I don't know about you, dear reader but it seems to me that most car enthusiasts are a one eyed bunch. Here in Oz there's always been an ongoing stoush between Holden and Ford fans. Same goes for the exotics, if you're a Ferrari fan, like me, it's a good bet the Porsche moniker doesn't float your boat.
Don't get me wrong, I respect the brand, they've built some truly epic vehicles. I just don't find them generally exciting. They're the very definition of German engineering excellence but I find them all business and no fun.
Up till now that is, the Cayman GT4 (the Uber version of the base model Cayman) makes my head turn.
In my eyes, the Cayman, especially the GT4 is the best looking car in their line-up. I'm sensing a theme here; the McLaren 570 S, Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari 488 GTB are all entry level offerings and are all the best looking cars of their marques.
Is it now, that the manufacturers are understanding that their volume sellers should be the most appealing; and in turn, drive their sales further?
I'm not sure of the answer but I'm sure glad it's happening. 2016 is turning out to be a year of so many great enthusiast cars. I feel like an excited puppy dog champing at the leash.
So, onto the Cayman GT4, what makes it so great? Everyone is raving about it, even Porsche lovers are saying it's something truly special.
It combines old school thrills with modern tech. There is nary a flappy paddle gear shift in sight. That's right folks, just like in the olden days, you have to swap the cogs yourself. Who'd a thunk it?
What does that mean for you and me? Driver involvement. You engage with the car in a way that's truly immersive. The car is always communicating its intent, with high grip levels, balance and adjustable suspension that make it the perfect track day weapon. The car is so well setup, it possesses a poise that can be fully exploited, allowing throttle steer with pinpoint accuracy.
Basically what we have is 911 running gear stuffed into the smaller, lighter Cayman. Of course it's going to be a recipe for success. Not only is it running a 3.8 litre six cylinder engine, developing a beefy 283Kw/420Nm from a Carrera S, it's also has a smattering of 911 GT3 components. Extensive use of lightweight forged aluminium components sees it tip the scales at only 1340Kg.
It features adjustable spring-strut suspension, anti-roll bar, selected suspension mountings ball-jointed front and rear and huge competition brakes that are internally vented and cross-drilled. It's track focused but apparently almost as easy to live with as the standard Cayman. You could feasibly use it as a daily driver. What else could you ask for?
The only downside we're hearing is that it may be a little too high geared, where you can pull a 130Kmh in second gear!
The Cayman GT4 provides a 911 GT3 like experience for those that can't quite stretch their budget that far, or for someone who's stepping out and buying their first entry level exotic; a chance to own something truly out of the ordinary.
Suspension: Lightweight spring-strut suspension, anti-roll bar, selected suspension mountings ball-jointed front and rear
Tires: Front: 245/35 ZR 20, Rear: 295/30 ZR 20 (sports tyres)
Brakes: Six-piston monobloc aluminium fixed brake calipers at front and four-piston units at rear, discs internally vented and cross-drilled
Engine: 3.8 Litre Flat 6 Cylinder 24 Valves
Max Power: 283Kw @ 7,400 RPM
Max Torque: 420Nm 4,750 – 6,000 RPM
Drivetrain: Conventional six speed manual transmission with clutch, rear wheel drive
Acceleration 0 – 100Kmh: 4.4 seconds
Top Speed: 295Kmh
Standing 400m: 12.4 seconds
Picture source: Porsche