There are nine different Cayenne versions listed on Porsche Canada’s consumer site as I type this, compared to two current Cayman models, yet you won’t find the track-oriented 2016-only Cayman GT4 among them. So chances are that if you’d like your own 2016 Cayman GT4 such as the one tested here, you’re likely going to have to hunt down one of the few allocated to Canada on dealer lots now, many of them demos with a few thousand clicks on them.
And it will still cost you a pretty penny, and perhaps above MSRP to boot.
The GT4’s official starting MSRP of $96,500 is about 20 large more than the starting price of a less powerful ‘17 718 Cayman S, with our lightly optioned Racing Yellow tester coming in at $106,475 after all delivery charges. But an online search for the Cayman GT4 at Canadian dealerships across the country indicated a price range for demo models anywhere between $140k-$160k – suggesting there’s lots more demand than supply for these wild-tailed track beasts.
Much of the appeal comes down to the higher-end sports car components borrowed from the impressive Porsche parts bin. The GT4’s engine is the same 3.8-litre horizontally opposed six as in a 911 Carrera S, with 385 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque, but available only with a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching, in Sport mode. This drivetrain provides a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds, with a top track speed of 295 km/h, providing a flat-six going away party before the four-cylinder-only 718 Caymans arrive.
It’s the rare combination of the Cayman’s engine-under-your-feet balance along with chassis components and brakes largely culled from the heroic 911 GT3 that provides a unique performance symphony on lapping days, but somewhat punishing on the street overall. Some may call the lack of sound deadening, real door handles and overall removal of anything that doesn’t make it go faster or handle better (including the ability to delete the radio and air conditioning) as evidence of ‘driving purity’.
But even Porsche admits the fabric loops in the lighter GT4 don’t weigh any less than more user-friendly regular door handles, so they’re a constant reminder that you’re driving something special. For most affluent drivers, however, only the most hardcore of performance and track enthusiasts will be willing to pay this much more, for this much less.
SPECIFICATIONS – 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4
BASE PRICE / AS TESTED: $96,500 / $106,475
ENGINE: 3.8L inline 6-cylinder
HORSEPOWER: 385 hp @ 7,400 rpm
TORQUE: 310 lb-ft. @ 4,750 rpm
DRY WEIGHT: 1,340 kg
CONFIGURATION: mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS L/100 KM (CITY / HWY. / COMB.): 16 / 12.5 / 14
WARRANTY (MOS. / KM): 48 / 80,000
ALTERNATIVES: BMW M4, Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type, Lotus Evora 400
Photography by Michael Bettencourt