Is the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS worth the hype?
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Is the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS worth the hype?

Is the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS worth the hype?

We get behind the wheel to find out

Gulf Business
718 Cayman GT4 RS Porsche

There’s no supercar quite like the Porsche 911 – and for many, that’s part of its evergreen appeal. But with the GT4 RS, the German automaker wanted to ensure that the Cayman no longer plays second fiddle to the 911.

The GT4 RS is the sweet spot in the 718 Cayman lineup. It is raw, loud, brutal and has never heard of a ‘sport mode’ before. It only has two modes – you turn the key and it’s on. You turn the key back and it’s off. This is a street-legal race car.

An open-top equivalent to the Cayman GT4 RS, the Spyder RS features the same engine as its coupe cousin but misses out on its aggressive aerodynamics to cement itself as the most powerful Boxster model ever.

Porsche is churning out these high-powered, high-performance models, as the brand has previously announced its decision to electrify the entire 718 range from the forthcoming generations.

So, before the time comes when you need to plug your Porsche Cayman sports car into an electric socket, is the GT4 RS Porsche’s way of giving the petrol-powered beast a final tribute before it’s retired? If so, this could be a fitting homage to the relatively short-lived legacy of the ICE-powered Cayman and Boxster models that first saw the light of day in 1996.

The numbers

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is more than a development of the GT4. Both have 4.0-litre engines, but the RS gets the unit from the latest 911 GT3, stratospheric 9000rpm redline.

The 4.0-litre six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, which produces 493hp, could be the last naturally aspirated engine ever to leave the Porsche factory, and the automaker made sure it was memorable.

For drivers who love 0-100kph times, this car will not disappoint and will deliver 100kph to you in 3.4 seconds.

The Cayman GT4 RS’ engine is unheard of in today’s day and age of turbos, hybrids and electrification. This rarity adds to the sports car’s extra unique appeal in a loud, free-revving manner, making you burst with excitement every time you put your foot down.

The engine is directly lifted from the 911 GT3 and flipped 180 degrees to fit into the GT4 RS’ engine bay.

Ride quality of GT4 RS

The Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS is one of the best-handling road cars ever. There are copious amounts of grip from this car. The steering is precise and is weighted perfectly. Turn-in during aggressive driving is precise and accurate. Very rarely do you find a car that does not oversteer or understeer and is perfectly balanced. This is that car!

Twisty roads or the racetrack is what the GT4 RS loves, but if you decide to drive it around town, you will have to bear with a ride quality that is harsher. It is a trade-off that you will have to make for having those blisteringly fast lap times at your racetrack.

Here is an idea, why don’t you have the GT4 RS as a ‘track-only’ car and genuinely explore and experience its true potential rather than waste it for a mall run?

What do you get?

The 718 GT4 RS’ interior quality is top-notch, and you can choose from a selection of leather upholstery and trim pieces. Slide into the low-set seats, and the Cayman’s driving position feels perfect straight away. The seats are well-padded for a track-focused sports car and hold you well in place during spirited driving. However, seat adjustments have limitations, and many people will find them hard.

The bare minimum is how one can describe the cabin of most high-performance sports cars. However, the Porsche 718 GT4 RS beats that by offering more than just the essentials.

Air-conditioning, an infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and hideaway cupholders make this sports car capable enough to be driven daily. But door straps instead of handles and a lack of storage spaces echo the bare minimum feeling.

Luxurious yet lightweight materials such as Ractex and carbon fibre get draped on most of the interior panels inside the cabin. The GT4 RS’ button-free steering wheel and analogue dials on the speedometer remind one that they’re a car enthusiast at heart, and that this beast’s home ground is a long twisty mountain road instead of a temperature-controlled car garage.

The looks of it

The 718 Cayman GT4 RS is more than a sports car – it is a razor-sharp track tool with a design straight from the circuit. One glance and you’ll know this sports car was designed inside a wind tunnel.

Aerodynamics have been prioritised over design aesthetics, as slatted vents and air scoops can be found across the exterior. A massive wing at the rear exhibits this sports car’s aggressive intent even further.

The Weissach pack, an optional extra, dials that intent up to 11 with lightweight carbon fibre panels on the hood and the roof, along with sporty alloys, completes the race-ready look of this sports car.

Porsche as a brand has generally scored very highly in customer satisfaction, and the Cayman has followed this trend as most owners are very pleased with their vehicles. However, given the Porsche GT4 RS is currently one of the best performance cars on sale, it will be challenging for Porsche to beat this record.

The starting price for the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS is Dhs581,700, but after adding extras, it could cost as much as Dhs700,000. Still, the car is worth every fil. The German automaker wants this sports car in the hands of brand loyalists, and sadly the GT4 RS will be sold only to the most discerning Porsche customers and collectors.

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