Big wings, a gaping maw, the right amount of badging, and an exhaust note that sounds the business. All these qualities solidify the impression of aggression this car leaves on anyone looking at it for more than two seconds. Oh—and its 414 horsepower also helps. It's a classic, unfiltered, intense sports car for someone in need of a rolling adrenaline shot. With its size, balance, and price point, does it have similar or better value than the GT3?
It's less powerful than the GT3, sure. The professional nitpicker could accuse the top-end of lacking zip in comparison to a GT3's, and perhaps the gearing's a little too long (though PDK should solve that issue). Are those faults really that much when weighed against its strengths?
These criticisms almost imply that the motor isn't a gem, which it definitely is. Maybe not motorsport-grade brilliance like the GT3's motor, but it's still plenty exhilarating. Its 4.0-liter produces 309 lb-ft of torque right in the middle of the rev range, so there's more than enough grunt to generate a manageable amount of wheelspin leaving slower corners. Then, as the peak horsepower figure is found at 7,600 rpm, the thrills keep coming as the tachometer's needle climbs. This crescendo suits the Cayman's character well, because the harder you push, the better the GT4 gets.
The engine's response and the chassis' playful balance ambiance make a car that's lively, absorbing, and confidence-inspiring. Light steering, a capable limited-slip differential, and the sort of information coming through the touch points to give Yuri here enough confidence to indulge in little twitches along a narrow country road (8:08). It's not hard to feel like a superhero in this car, although those who want to work up to the limit more gradually can lean on its unintrusive traction control system.
The titular question goes unanswered (formally) in this review, but the answer is implied. As the Cayman GT4 doesn't quite have the cabin size of its older brother, and as it currently lacks a PDK gearbox, it's simply not as versatile. They say you can't have a great sports car that does the daily duties well, but it's really just a matter of money. Unfortunately, the adaptable GT3 costs a lot more.
At the very best, this manually-shifted sports coupe is a weekend car, and one won't endear you to friends with thinner skins. Still, it is one which will make every trip to a restaurant, movie theater, or coffee shop an event in itself. If life seems drab or depressing, possibly because the GT3 is still out of your price range, the Cayman GT4 should be able to reacquaint you with some of that vim and vigor felt in your halcyon days—but make sure you have a softer daily driver.