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Dan Prosser

A Straightforward Take on the New 718 Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder

Smaller than a GT3, the GT4 is more easily placed on the road and track.

A motoring journalist worth their salt ought to verge on being salty. Fair judgement and an understanding of what a sports car should offer is what Dan Prosser brings to the table, and through his sharpened lens we learn how the quickest variants of the 718 lineup differ from their predecessors.

Since most YouTubers attention spans are limited and the cars are so similar, Prosser chose to drive the cars in the domains they’re better suited to, which revealed some interesting differences between the two. While Cayman GT4 showed more civility than its predecessor on the track, the Boxster Spyder was a harder, more focused machine for the country road. It seems the two are nearing a happy medium to keep the track rat pacified and the sunday driver excited.

Better for the Boulevards

The newest Cayman GT4 seems less of a skunkworks product this time around. Despite the rack losing some of its three-dimensional feel, it compensates with more composure and reassurance across cambers, pockmarks, and crests. At the end of the day, it’s still an incredibly accurate and intuitive car, but it pays for its poise with a loss in feel.

That is only one of the traits which helped this generation of the Cayman GT4 cover the Nurburgring twelve seconds faster than its forebear. Factor in less drag, more aerodynamic downforce, and a bit more power, it’s easy to see how a driver would feel confident pushing it hard on a varied and unforgiving track. It’s much friendlier at the edge of adhesion, thanks in part to a Porsche Torque Vectoring limited-slip differential which allows the driver to lean on the car. In short, it’s a more amenable car with better stats. For everyone but a hardened racing driver, that means its faster in most places.

Closer to the Right Compromise

Compromise might be the operative word with these two, since both still show a few shortcomings made in the name of everyday civility. Those frustratingly long gear ratios, a muted exhaust note, diminished steering feel, and a stowable top in the case of the Spyder mean that they’re not quite the hardcore motorsports product that they’re sometimes billed as.

Few cars allow its driver to soak in the scenery while driving quickly as this one.

This might seem harsh considering the beauty and craftsmanship of these two gems, but a discerning judge helps make the the avid driver more informed and less frustrated. Let’s just be thankful these two didn’t hold on to the four-cylinder turbo.

Despite their shortcomings, it’s hard to argue with the obvious purpose on display here. For those who want a little more from their mid-range Porsche without spending GT3 money, these are alluring alternatives. Plus, with their mid-engine balance and comparatively lower power, they’re much more approachable for the hobbyist than the hotter-blooded GT3 is.

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How Is The Cayman T Better Than the Base Cayman?

Aimed at people who love driving, the Cayman T brings all the handling options available for a better price. In other words, it offers better value for a pre-selected set of upgrades catered to the discerning canyon carver. Like its bigger sibling, the Cayman T is an old-school approach for those who simply want to dance more intimately with their mechanical partner. There’s more too—it’s lower than the lowest the standard Cayman can go by 10mm, and as a result, it is one of the pointiest, eager, and most reassuring machines available for the money.

It is a true driver’s car, as Autocar’s Dan Prosser points out repeatedly. A short throw, an alcantara-wrapped wheel, « beautifully weighted » controls, and incredible balance gives the driver huge confidence. With the lowered suspension, the T is sharper, more predictable, and allows the car to be exploited that much more. Is it worth $77,000? For the people who don’t want to spring for the upcoming GT4 but enjoy the utmost in agility from the 718 lineup and a distinct character than the standard car, it’s not completely unreasonable.

Hunkered down 10mm lower than the standard car, the athletic Cayman T looks perfectly suited to canyon carving.

Of course, some of potential buyers will sniff at the idea of a flat-four for that sort of coin. The 2.0-liter turbo has a zinging top end though, and the torque is more than enough for the tire. Low-end power is an issue, though, as is the sound. Though that’s a subjective matter, the Subaru-like burble in the cockpit doesn’t quite pull the heartstrings like the old six did. Is a decrement in musical quality enough to spoil a rewarding engine and plenty of mid-range shove? It’s doubtful.

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