2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 evaluation: Now with PDK

The GT4 is now out there with a guide or computerized.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Some issues cannot be quantified. The sound of a naturally aspirated flat-six engine spinning at 8,000 rpm. Loud-and-clear suggestions felt by way of a steering wheel. The crisp, rewarding motion of a guide transmission clicking from gear to gear. All of those sensations are paramount to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 expertise. So what occurs if you happen to take one away?

LikeSuper-sharp reflexesStrong and sonorous flat-six powerQuick-shifting dual-clutch transmission

Do not LikeSmall paddle shiftersOutdated infotainment techCan’t exchange the guide expertise

For 2021, the Cayman GT4 is on the market with Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch computerized transmission. It is the identical gearbox you will discover in a whole lot of the corporate’s different sports activities automobiles, and it comes with a number of advantages. Regardless of including 68 kilos to the GT4’s curb weight, the Cayman is faster with PDK. It’s going to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, in contrast with 4.2 seconds with the guide transmission. PDK additionally permits the engine to provide a skosh extra torque — 317 pound-feet, up from 309 — and even makes the GT4 a bit extra environment friendly, with 1-mpg will increase throughout the board. After all, the result’s a still-dismal 18 mpg metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 20 mpg mixed, however hey, any enhancements are good.

No shock, PDK works fantastically with the GT4’s 4.0-liter flat-six. Left to its personal units, gear adjustments are as clean as they’re fast, they usually’re completely timed, too. The transmission is aware of if you’re driving laborious and holds gears close to redline to accommodate. Press the PDK Sport button on the middle stack and the DCT is much more alert, holding the engine revving excessive to eke out each one in all its 414 horsepower. Really feel like selecting your personal journey? Steel paddles connected to the steering wheel allow you to name up your personal shift logic, and inputs are rewarded with rapid responses. I want the paddles have been bigger and mounted on the column — the right approach — however so far as dual-clutch transmissions go, it is actually laborious to beat PDK.

However whereas the DCT’s enhancements are undeniably clear, what the GT4 beneficial properties in goal efficiency it loses in subjective enjoyment. A lot of why I really like the Cayman GT4 comes right down to its uncooked, involving character; when it comes to driver suggestions, fashionable automobiles do not get a lot better than this. The usual six-speed guide transmission heightens that engagement, pulling you into the expertise with a weighty clutch pedal, a hefty gear lever and a short-throw ‘field so tactile you will end up clicking by way of the gears at stoplights just because it feels that good.

I’ve heard lots of people complain concerning the GT4’s guide transmission, saying the gearing is just too lengthy to actually make it satisfying. However I do not get the hate. Simply because you do not have to shift as usually does not imply you may’t. You needn’t consistently run between 6,000 and eight,000 rpm within the GT4 to have a whale of a time; the 4.0-liter engine has ample midrange shove. You are not setting lap data on public roads, in any case. If you wish to shift, simply freaking shift.

I want the PDK automobile had bigger paddle shifters.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Nonetheless, whichever transmission you select, the GT4 is an excellent automobile. Porsche’s 718 chassis can just about do no improper, and on this most aggressive spec, it is a pleasure to wring out again and again up and down my favourite canyon roads. A continuing stream of suggestions flows by way of the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and I can really feel reverberations from the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires up by way of the chassis and into the mounted bucket seats. These carbon fiber-reinforced chairs aren’t precisely constructed for long-haul consolation, however then once more, neither is the GT4.

But on the similar time, the Cayman is shockingly livable. The chassis is not so stiff that it will punish you for driving on tough pavement, which is outstanding contemplating how taut this automobile is on a mountain highway. Wind and tire noise definitely make themselves identified, but it surely’s nothing you may’t drown out with a number of twists of the stereo quantity knob. Or, you understand, simply open the game exhaust and dig into the throttle. There’s nothing just like the wail of a flat-six.

These full bucket seats are properly supportive.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Cayman’s inside is unquestionably displaying its age, although the easy association of mounted buttons on the middle stack makes them straightforward to find whereas driving, and there is a satisfying click on to their motion. The material door pulls have but to lose their novelty, and do not forget, the Cayman can be fairly purposeful. The mid-engine format means there is a deep frunk and a small however usable baggage compartment beneath the rear hatch.

If there’s one place the place the 718 actually feels outdated, it is within the tech division. The GT4’s 7-inch colour touchscreen runs the oldest iteration of Porsche’s PCM software program with a comparatively fundamental menu construction. You may get Apple CarPlay however Android Auto continues to be unavailable. Need the most recent and biggest driver help options? You’ve got bought the improper automobile, pal.

Look carefully and you will discover this Gentian Blue GT4 has a roll cage behind the seats, however do not get too excited. That is a part of a Clubsport bundle that is not out there within the US that features a six-point seat belt for the driving force and a light-weight hearth extinguisher as a result of, you understand, racing may be harmful. The one cause this particular automobile has the Clubsport possibility is as a result of it is a German-spec GT4 that Porsche imported to the US for testing. The European quantity plate on the entrance bumper is not only for present, is what I am saying.

Love the look of Gentian Blue.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 2021 Cayman GT4 begins at $102,550, together with $1,350 for vacation spot, and the brand new PDK possibility provides $3,210 to the underside line. Seize a number of key choices like the total bucket seats ($5,900), carbon ceramic brakes ($8,000), LED headlights ($2,140) and a not-boring paint colour (you will get it in Frozen Berry pink!) and a properly optioned GT4 will run you round $125,000. Contemplating this factor can chase down supercars costing twice as a lot, that hefty-sounding price ticket oddly seems like a cut price. Bizarre, I do know.

Would I personally go for the PDK possibility within the Cayman GT4? No. It takes away from the driving expertise an excessive amount of for my liking, and the efficiency beneficial properties cannot make up for that lack of involvement. The Cayman GT4 is among the world’s finest sports activities automobiles, and that is true whether or not you go guide or computerized. However for a automobile that is so centered on an all-encompassing sensory expertise, I am unable to think about shopping for one with no traditionally quintessential aspect of the bond between automobile and driver.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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