine from the 992, Porsche's GT Team made a myriad of changes to suit this car. It wasn’t simply just taking off the turbos and increasing its capacity. To play at the world class level, hard work is a given, but working smart is more important. There were many Specific Decisions made to cater to the GT4. Just like a coach planning their winning strategy with the team in the locker room.

Let me attempt to explain what the 718 Cayman GT4 is - A Fiercely Competitive Athlete. Let’s start with what it’s not - A Casual Athlete. One that starts with an Interest into a chosen Sport. At this stage, a simple training regime, a few supplements, a new shoe, a new racket can give you a huge difference. Eventually, as Interest evolves into a Commitment, the Casual Athlete gets more serious and invests a coach, new equipment, and prepares a training regime. But at a certain point, the Committed Athlete starts to see diminishing returns. And eventually, the glass ceiling where no matter what you buy, and how hard you train - the improvements are little to none. While majority will struggle or decide to give up improving, the fiercely Competitive Athlete doubles down.

Thomas Yap experiences the Fiercely Competitive Athlete that is the Porsche Cayman GT4 in Sepang.

Ascending to the very top requires one to commit more than just financial resources or hard work. You have to put your very soul to it. To be world class, you have to give 100% and nothing less. The difference may not be obvious to most people. Just like how the latest Cayman GT4 hardly looks any different from the previous generation 981. But under the skin, Porsche has taken the already Committed Athlete of the 981 GT4 and broken that limit. The limit where most people wouldn’t dare to break because of the commitment required. The result? The current generation GT4 ascends into the glorious ranks of a competitive world-class athlete.

I feel this quote encapsulates our fascination with what Porsche has done to the GT4. Let’s face it, most people who admire the GT4 will not buy it. But it will have a very sacred place in our hearts. It wins our admiration, respect, and we draw inspiration from it. But because of what it represents, a true athlete in spirit.


Competitive athletes live for that one moment. They put everything on the line for an opportunity. They sacrifice their bodies, mind, soul, finances, livelihood, relationships in exchange for an opportunity. For a shot at Glory. No guarantee needed. Just a shot. They go into years of training, rehab, physiotherapy, strict diet every single day for months, years, sometimes decades for that one moment. The moment that will define who they are. That’s why it’s so inspiring.


That is what a true Competitive Athlete’s spirit. It’s not for the average person. I know this because I distinctly remember trying Competitive Bodybuilding in 2013 for 18 months. I couldn’t keep up. So even though I gave up, it allowed me to appreciate the spirit of a true athlete.




Quote Cirecle 2

“Professional athletes are in many ways our culture’s holy men, they give themselves over to a pursuit and endure great privation and pain to actualize themselves and enjoy a relationship to perfection that we admire, reward and love to watch even though we have no desire to walk that road ourselves. In other words, they sacrifice themselves for our “redemption”. - David Foster Wallace.

They’ve now re-engineered the aerodynamics of the car in a way that was never done before. According to Porsche it has now 50% more downforce than the previous Cayman GT4. And this is not just an exercise where you slap on a bigger wing or extra modifications like some other car manufacturers. They’ve completely engineered the Aerodynamics of the car, the front bumper with huger air vents, side air vents, diffusers and even the underneath of the car. A completely reworked airflow around (and below) the car to maximize downforce and coefficient drag at where it mattered the most - The Rear Axle. The result of this intense intention and labor? Mind bending handling.


And for the price tag they offer for all the tech and bespoke engineering it is still an absolute bargain. I’m surprised that Porsche is willing to offer this tech at potentially lower profits. But in the manner of a truly committed world class  competitive athlete, coins of the realm are not as important as the glory right?

To hit the higher note, new cylinder heads, valves, pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft are required. On top of that a new intake manifold was created to fuel this athlete with a steady stream of oxygen. The result of this intense intentionality this generation GT4 has now 414 bhp, a massive increase from 370 bhp in the last generation 981.


At this point, you may wonder how much more can Porsche commit to this project - it is already brilliant! And would have been better than the previous generation without a doubt. They could have stopped here and it would have been already immensely impressive. But no, it wasn’t enough. Just like a Competitive Athlete who just keeps seeking to push it’s limits. And this is where I think, the 718 Cayman GT4 earns its hallmark to be a True World-Class Competitive Athlete.

“Not only was the car amazing, but the story behind it was also inspiring.”

Now let’s move to the engine. Aside from its technical figures of 414bhp and 420 Nm of torque, what’s more important is how it shows up. Peak torque kicks in from 5,000 to 6,800rpm. Way broader than the previous generation. If you drive the engine sedately, you will never experience this masterpiece. Where the engine truly comes alive is 4,000 rpm and above and you wanna keep it there. Engine noise suddenly transforms at 4,500 rpm. The already instantaneous, lag free response from the naturally aspirated engine is now further strengthened. At the absolute limit, the engine transforms into a motoring nirvana.


Just when I thought the performance was impressive, the engine further raised its game as we closed in to the upper ends of the tacho. In that last band from 6,000 to 8,000 RPMs, the engine became something that sounded and felt quite frankly, animalistic and unbridled.

