REVIEW | The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is a car for the purists

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post
Janine Van der Post
  • The Porsche Cayman GT4 has a 4.0-litre flat-six engine delivering 309kW and 420Nm.
  • It's mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
  • The GT4 is one of Porche's most intuitive models.
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We've driven quite a few Porsche models in our time here at Wheels24, but it always astonishes me that even though many of the models are the same, each one is entirely different.

The latest model to pass through the proverbial Wheels24 test garage is the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. This has probably been the most interactive car I have driven in a while, and definitely one of the most emotional models of the brand.

You see, the Cayman GT4 has a 4.0-litre, flat-six, naturally aspirated engine, which delivers 309kW and 420Nm. Naturally aspirated – I'll let that sink in. And while you're thinking about that, couple that with a manual six-speed gearbox. Again – manual transmission. Yet, these two single factors are still not the only reasons why the experience of driving this car is just so interactive. 

It gallantly jolts from zero to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds. Of course the best part – next to it breathing naturally – is that it's mated to a ridiculously fine-tuned six-speed manual gearbox with optimally tuned gear ratios, which feel heavenly when you're shifting on that short metal stick. You have no choice but to be involved with this car; it pulls you in and meshes into your soul, uniting you as one with the machine that it is. The resonant, continuous drone of the engine becomes your own heartbeat and makes you want to keep driving on an endless road.

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It's just a well-built car, one that will make the purists' hearts sing and evoke all the right emotions. It's refined, yet it's utterly raw at the same time. It's a car that is completely "give and take", and the more you give of yourself and allow the car to get to know you, the better the drive becomes.

It's one of those cars where you don't need the radio on, or even a passenger; one of those cars you want to drive alone. One of those cars for which you really don't need any extra options because you can enjoy the vehicle in its most simplest form.

The massive fixed rear spoiler, the distinctive front lip spoiler, and the new rear diffuser – every new bit is function to form.

At it's heart lies a horizontally-opposed, naturally aspirated 4.0-litre, six-cylinder engine, positioned centrally. Porsche says the completely redeveloped six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine has direct fuel injection (DFI), integrated dry-sump lubrication and adaptive cylinder control. There's also a variable intake manifold with switchable resonance valves which provides the engine with optimum ventilation. The automaker says the maximum engine speed is at 8000rpm, meaning the maximum torque of 420Nm is from 5000 to 6800rpm. This results in a blast from standstill to 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds.

Porsche claims a maximum speed over 300km/h. I most certainly can't attest to that but it's believable. The new sports exhaust system with its two black tailpipes on either side of the rear diffuser makes for an even more powerful sports car sound at the press of a button – one you'll also want to keep on permanently.

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With that said, if you do want to splurge more on the R1.8-million Porsche to make your sports car truly bespoke, there's a few extra options you could add.

Choose a standard colour like white, black, guards red or racing yellow, and you won't pay anything extra for the these base body colours. Go for Gentian Blue, like the one Wheels24 sampled, Carrara White or GT Silver Metallic and you'll fork out R11 740. Still, it's really not much. However, go for a special colour such as Python Green, Miami Blue or Crayon (another shade of silver) and you'll have to dig deeper for R73 470.

Naturally it doesn't end there. You can also add your custom materials for the interior. Where I would spend a bit extra – and this is completely unnecessary because the standard seats are as fine as a dandelion – are those full bucket seats, which will only cost R122 400. Or, you could go for the Adaptive Sport seats Plus (18-way, electric) for only R56 050.

I could go on, but it really doesn't matter because none of those options will make this car even better than it is at the core. If anyone wants to argue about Porsche becoming too modern or stripping away at its authenticity, just go for a drive in this, and all resistance will crumble. This is a car for the purists.

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