2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 review: Now with PDK

The GT4 is now accessible with a guide or automatic.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Some factors can’t be quantified. The sound of a naturally aspirated flat-six engine spinning at 8,000 rpm. Loud-and-very clear opinions felt via a steering wheel. The crisp, satisfying motion of a guide transmission clicking from equipment to equipment. All of these sensations are paramount to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 working experience. So what takes place if you choose a single absent?


  • Tremendous-sharp reflexes
  • Solid and sonorous flat-six electric power
  • Rapid-shifting twin-clutch transmission

Do not Like

  • Little paddle shifters
  • Outdated infotainment tech
  • Can’t swap the guide working experience

For 2021, the Cayman GT4 is accessible with Porsche’s seven-pace PDK twin-clutch automatic transmission. It can be the same gearbox you are going to come across in a good deal of the company’s other athletics vehicles, and it comes with a range of rewards. Inspite of adding sixty eight lbs . to the GT4’s control pounds, the Cayman is faster with PDK. It’ll hit 60 mph in three.7 seconds, compared with 4.two seconds with the guide transmission. PDK also allows the engine to deliver a skosh extra torque — 317 pound-ft, up from 309 — and even helps make the GT4 a small extra effective, with 1-mpg boosts throughout the board. Of course, the outcome is a nevertheless-dismal eighteen mpg town, 24 mpg freeway and 20 mpg put together, but hey, any enhancements are fantastic.

No shock, PDK operates fantastically with the GT4’s 4.-liter flat-six. Left to its have units, equipment changes are as sleek as they are brief, and they’re completely timed, as well. The transmission appreciates when you’re driving hard and holds gears near redline to accommodate. Push the PDK Activity button on the heart stack and the DCT is even extra notify, preserving the engine revving superior to eke out just about every a single of its 414 horsepower. Truly feel like picking out your have journey? Metal paddles hooked up to the steering wheel allow you contact up your have change logic, and inputs are rewarded with speedy responses. I would like the paddles have been larger and mounted on the column — the proper way — but as much as twin-clutch transmissions go, it can be seriously hard to conquer PDK.

But when the DCT’s enhancements are undeniably very clear, what the GT4 gains in objective effectiveness it loses in subjective enjoyment. So a lot of why I appreciate the Cayman GT4 comes down to its raw, involving character in conditions of driver opinions, contemporary vehicles will not get a lot improved than this. The normal six-pace guide transmission heightens that engagement, pulling you into the working experience with a weighty clutch pedal, a hefty equipment lever and a limited-toss ‘box so tactile you are going to come across yourself clicking via the gears at stoplights merely simply because it feels that fantastic.

I’ve read a good deal of people complain about the GT4’s guide transmission, saying the gearing is as well long to seriously make it enjoyable. But I will not get the despise. Just simply because you will not have to change as frequently will not signify you can’t. You will not want to consistently operate among six,000 and 8,000 rpm in the GT4 to have a whale of a time the 4.-liter engine has enough midrange shove. You aren’t setting lap data on public roadways, just after all. If you want to change, just freaking change.

I would like the PDK car or truck experienced larger paddle shifters.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Even now, whichever transmission you choose, the GT4 is a amazing car or truck. Porsche’s 718 chassis can really a lot do no incorrect, and in this most intense spec, it can be a pleasure to wring out more than and more than up and down my beloved canyon roadways. A regular stream of opinions flows via the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and I can truly feel reverberations from the sticky Michelin Pilot Activity Cup two tires up via the chassis and into the fixed bucket seats. These carbon fiber-reinforced chairs aren’t specifically developed for long-haul comfort, but then once more, neither is the GT4.

Nonetheless at the same time, the Cayman is shockingly livable. The chassis isn’t really so rigid that it will punish you for driving on rough pavement, which is extraordinary looking at how taut this car or truck is on a mountain street. Wind and tire sounds certainly make them selves recognised, but it can be absolutely nothing you can’t drown out with a number of twists of the stereo quantity knob. Or, you know, just open up the sport exhaust and dig into the throttle. There is certainly absolutely nothing like the wail of a flat-six.

These complete bucket seats are properly supportive.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Cayman’s inside is certainly demonstrating its age, although the uncomplicated arrangement of fixed buttons on the heart stack helps make them effortless to locate when driving, and you will find a fulfilling click to their motion. The fabric door pulls have nonetheless to lose their novelty, and will not forget, the Cayman is also quite functional. The mid-engine layout usually means you will find a deep frunk and a smaller but usable luggage compartment beneath the rear hatch.

If you will find a single position the place the 718 seriously feels outdated, it can be in the tech office. The GT4’s 7-inch colour touchscreen runs the oldest iteration of Porsche’s PCM software package with a somewhat fundamental menu construction. You can get Apple CarPlay but Android Automobile proceeds to be unavailable. Want the most current and biggest driver support options? You have acquired the incorrect car or truck, pal.

Search carefully and you are going to discover this Gentian Blue GT4 has a roll cage behind the seats, but will not get as well thrilled. This is element of a Clubsport bundle that isn’t really accessible in the US that incorporates a six-issue seat belt for the driver and a light-weight fireplace extinguisher simply because, you know, racing can be harmful. The only reason this certain car or truck has the Clubsport choice is simply because it can be a German-spec GT4 that Porsche imported to the US for testing. The European range plate on the entrance bumper isn’t really just for display, is what I am saying.

Like the look of Gentian Blue.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 2021 Cayman GT4 starts at $102,550, including $1,350 for place, and the new PDK choice provides $three,210 to the base line. Get a number of essential choices like the complete bucket seats ($5,900), carbon ceramic brakes ($8,000), LED headlights ($two,a hundred and forty) and a not-unexciting paint colour (you can get it in Frozen Berry pink!) and a properly optioned GT4 will operate you about $a hundred twenty five,000. Thinking of this issue can chase down supercars costing twice as a lot, that hefty-sounding value tag oddly feels like a discount. Weird, I know.

Would I personally go for the PDK choice in the Cayman GT4? No. It normally takes absent from the driving working experience as well a lot for my liking, and the effectiveness gains can’t make up for that decline of involvement. The Cayman GT4 is a single of the world’s ideal athletics vehicles, and which is accurate no matter if you go guide or automatic. But for a car or truck which is so targeted on an all-encompassing sensory working experience, I can’t envision acquiring a single with out a historically quintessential factor of the bond among car or truck and driver.

Rosa G. Rose

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