As is usually the case when Porsche enthusiasts have nothing better to do, the rumor mill has started swirling again. This time, in regard to an extremely hot version of Porsche's 981 Cayman chassis, dubbed the "GT4". Porsche's head of GT3 development, Andreas Preuninger, was quoted almost a year ago as saying that Porsche was "considering" a more track-focused version of the mid-engine coupe, but that a conclusion had not yet been reached. With recent spy photos taken of a visually aggressive Cayman, the internet has been abuzz with rumors of the "GT4" coming soon, and what exactly the specification will be when it arrives.
Many of these rumor mongers have been proffering that Porsche has finally seen the light on high-performance mid-engine models, and will be bringing a baby-GT3 with gobs of power, monsterous grip, and all number of other tweaks. Some outlets are claiming power will be somewhere around 400 horses, and that the car will be a stripped down track fighter, and that it will cost more than $100,000. It's been lauded as a 911 killer, a mid-engined Renaissance for the Porsche brand, and any number of other superlatives. The problem is, I think some of these media outlets are giving Porsche a bit more credit than they might deserve.
Here's Why I Don't Think It Will Be Built
The car shown in these spy photographs won't be a new "Cayman GT4", it just won't. There are a number of reasons for this:
1. Because Porsche don't have any intention of selling a $100,000 dollar Cayman that will compete on a level playing field with a 911.
2. Because Porsche doesn't have any intention of producing a motorsport oriented Cayman.
3. Because the Cayman platform will never see 400 horsepower (at least not in this generation).
4. Because Porsche has a history of watering down their most heavily performance based non-911s in order to continue the 911s reign as king of the P-car mountain.
So What Are We Really Seeing?
No, the car shown in these photographs simply must be a revival of the Cayman R that came late in the 987 generation. It has all of the accouterments of new-gen Cayman R, including the lightweight, wider wheels with stickier rubber, the fixed rear aero, the more aggressive front bumper. In fact, the only thing it's really lacking is the retina-searing Peridot Green exterior paint work.
From the looks of things, this new car will be a slightly more aggressive Cayman R than the 987 version was, featuring some not-so-subtle aero, and some brake rotors that really fill out the wheels (It is hard to tell from the photos, but possibly the GT3's 380mm rotors at all four corners?). Surely power will be bumped, but how much is all just speculation at this point. Using the Carrera S' 400 horsepower 3.8 liter would surely produce a righteous car, but how would Carrera S models continue to sell if you could get a lighter, more aggressive Cayman with the same engine for less money? No, I don't imagine that will be the case. If anything, the standard Carrera 3.4 liter would be used, providing 350 horespower, which is 10 horsepower more than the new Cayman GTS, and 25 horsepower more than the bog-standard Cayman S. This would give it a bit more oomph without stealing big brother's thunder.
Could It Be The Turbo Charged Four Cylinder?
It has been said that this could be the test mule for the first of the new-generation four-cylinder cars, potentially turbocharged. That would, certainly make sense, as Porsche always launches their highest spec vehicles before introducing lower tier cars with the same or similar engines. An S always launches before a base model, so perhaps what we are seeing here is a two liter, flat-four turbo Cayman R. If this is the case, I'd guess 350hp, or just a tick more than that, would still be the power level to aim for in this car. That provides a needed boost in power over the standard Cayman, while still allowing the 911 just enough room to breathe. While just as baseless as the GT4 name, I'd call this model a "Cayman Turbo R", and if launched, I would be standing in line to get my hands on one.
Whatever the Porsche shown here is, whatever it is called, and however it is marketed, you can be sure of one thing. This Cayman, be it a GT, R, GTR, GT4, Turbo, Turbo R, or whatever else, will not be an out and out 911 killer. Based on history, Porsche will stifle little brother's potential in order to preserve the family favorite's perception as top-dog.
UPDATE: Looks like we were wrong! 🙂 Porsche just announced the Cayman GT4.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
Why Porsche Should Consider a Flat-Four Engine for the Boxster and Cayman.
Porsche Confirms They Will Build A 4-Cylinder Boxster And Cayman
Are The New Boxster GTS And Cayman GTS Worthy Of The Badge?
Behind The Wheel Of The New Boxster GTS And Cayman GTS
The yellow Cayman GT4 rendering developed by De Telegraaf newspaper in the Netherlands from a Porsche Cayman press release photo. Green Cayman GT4 rendering developed by German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport. Spy photos sourced from AutoExpress.co.UK.