In fact, the Racing Yellow GT4 you see in the vid is a particularly highly-specified one, while the Aventurine Green Carrera is not. It was also around half a second faster than the 992-generation Porsche 911 Carrera, which completed the circuit in one minute and 57.60 seconds, and the 997-generation 911 GT3 RS, which posted a time of one minute and 57.44. My total options spend was a shade under £10,000, but you could so easily double that without really meaning to. The Cayman GTS 4.0's lap time was also faster than the BMW M2 Competition (1:57.60), Chevrolet Corvette Z06 C6 1:57.90 and the second-generation Aston Martin Vantage (1:57.90).
I've specced mine on the configurator and it comes to £85,326. Meanwhile, the 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine is so sweet and responsive - and where the sports exhaust is fitted, so tuneful as well - that you almost forget it's turbocharged.
The Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS 4.0 and debuted earlier this year to replace the outgoing GTS models and slot below the GT4. Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 …
SPECIFICATION - PORSCHE CAYMAN GT4Engine: 3,995cc, flat-sixTransmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drivePower (hp): 420@ 7600rpmTorque (lb ft): 310@ 5000-6800rpm0-62mph: 4.4 secsTop speed: 189mphKerb weight: 1,420kgMPG: 25.9mpgCO2: 249g/kmPrice: £75,348 (£94,506 as tested), SPECIFICATION - PORSCHE 911 CARRERAEngine: 2,981cc, flat-six, twin-turboTransmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch, RWDPower (hp): 385@ 6500rpmTorque (lb ft): 332@ 1950-5000rpm0-62mph: 4.2 secsTop speed: 182mphKerb weight: 1,505kgMPG: 31.4mpgCO2: 206g/kmPrice: £82,793 (£90,891 as tested), © 2020 Pistonheads Holdco Limited, All Rights Reserved, Pistonheads Holdco Limited, c/o Legalinx Limited, Tallis House, 2 Tallis Street, Temple, London, EC4Y 0AB, United Kingdom. But I have got Crayon paint, a parking camera, bucket seats, an uprated stereo and a few other bits and pieces. That's exactly the question I set out to answer in the video below. The two cars are so similar in price (in real terms) that the comparison is irresistible.
You get the point - there's not much in it.
Meanwhile, my ideal 911 Carrera (and while we're at it, I would have the Carrera over the Carrera S every single time) would set me back £89,029. The moment a manual gearbox is made available in a basic Carrera, should that ever happen, or in the Carrera T I fantasised about earlier, I think the tables might turn. To put that into perspective, the GTS 4.0's lap time was just as fast as the 911 Carrera GTS and two-tenths of a second faster than the 640-hp Lamborghini Urus. $100,200. And what of the 718 Cayman GT4?
Perhaps it's something to do with chassis settings that have been wound back a notch from the higher-powered model. With Uwe Senner behind the wheel, the Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 posted an unofficial lap time of one minute and 56.90 seconds at the German race track. Clearly the 911 is the more multi-faceted machine, the sports car, the grand tourer and the daily driver bundled into one. On a dry road, of course, the grip they claw out of the surface is staggering. Select configuration: GT4 Coupe RWD. Starting Price (MSRP) 8.4. All those things make this Carrera enjoyable to drive no matter how hard you push, whereas every 992-era Carrera S I've driven has felt more tied down, grippier, less expressive and with it far more aloof.
With 385hp and 332lb ft it also makes the Carrera feel urgent and forcefully accelerative on the road.
It all means the two cars are not at all as unalike as their very different get-ups would have you believe - choosing between them becomes trickier still.
On the other hand, with its towering rear wing and jutting front splitter the GT4 seems to have left a circuit at high speed, crashed straight through a tyre wall, landed on the public road and simply carried on. Actually, I suspect the 992 I'm waiting for is a Carrera T. I'm picturing a flat colour finish, a 20mm drop in ride height, an LSD, a manual transmission and a fraction less weight.
What is it that makes this very basic 992 not only the most interactive version I've driven yet, but also the one that means I'd have the less powerful Carrera over the faster Carrera S?
It's even more impressive when you consider the lap time was set with a manual transmission. So with that in mind, shouldn't you forget the mid-engined arriviste altogether and just buy the car that everybody thinks of when they hear the word 'Porsche'; the one with the 57-year backstory? I've gone with a fairly conservative specification, not bothering with the Clubsport Package or Carbon Ceramic Brakes.
Just as evidently, the Cayman is the far more focused road racer, with tougher suspension, more uncompromising tyres and less care for day-to-day usability.
When you see them side by side, close enough that the GT4's yellow flanks pop in the 911's grey-green paintwork, they look overwhelmingly different, though, both in character and intent. The Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS 4.0 … Again, though, everything is so well positioned the cabin feels anatomically correct, like an extension of your body. The manual gearshift is exquisite, too, and clutch pedal action so well matched it's as though it and the gearlever are directly connected. Until then, I'll get my kicks in a 718 Cayman GT4 - in Crayon, with bucket seats and the Bose stereo, please. The optional bucket seats, Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, stubby gearlever and the third pedal in the footwell all lend it a much more single-minded vibe.
There's a sense of connection through the steering that not even the 911 can match, while body control is absolute despite compliance over bumps being top drawer.
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