2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 review: Now with PDK

The GT4 is now accessible with a manual or automated.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Some matters can’t be quantified. The seem of a in a natural way aspirated flat-six motor spinning at eight,000 rpm. Loud-and-distinct responses felt by way of a steering wheel. The crisp, worthwhile action of a manual transmission clicking from gear to gear. All of these sensations are paramount to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 knowledge. So what happens if you just take just one absent?

Table of Contents


  • Super-sharp reflexes
  • Potent and sonorous flat-six ability
  • Brief-shifting twin-clutch transmission

Really don’t Like

  • Compact paddle shifters
  • Out-of-date infotainment tech
  • Can’t change the manual knowledge

For 2021, the Cayman GT4 is accessible with Porsche’s seven-velocity PDK twin-clutch automated transmission. It can be the very same gearbox you are going to locate in a large amount of the firm’s other athletics cars and trucks, and it will come with a amount of positive aspects. Regardless of including 68 kilos to the GT4’s suppress bodyweight, the Cayman is a lot quicker with PDK. It will hit 60 mph in three.seven seconds, in comparison with four.2 seconds with the manual transmission. PDK also enables the motor to develop a skosh extra torque — 317 pound-ft, up from 309 — and even makes the GT4 a minimal extra productive, with 1-mpg will increase across the board. Of study course, the consequence is a still-dismal eighteen mpg town, 24 mpg highway and twenty mpg mixed, but hey, any advancements are very good.

No surprise, PDK works beautifully with the GT4’s four.-liter flat-six. Remaining to its individual gadgets, gear variations are as smooth as they are brief, and they are perfectly timed, far too. The transmission is familiar with when you might be driving hard and holds gears in close proximity to redline to accommodate. Press the PDK Sport button on the centre stack and the DCT is even extra alert, keeping the motor revving high to eke out each and every just one of its 414 horsepower. Sense like picking out your individual journey? Steel paddles attached to the steering wheel permit you connect with up your individual change logic, and inputs are rewarded with rapid responses. I want the paddles were being bigger and mounted on the column — the proper way — but as far as twin-clutch transmissions go, it really is truly hard to beat PDK.

But while the DCT’s enhancements are undeniably distinct, what the GT4 gains in objective general performance it loses in subjective enjoyment. So much of why I like the Cayman GT4 will come down to its raw, involving character in terms of driver responses, modern day cars and trucks do not get much greater than this. The regular six-velocity manual transmission heightens that engagement, pulling you into the knowledge with a weighty clutch pedal, a hefty gear lever and a brief-throw ‘box so tactile you are going to locate you clicking by way of the gears at stoplights only mainly because it feels that very good.

I’ve heard a large amount of persons complain about the GT4’s manual transmission, saying the gearing is far too extended to truly make it pleasing. But I do not get the dislike. Just mainly because you do not have to change as generally will not indicate you can’t. You do not need to continuously operate concerning six,000 and eight,000 rpm in the GT4 to have a whale of a time the four.-liter motor has sufficient midrange shove. You are not environment lap data on public roadways, just after all. If you want to change, just freaking change.

I want the PDK car had bigger paddle shifters.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Continue to, whichever transmission you choose, the GT4 is a fantastic car. Porsche’s 718 chassis can really much do no mistaken, and in this most intense spec, it really is a joy to wring out in excess of and in excess of up and down my favorite canyon roadways. A regular stream of responses flows by way of the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and I can sense reverberations from the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires up by way of the chassis and into the preset bucket seats. These carbon fiber-reinforced chairs are not accurately crafted for extended-haul comfort, but then yet again, neither is the GT4.

Nonetheless at the very same time, the Cayman is shockingly livable. The chassis isn’t really so stiff that it will punish you for driving on tough pavement, which is extraordinary looking at how taut this car is on a mountain highway. Wind and tire sound definitely make by themselves acknowledged, but it really is practically nothing you can’t drown out with a couple of twists of the stereo volume knob. Or, you know, just open the activity exhaust and dig into the throttle. There is certainly practically nothing like the wail of a flat-six.

These whole bucket seats are nicely supportive.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Cayman’s interior is absolutely demonstrating its age, however the easy arrangement of preset buttons on the centre stack makes them easy to find while driving, and there is a fulfilling click to their action. The fabric doorway pulls have nevertheless to shed their novelty, and do not overlook, the Cayman is also very purposeful. The mid-motor structure means there is a deep frunk and a small but usable luggage compartment underneath the rear hatch.

If there is just one area where the 718 truly feels outdated, it really is in the tech section. The GT4’s seven-inch coloration touchscreen runs the oldest iteration of Porsche’s PCM software package with a relatively basic menu structure. You can get Apple CarPlay but Android Car carries on to be unavailable. Want the latest and best driver guidance attributes? You’ve obtained the mistaken car, pal.

Search carefully and you are going to notice this Gentian Blue GT4 has a roll cage powering the seats, but do not get far too thrilled. This is element of a Clubsport deal that isn’t really accessible in the US that features a six-level seat belt for the driver and a lightweight hearth extinguisher mainly because, you know, racing can be risky. The only reason this precise car has the Clubsport option is mainly because it really is a German-spec GT4 that Porsche imported to the US for testing. The European amount plate on the entrance bumper isn’t really just for exhibit, is what I’m saying.

Love the glimpse of Gentian Blue.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 2021 Cayman GT4 starts at $102,550, such as $1,350 for location, and the new PDK option adds $three,210 to the base line. Grab a couple of important selections like the whole bucket seats ($five,900), carbon ceramic brakes ($eight,000), LED headlights ($2,a hundred and forty) and a not-monotonous paint coloration (you can get it in Frozen Berry pink!) and a nicely optioned GT4 will operate you close to $a hundred twenty five,000. Considering this issue can chase down supercars costing two times as much, that hefty-sounding selling price tag oddly feels like a deal. Weird, I know.

Would I personally go for the PDK option in the Cayman GT4? No. It will take absent from the driving knowledge far too much for my liking, and the general performance gains can’t make up for that loss of involvement. The Cayman GT4 is just one of the world’s finest athletics cars and trucks, and that’s genuine no matter whether you go manual or automated. But for a car that’s so centered on an all-encompassing sensory knowledge, I can’t picture obtaining just one without the need of a historically quintessential component of the bond concerning car and driver.