What is it like to drive? It’s like trying to keep up with a Competitive Athlete at their given sport. It’s difficult to tell you in words how brilliantly competent this car is. I’m going to try to do this by explaining pieces of experience. And hopefully it will make sense when it comes to tying it all together.


Let’s start with what I think is the highlight of the car. No it’s not the engine - it’s the aerodynamics. Thanks to that huge rear wing and and bespokely engineered diffuser and top it off with aggressive air intakes on front bumper, the car grips the road and allows you to accelerate at mind bending speeds. Speeds where in most cars it shouldn’t be gripping or accelerating without being tossed into an oversteer. And when it comes to braking, the optional Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) lifted from the 911 GT3 give it immense stopping power, slowing down the car at an unreasonable pace. And because of the smart aerodynamics, the down force it generates sits the car flatly no matter how hard you kick the brake pedal.


The clutch is way lighter as opposed to the Tractor like feeling clutch in the 981. The bite point of the clutch is also more predictable than the 981. The outcome? A much easier car to drive both on track and also on the road. Porsche offers the option for a PDK, which is faster, by the way but I would choose the manual anytime because it involves you so much more.


At this point I don’t know how else to move forward because there is nothing but fascination, admiration and respect for this machine. It’s difficult and almost impossible to find flaws with this car. So I’ll end the driving experience with this: the 718 Cayman GT4 is a car that performs at an extraordinary level not just at an objective matter. Yes, objectively it has a massive capability. It even went around the Nurburgring approximately 12 seconds quicker than the previous generation, an incredible feat. But Porsche brilliantly combines it with an unforgettable emotional connection. Despite its commitment to be a motorsport car, Porsche still knows how appeal to the keen driver’s heart. Every ride injects adrenaline into the bloodstream. The direct steering, confident gear shift feel, that engine that screams - Makes you wanna push the car more and more. I dare to say this - no spirited drive with this machine will ever be dull.

This car was just demanding to be pushed. It doesn’t want to be driven by someone who only does the usual office visits and grocery runs. It needs a driver, no, a team mate that is willing to play at its limit.


Because that’s the reason why it’s born. To be at the limit. Putting it all together with the other Options, Like the Rollcage from the Clubsport Package, 918 Hypercar Inspired Carbon Fibre Sets, combined with probably the best feeling Electrical Steering. The feedback of the car is immediate without being jarring. It’s very easy to be one with the car and take it to the limit.


And oh yes, how can I forget to mention. It comes with a Manual 6 Speed Gearbox. Many complain about it’s long gearing ratio on the second gear, but I think it’s forgivable. The difference in the clutch is notable from the 981 generation to 718. In fact the first thing I noticed when I got into the car.

“It is a true athlete who wants to perform again and again. It wants you to go the limit with the car all the time.”

Whereas the Spyder is a proper sports car. It has performance to hold but it will not do better than the GT4. But for what it loses out, it gains back in many other ways which I think shouldn’t be measured in performance. Unlike the previous “person” the Spyder is also a well built athlete with broad shoulders and defined muscles. He or she is unmistakably an athlete but now dressed in a stylish v-neck and stylish sports jacket, designer khaki pants and a sleek looking sports shoe. He or she can now match many occasions, just like a Spyder.


You can travel with it and take it downtown to a luxurious hotel lobby and it will still feel at home. And with the option of dropping the roof, it offers the experience of taking in the sights and sounds which the Cayman GT4 will never be able to offer, with an incredible driving experience that is slightly compromised. If this sort of lifestyle is what you want, then the Spyder is for you.

I can honestly and sincerely say this as somebody who owns a Boxster Spyder. These two cars are completely different machines. There’s no point talking about performance. Sure the Spyder is lighter and the Cayman GT4 is stiffer with the roof and the optional Clubsport Package plus it has more aerodynamics with it’s massive spoiler. But I believe the personal philosophies of each car are very unique. And it shows in the way they look.


The GT4 looks like a committed athlete. Imagine a muscular dude wearing the same outfit for every occasion; skin tight compression pants, lightweight dri fit top to maximize ventilation and cooling of the muscles, sports shoes to maximize grip and headbands to keep the sweat away. Every piece of clothing is to maximize performance; it would certainly look out of place in other occasions right? Not to say it’s wrong, but if you want that additional stiffness, that additional feedback and additional edge, then the GT4 is for you.


So the question to ask is not which is better? It is not a battle or versus. It is simply a choice. For me I will always choose the Spyder because of my lifestyle. I haven’t caught the motorsport bug yet. Just like competitive bodybuilding, it wasn’t something I wanted to commit myself to. But if I ever want to start, there is no other car I will look for but except the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4. With a base price of RM999,000 I don’t think there is any other car that can rival this Fiercely Competitive Athlete at the moment. As it stands, I would dare say the GT4 is in a league of its own; the benchmark of its category.

"This car may not be the most powerful, but it has a very compelling package that allows you to be perfectly irrational and yet be confident."