Porsche’s track-focused hardcore 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder launched last year with a six-speed manual as the only transmission offering. Now, after years of rumors, it seems that a dual-clutch option is finally going to be available.
According to a report from British car magazine Evo, a PDK-equipped Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder will launch later this year, mating the suspension, powertrain, aero, and braking upgrades the 718 Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder have had since last year to the super-quick shifts Porsche’s dual-clutch gearbox has on offer.
As a reminder, Porsche brought out the second-generation Cayman GT4 around the middle of last year. Held to the ground by a rather impressive aero kit, the GT4 also has the front suspension from the 991 911 GT3 and a unique rear-end setup while benefiting from the GT3's brakes’ stopping power as well. The Cayman GT4 (as well as its droptop Boxster Spyder sibling) also added two more cylinders over the stock 718's boxer four. The naturally-aspirated four-liter six in the GT4 is good for 414 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. Porsche claimed that all of that could make for a ten-second difference over a standard Cayman at the Nürburgring, underscoring just how quick this car is.
When the 2020 Cayman GT4 was revealed, transmission options were limited to just the standard six-speed manual. Though the prior generation, the 981 Cayman GT4, was manual-only, the track-only 981 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and its 718 successor got a dual-clutch gearbox. It was rumored that the next generation GT4 for the street would follow in the Clubsport’s footsteps. That didn’t happen initially, but it seems that now that’s about to change, and the car will probably get quicker for it as well.
Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK transmission made the 718 Boxster GTS that Kristen drove back in 2018 a little bit quicker than the manual, perhaps because it makes a few more lb-ft of torque than the stick-equipped model. On the track, that minor bump could mean a real difference, especially as far as acceleration is concerned.
While the performance implications are probably the most exciting part of this news to us, Porsche’s real reason for expanding the transmission offerings for the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder is likely the broader appeal these cars will have once they’re available without a clutch pedal.
That appeal will be necessary as prices will likely jump when the PDK box is checked in Porsche’s configurator. Though we don’t yet know how much the option will cost, expect prices to be a little bit higher than the $97,550 and $100,450 commanded by the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 respectively. That’s a lot of coin, to be sure.
While I’m not sure the car will be appreciably different than a PDK-specced Cayman GTS 4.0 day-to-day, I’m sure the most Porsche-crazed amongst us will feel the need to shell out for the GT4 for that extra little bit of track performance. Or because it’s just a little more exclusive. Probably the latter.