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Porsche Cayman GT4 (981, 2015-2019) review – engine and gearbox

The Cayman we've all been waiting for

Evo rating
Price
from £64,451
  • Looks; attitude; exquisite chassis balance; price; 'that' manual gearbox
  • Gear ratios still feel too long; they've all been sold

The Cayman GT4 borrows the 911 Carrera S’s 3.8-litre Powerkit engine, which gives the car plenty of straight-line performance. Low-down torque is strong and with the redline set at 7800rpm it has good top-end reach, too. Being a highly-tuned, normally-aspirated engine throttle response is razor sharp, which means you can precisely manipulate the rear axle under power. The six-speed manual gearbox is one of the best around. The shift action is so sweet you change gears just for the tactile joy of it. It’s just a shame that the standard car’s overlong gear ratios remains. The extra torque of the 3.8 does disguise the problem to some degree, but with shorter ratios the engine would feel punchier still and you could enjoy the gearshift more often. As it is, the combination of low-down torque and top-end reach of the engine combined with the long gearing mean you can actually leave it in third gear most of the time. It’s like that moment with Nintendo Wii when you realise a casual wrist-flick is just as effective as a lunge across the room.

 The automatic throttle blip works terrifically well and is particularly helpful when the corners come thick and fast. Some drivers will hate the idea of a computer doing the blip work for them, though – leave the powertrain out of Sport mode and the function is removed, although throttle response is then dulled fractionally. Our preference would be for a dedicated button to make the automatic throttle blip independently switchable. The limited-slip differential, meanwhile, combines with the sticky Cup 2 tyres to find massive traction at corner exit. When you consciously overload the driven wheels the diff then gives a very clean and predictable breakaway, which helps to make the car even more playful.

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