Though no slouch from the factory, the Cayman 718 GTS' blade can use a bit of sharpening if it's to keep in touch with the venerable 991 GT3 RS. One owner and skilled shoe, a certain sebastian vittel, sent his off to Manthey Racing to fulfill the potential of the 718 chassis. Agile, easily controlled, and reassuring, it's enough to run with a well-driven GT3 RS at the Nurburgring.
A Few Important Tweaks
Though the list of modifications supplied by Manthey is short, each item is very effective. They contribute to feel, feedback, and confidence—qualities that go very far on as treacherous a track as the Nurburgring. Controlling the body are Manthey racing Special KW competition suspension with a setup tailored to the crests and crowns of the 'Ring. Special Endless brake pads and stainless brake lines sit underneath the BBS Cayman GT4 forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli Trofeo R rubber. For a little more reassurance in the quick stuff, a TWL carbon rear ducktail spoiler helps, and a half cage provides a little stiffness and security, as do the Schroth harnesses.
The engine is untouched and produces the same 367 horsepower as it did when it rolled off the dealer's lot. It's not an exceptional amount of thrust, but the PDK gearbox makes the most of the punch available. In fact, the Cayman seems slightly underpowered for the amount of grip it has. Even in slow corners, it never snaps or overwhelms the rears. This, in some sense, eases the driver's mind and allows them to focus on cornering speed.
Agility Its Best Asset
The way the Cayman points into corners is perhaps the reason why it's so capable around the 12.9-mile track. When he makes his way past Ex-Muhle (3:37), vittel can keep his foot flat to the floor and carry wonderful speed through the fastest corners as he doesn't have to consider making a speed change (through lifting or braking) at the corner entry. The tighter the course gets, the more the incisive front end helps him, and he can constantly close whatever small gap with a few additional mph into and through the corner.
It's obvious that the well-balanced chassis, moderate amount of torque from down low, and pointy front end make this Cayman extremely capable. Those assets, combined with vittel's tidier lines and the benefit of traffic, allow him to keep in touch with the GT3 RS ahead until the front straightaway, where the blue car fires off into the distance. It's easy to say who the more satisfied driver was at that point.