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CarBuyerLabs New Car Alert: 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

Do you have roughly $150,000 and are looking for the best driver’s car available? Then the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is the answer you are looking for. One look at the aggressive aero on this sleek two-seater, and you will know that Porsche has finally decided to take the gloves off and let its smaller sports car live up to its potential. Hit the ignition, and that impression will be confirmed by the wail of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L flat-six engine sitting directly behind the driver’s seat. That engine is the heart of what sets this new model apart from the standard Cayman GT4 and is actually taken directly from the 911 GT3, Porsche’s premier sports car.

The engine airbox on a 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is shown.

The Most Powerful Cayman Ever

Now, if you are new to Porsche, the GT3 and GT4 series cars represent their highest-performing models. The RS versions take things a step further, getting as close to an actual race car as you can get while still remaining road-legal and comfortable to drive (if you want a real race car, then Porsche can help you out there as well with the Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport). Since the 718 Boxster / Cayman is positioned as Porsche’s entry-level sports car, it has always been kept a half step behind the iconic 911 and has never before received an RS version. In fact, it only received its first GT4 version in 2015, and that used a detuned version of the engine from the 911 Carrera S.

The current 718-generation GT4 also uses a detuned version of a 911 engine, although it is now the 4.0L from the 911 GT3. Its 394 hp is a step up but still far short of the full 502 hp offered in the 911 GT3. Now, we can’t expect Porsche to allow the Cayman to ever equal the 911, but with 493 hp on tap in the new GT4 RS, the 9 hp difference in power output between the two cars is effectively unnoticeable (although interestingly, the smaller 718 GT4 RS actually weighs 100 lbs more than the 911 GT3, so Porsche still seems to be leaving some performance on the table so as not to overshadow its halo car).

Beyond the Engine

While a nearly 500 hp engine is certainly exciting, a true sports car needs far more than just raw power, and Porsche is the master of building true sports cars. While many purists will no doubt be disappointed to learn that the GT4 RS will only be available with a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, the truth is that a manual would merely be handicapping this performance-oriented car. If you are looking for the classic sports car experience, the standard 718 GT4 or even the Cayman T is likely the better buy. The GT4 RS is all about maximum performance. With a 3.2-second 0-60 time and a 7:09.3 Nürburging record to its name (that’s 23.6 seconds faster than the standard GT4 for those keeping score), it is clear that Porsche has achieved exactly that.

The most obvious reason for this enhanced performance (beyond the nearly 500 hp engine, of course) is the aggressive aero package that Porsche has fitted its newest car with. The large wing suspended from swan neck mounts for superior airflow is simply one part of a total package that delivers 25% more downforce than the standard GT4. Lowering the car 30mm and retuning the entire suspension with upgraded components further improved the handling. Finally, in perhaps the most subtle upgrade, Porsche significantly upgraded the cooling for the GT4 RS. More and larger air intakes around the car will keep the powertrain and brakes from overheating, no matter how hard the car is pushed on the track.

A grey 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is shown parked from a rear angle.

Performance, Style, and Value

One of the most impressive aspects of any Porsche is that it so seamlessly blends performance, style, and value. There are many sports cars out there that sacrifice some aspects of that triad to excel in others, but that never seems to be the case with Porsche. While the 2022 718 Cayman GT4 RS may be the most aggressive track-ready Cayman ever built, it is still a luxurious sports car with a high-quality interior where the driver and passenger will feel comfortable during city drives and long road trips as well as on the track. While the $141,700 starting price could never be considered affordable (and let’s be honest – has anyone ever bought a Porsche without adding thousands of dollars of options?), it does represent remarkable value when you consider other vehicles in this segment.