It’s been said that ‘you can’t be all things to all people’, but rarely do we hear the inverse of that. Is it possible to be everything to a just a few people? Of course we do not want to broach that topic in a grander philosophical sense, but we would like to focus that question on the automotive world. Sure, some cars like to try and be everything to everyone — a little sporty, a little roomy, a little comfy, a little quick, and a dozen other half measures in a desperate attempt to cast a wide enough net to capture as many indecisive consumers as possible. But then there are cars on the opposite end of the spectrum. Cars like the 2023 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS.
True Porsche fanatics, or Porsche-O-Philes as they are called sometimes, are some of the most diehard and dedicated enthusiasts on the planet, and the GT4 RS is the car for them. The RS is a purpose built race car that you can drive on the street. This car is essentially the baby brother to the mighty 911 GT3 RS, and so much so that they even share the same engine.
That’s right, Porsche did the unthinkable and gave a Cayman a 911 engine, which we first saw in the original GT4, but this is the top of the food chain. The monster 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-6 from the GT3 was fitted with a modified dry-sump oil tank to be able to cram it in behind the seats of the Cayman. This motor pumps out a massive 493-horsepower at a lofty 8,400 rpm as well as a huge 331 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 rpm. Just like the GT3, this engine redlines at a stupefying 9,000 rpm. And because Porsche built this car solely to be a track star, there was no question as to what transmission they were going to use. We could make a legitimate argument for why a manual would be the best choice, but Porsche would simply counter that its 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung or PDK, dual-clutch transmission can shift light-years faster than any human on earth, and they would be right.
That track-oriented goal extends to the suspension as well. The GT4 RS has a heavily modified suspension compared to its pedestrian siblings with things like more responsive Bilstein dampers, spherical ball joints where all the prone-to-failing rubber bushings once existed, a larger range of camber and toe adjustment, stiffer springs, and new front fenders that provide a wider track. That power is sent to optional (and really there isn’t another option if you are serious) Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires that have are as sticky as burnt marshmallows. There are steel rotors standard but also there are the amazing carbon-ceramic rotors that will come at an amazing up-charge.
Again, with their eyes set on running around at track for the best time possible, Porsche did what Porsche does, and went all the way. Lighter materials used for everything from the front and rear fenders, hood, air intakes, and even door handles. The seats themselves are cast from a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, and they even used less insulation as well as thinner glass for the rear window. The result is not only the most powerful Cayman ever made, but at 3,227 pounds, it is about 75 pounds lighter than a PDK-equipped GT4 and even 44 pounds lighter than a PDK-equipped GT3 making it one of the lightest PDK Porsches ever.
The sum result of all this obsessive behavior? A track car that can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, through the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 121.0 mph and shrieks to a top speed of 196 mph. Those suspension bits combine in incredible fashion, and while an official skidpad number is not available, we fully expect it to eclipse the standard GT4’s mark of 1.10 g. The GT4 RS was built for the track, and the ultimate test of that ability is universally understood as the Nurburgring Nordschliefe in Germany. Around the ring, the GT4 RS posts an otherworldly 7:04.5 lap time, which just for comparisons sake, is a mere 7.5 seconds slower than Porsche’s fantastically excessive 918 Spyder supercar.
But the GT4 RS won’t cost you anywhere near the 918’s ungodly $845,000 price tag. In fact, the GT4 RS chimes in at a weirdly reasonable $141,700, which is double the price of a base Cayman, but it could be argued that the RS is double the base car. And while we know that the base Cayman will surely appeal to a wider audience, we fully support the idea that having a car like the GT4 RS is a lot more fun, because it is everything to a few of us.