REVIEW | Unbridled and uncompromised - The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is a class-act sports car


• Porsche's 718 GT4 reached South Africa at the start of 2020.

• The GT4 is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre engine.

• The 718 Cayman GT4 retails for R1.7 million, before options.

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While 2020 has been a tough year for the global automotive sector, automakers are slowly but surely picking up the pieces and making up for lost ground.

For Porsche, the year got off to a very good start when the 718 Cayman GT4 was introduced to our market. It was quite a way to kickstart the year as the 718 range finally got the headliner it always deserved.

Fast-forward several months and a long period of less than favourable economic conditions, the Cayman GT4 (finally) made its way into rotation, allowing us to review what promises to be one of the most impressive cars of 2020.

Natural beauty

While Porsche is also doing its part to reduce emissions across its entire model line-up, it is not foregoing the essence of what its sports cars are so famously known for: naturally aspirated engines that gel perfectly with an incredible chassis. Add to this a manual gearbox and an engine that sits snug behind the driver, and you have a car that will indulge your every sense.

The engine, a 4.0-litre motor with six horizontally placed cylinders, produces 309kW and 420Nm. The lack of forced induction is missed when you're used to the torque kicking in from low down in the rev range, but the 718 Cayman GT4 puts those longings to rest. And fast, too! Tickle the accelerator, and the car jumps off the line with sheer intensity. It hauls the 1 480kg body forward with ease, the rev needle rushing towards the red line. It screams beautifully while the rough bark of the engine sends vibrations down your spine.

The experience is beyond words, but the reward is even more inexplainable.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 (Caylene Valentyn / Wheels24)

Enthralling performance

When one thinks Porsche, performance usually is one of the first associations that come to mind. In the case of the GT4, it does not disappoint. Thanks to brilliant aerodynamic trickery and one of the finest drivetrains in the South African market, this car has a relentless cache of performance to dish up.

Get your clutch control right and flirt perfectly with the loud pedal, and the Cayman GT4 will slingshot from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds. Keep your right foot planted and manage the clutch well, and you will see the car reach its 293km/h top speed without trouble. The six-speed manual box has a mechanical feel to it but in a car like this, you wouldn't want it any other way.

READ: The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is a car for the purists

Straight-line speed and top speed runs are not the only things the GT4 was built for, though. When the road twists and turns, the GT4 rewards with a direct steering feel and a chassis that is planted in the most testing conditions. Find the car's sweet spot and the harmony between man, machine and road will conjure the most memorable of experiences you'd have in a rear wheel-drive sports car.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 (Caylene Valentyn / Wheels24)

In summary

Sadly, a few days in a car like this are never enough. You always want one more day, one more drive, one more kilometre to relive the various emotions and experiences you feel when piloting the GT4. Porsche got it right with this car, and it leaves you pondering on what's next for the 718 range.

The big takeaway, though, is that as the automotive world, including Porsche, moves towards electrification and the reduction of carbon emissions, a car like the 718 Cayman GT4 is a sheer reminder of just how brilliantly unique the past is. In a few years, we'll say: "They just don't make 'em like they used to," and we'll use this GT4 as a prime example.

Those among us who can afford to do so will not regret buying an unbridled and uncompromising sports car like this - not for a single moment - and you'd never have to wish for one more moment to revel in its marvel.

Price: R1 719 000

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Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 (Caylene Valentyn / Wheels24)

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