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Review Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Track Drive

ROSAMUND, California – With fourteen corners packed within 1.6 miles, Streets of Willow is a tight, technical road course where sports car packing 200 to 250 hp often seems to shine the brightest – think Subaru BRZ, Honda S2000, Mazda Miata and the like. However, even with double power on, 2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS carve a surgical line through the zigzag runway, easily devouring straight segments, and then seemingly asking, “Is that all you got?”

The promise of the GT4 RS has been around for a long time. Since CaymanOriginally launched in 2005, Porsche has produced a series of increasingly powerful iterations of its mid-engine sports car, but prominent members of the peanut gallery argue that the automaker will always keep the background. the platform fell back from its true performance potential due to concerns about it being able to outperform the 911. It could be argued that the concept was brought to bed back in 2016 with the advent of the 911. The previous generation Cayman GT4 (aka the 981), but if any doubts linger, the new GT4 RS (aka the 982) has decided to end the discussion.

The big headline is the engine, which is a completely different engine from the 4.0-litre, naturally aspirated, 6-cylinder, 982 Cayman GT4 turbodiesel. Take from Current 911 GT3 (992) outwardly unchanged – a 10 hp and 15 pound-feet deficit over the GT3 is caused by back pressure created by the Cayman’s longer exhaust system – flat 4.0-liter engine for 493 hp and 331 lb-ft gives the GT4 RS with the GT3’s ghastly growl as well as its soaring 9,000 rpm redline. Here, the side bars are positioned just behind the doors to help cool the engine rather than provide for the throttle bodies, and with the large pedals pinned to the floorboards, the flat 6’s banshee rivals the sound of the air. The air intakes into the new RS-specific air intakes installed in the normal rear quarter window position, just behind the occupants’ heads.

But there’s more going on here than just engine swapping. Since that flat six was mounted against its direction on the 911, engineers needed to develop a new seven-speed PDK transmission specifically for the GT4 RS. It uses the same gear ratio and shaft used in 911 GT3 RS previous generation The PDK, which Porsche says effectively makes it the most powerful transmission GT model produced to date, while ancillary components like the dual mass flywheel come directly from the GT4 Clubsport race car.

Supporting the enhanced powertrain is a series of chassis tweaks including integrating the previous-generation Carrera 4’s front structure for improved rigidity, using ball joints for all of the above connections. front and rear axles, revised dampers and increased spring ratios all around. Stopping power reinforced by larger standard cast iron front panel brake from the GT3 with improved cooling provided by new wheel well air ducts as well as NACA ducts on the hood. That hood is made of carbon fiberby the way, as well as 911 GT1– Inspiring front fender. On the aerodynamic front, improvements such as the adjustable front diffuser and swan-neck rear spoiler also provide up to 25% more downforce than the standard GT4 at 125 mph.

Fixed-back carbon bucket seats are standard in the GT4 RS, but sport seats are also offered as a free option. However, if you choose the second option, I assume you are doing it wrong. These buckets are surprisingly comfortable despite the strong fixation, and since they place you lower in the car, even taller drivers like me can find an ideal seating position. with a helmet and still have headroom.

With its relatively short straights and tight corners, Streets of Willow tends to showcase a car’s chassis balance and contact pads more than anything else, but decides to race the track counterclockwise. Porsche’s watches have cast an interesting curve into the mix. After going through a lap of re-acquaintance chasing Porsche factory racer Patrick Long in the 911 Turbo S, the pace quickly started to pick up and it all started to make sense.

The layout allowed us to fly flat through the trench leading to a straight back, which effectively extended the length of that stretch and allowed us to gain more speed before quickly scrubbing it off and diving into the slopes. of the bowl. serves as the focus of the course. From there, it was an increasingly demanding series of corners to test accuracy, patience, and grip before the course unfolded to a sprint back to the main line.

I usually prefer to handle the swapping of gears myself, but given the rapid change in speed and direction on this course, I opted to let the PDK do its thing for the first few sessions. With quick, seamless shifts and near clairvoyant programming in PDK Sport mode, the transmission always keeps the engine within the belt’s hardeners for maximum response.

But doing so also leads to a lot of short shifts. For my own sake and a desire to hear that flat six at 9,000 RPM as often as possible, I decided to switch the gearshift to manual for a session at the end of the day to see how I ran. on the oars. While nowhere near as efficient, it’s a significantly more involved and meaningful experience as the noise only gets better as the revs increase and I found the flat-six didn’t have any problems either. Difficulty pulling the car out of corners more slowly than when you’re on higher-than-ideal gear.

Porsche supplied two different cars for our race sessions – one with the Weissach Package and the other without. While the improvements are primarily aesthetic, choosing the Weissach Package allows buyers to check out the optional magnesium wheel box that has been fitted to the Arctic Gray example you see here. While both cars are equipped with standard Michelin Pilot Sports Cup 2 tires (the even stickier Pilot Sport Cup 2 R is available as a dealer-installed option), the benefit of the reduced turning mass offered by those sharp-looking mags is obvious thanks to in turn is more responsive and reduces ABS intervention in the large brake areas at the ends of the front and rear align.

The 2 R Cups would certainly allow for even greater speed, but the GT4 RS certainly wouldn’t be lacking to hold without them. Combined with the quick steering, contact, and enduring stopping power of optional carbon-ceramic brakes, the car is a honed weapon on the track that constantly provides information on tire and chassis performance.

And it’s no surprise: operating as if the driver were the center of mass, the GT4 RS is playful and approachable despite its aggressive tuning. While the 911 GT3 is a uniquely rewarding driving experience due in part to its engine placement, the Cayman GT4 RS is an intuitive speedometer that simply does exactly what you ask. With a starting price that puts it in the same ballpark as the GT3 (when you dive into the six digits, $141,700 versus the qualifying 161,100), it seems inevitable that some will try to find Which machine is ultimately the better sports car? Considering how well the two match up when it comes to outright performance, it’s largely a subjective endeavor.

However, one thing is certain: At a time when downsizing, turbocharging and hybridization The GT4 RS has become the imperative of the times, philosophically the GT4 RS is in direct opposition to current automotive trends. And if concepts like CHEAP Mission As a harbinger, it is clear that the future is coming whether we are ready for it or not. With that in mind, traditionalists would be wise to smoke them while we already have them.

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