Why The Porsche Cayman GT4 May Be More Special Than The 911 GT3

Illustration for article titled Why The Porsche Cayman GT4 May Be More Special Than The 911 GT3

The Porsche 911 GT3 is a beast, wailing down the road with an incredible 9000 RPM engine. In terms of suspension refinement and adjustability, though, it might be one-upped by its little sibling, the Cayman GT4. Here's how.

Chris Harris just put out his video review for the Cayman GT4, and (here's the bad news for those of you fighting against the Cayman Inferiority Complex) concluded that the 911 GT3 still feels like a more special car. The GT3's engine cannot be discounted.

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However, in discussing what the Cayman has under its skin with engineering chief Andreas Preuninger, it seems like the GT4 is more of a special product than the GT3 when it comes to suspension components, design, and variation.

Illustration for article titled Why The Porsche Cayman GT4 May Be More Special Than The 911 GT3

Much of the GT4's suspension is taken from the GT3. The front end is particularly similar, with the same parts number on the forged aluminum wishbones where you can adjust the camber. The uprights are the same between the GT3 and the GT4, as are the stabilizers and the stabilizer settings.

Even better than what you get in the GT3, however, are the roll bars. The front and rear roll bars are both adjustable, so you can soften the front on its three settings and stiffen the rear on its three settings to give yourself a very slippy setup. That's what Chris Harris uses in the video.

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There are also ball bearings at the top mounts, between the uprights and the lower wishbones, and between the wishbones and the front subframe.

Illustration for article titled Why The Porsche Cayman GT4 May Be More Special Than The 911 GT3
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Also adjustable is the front diffuser ā€” you can take out a flap at the front to let in more air and get more downforce, though you need to change the rear wing from 4.5 degrees of attack to seven so that you balance the car out. The rear wing on the GT3, by contrast, is fixed.

Illustration for article titled Why The Porsche Cayman GT4 May Be More Special Than The 911 GT3
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At the rear, the uprights are all new for the GT4, new pivot points, new uprights, new forged aluminum wishbones again with camber adjustment, a reinforced crossmember with new geometry, and ball bearings "all over," as Preuninger says. The damper is new from Bilstien, with a very light spring and a helper spring. The current GT3 doesn't have helper springs. Only Porsche's most special GT cars of recent years have. The original 911 GT2 got 'em and the last GT3 RS 4.0 liter got 'em, too.

Illustration for article titled Why The Porsche Cayman GT4 May Be More Special Than The 911 GT3
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So while the Cayman GT4 has to live with a Carrera S engine and the 911 GT3 gets its own bonkers powerplant, you could argue that the GT4 is more special when it comes to suspension and design.

Now who wants to swap a GT3 engine into a GT4?


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

AlexioFlexio
AlexioFlexio

Hey Raphael, your perspective is interesting, but incorrect IMO. The reason for the helper springs (from the "RS" supposedly) is that the rear strut suspension on the Cayman is structurally compromised. What this means is that unlike the wishbone suspension on even a basic 911 which can keep the rear tire in flat contact/perpendicular to the pavement throughout its' suspension travel... the cayman suspension only works well within a narrow range. As adding a wishbone suspension for the gt4 would have been financially, if not structurally impossible, Porsche came up with a compromise solution which actually works quite well. They needed a very stiff spring to keep the rear wheels within a range and to match the gt3 derived front, but they couldnt make the rear rock hard. So, the softer helper spring assists with initial part of travel for most daily use... and allows for the normal spring to retain it's rigidity for more track-related use. It's not really a high-tech solution which the gt3 doesn't have... it's just the gt3-911 chassis has a naturally more evolved suspension which is less compromised. Good angle though...

if you want something to analyze on the gt4.. discuss the absolutely intergalactic gearing... it's so friggin long that C.Harris was using 2-3rd gear on a big track like portimao... gonna be absolutely useless on the road.. might as well only have 4 gears instead of 6. Those of us taking delivery of the gt4 are already looking into a company called gtgears which for a pretty penny will switch out the gear ratios... the gearbox is the true flaw in the GT4.