Easily The Most Amazing Cayman Ever
There’s seemingly no limit to what Porsche can do, as they’re constantly tweaking and pushing all of their models to new levels of performance. Now for their latest trick, they’ve not only shoved our favorite 911 engine into the 718 Cayman, but given it a fully track-worthy setup nose to tail, and created the 718 GT4 RS.
There are not too many mechanical things in this world that can’t be made better by shoving a bigger engine into them. So, just when you thought Porsche had perfected the 718 Cayman, someone had the brilliant idea of taking the usually rear-mounted engine from the 911 GT3 and mounting it mid-ship here in the 2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS. This naturally-aspirated flat-6 is truly one of our favorite engines of all time, and getting it into the Cayman is equal parts a remarkable engineering feat and a work of art.
We just wish we could actually see it, though you do at least get some plastic coverings that resemble an engine, which is more than you’ll get in most 718s. You can definitely hear it, though, as it delivers all of the great sounds that we remember, and even more majestically since this engine is practically sitting in the cabin with you now. It’s also framed up nicely by the glass of the revised rear hatch. Power output after the transformation is 493-horsepower and 331 lb-ft. of torque.
In addition to that hatch update, front fenders get cutouts for brake cooling and downforce creation; those fenders and the hood are made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. NACA ducts are molded into the hood to also provide cooling air to the front brakes; and a manually adjustable front splitter and larger rear wing are added. There’s also a wider track, and a significantly stiffened suspension. And just to put an exclamation point on how special this car is, a unique version of their 7-speed PDK transmission was developed specifically for the RS.
We didn’t experience the insane thrust you find in a 911 Turbo, or even the Taycan, but it hooks up and takes off with power delivery directly proportional to grip levels. For us, that meant 0-60 in 3.2-seconds; ¼-mile in 11.6-seconds at 128 miles-per-hour.
Those times are plenty respectable, but going fast in a straight line is not what this car’s about; especially when you add in what we’d call a quite harsh ride on the street and seats that can be tough to live with on a daily basis. This car really belongs on a proper road course circuit, so off to Summit Point Motorsports Park we went.
Here, we found the GT4 RS is not so much a blunt force instrument of track destruction. But, rather a fine tool that yields the best results when wielded by a skilled craftsman that is able to bring out its nuances.
The steering is great; excellent feel, properly weighted. But, the RS’ playful and predictable nature makes it just as easy to steer with the throttle. It doesn’t rocket off corners or carry extreme straightaway speeds like a 911 Turbo, but there’s an amazing amount of grip for maintaining momentum through turns; not to mention the ability to get on the accelerator early and hard coming out of them.
Of course, there are always options to get even more extreme; from ceramic brakes that take continued abuse for lap after lap without complaint, to a Weisssach Package that shaves weight with additional carbon-fiber, titanium exhaust, and even magnesium wheels. The Cayman GT4 was already a great track car, the upgrades made to this RS have made it truly exceptional.
And it feels like it inside, too. There are those aforementioned full-bucket carbon seats, sport steering wheel with top center marking, and GT-style shifter for the PDK. It’s a tight fit, but certainly makes you feel locked in and ready for the business of chasing lap times. With a starting price of $150,550, the GT4 RS is easily the priciest Cayman on the street, though you could look at it as a bargain GT3.
However you choose to look at it, the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is one sweet piece of performance engineering. Now, if outright lap times are your only measure, then it may not be the Porsche for you, but if the ultra-connected joy of driving is your desire, and you want the most amazing Cayman ever, with one of the greatest naturally-aspirated engines of all-time riding shotgun, then this 718 is for you!
Engine: 4.0L NA V6
Torque: 331 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds
1/4 Mile: 11.6 seconds at 128 mph
Starting Price: $150,550