There's a lot to be said for the meditative quality of a long drive on a good road by yourself, but I often find that running through the canyons north of Los Angeles is more fun with a friend. And since my significant other owns a Porsche Cayman GT4, many of our date nights involve me staring at the back end of his Brewster Green coupe while I'm chasing it down Angeles Forest Highway.
With its big rear wing and lightweight fixtures, the hardcore GT4 makes no bones about its positioning as Porsche's most race-focused Cayman. Yet in the years I've been privy to seat time in my partner's GT4, I've instead come to respect its abilities as a road car. No matter what supercar I'm driving, the GT4 always keeps up. And while the 2020 GT4 improves on many of the coupe's livability factors, it gives up nothing in the way of go-like-hell satisfaction.
The new GT4's 4.0-liter flat-six is shared with the 718 Spyder, as well as Porsche's updated . It is not, however, the same 4.0-liter engine from the . The good news is that the new 4.0-liter has stop/start and cylinder deactivation, which help it run more efficiently, for whatever that's worth in a car designed to be driven hard. The bad news is that this 4.0-liter doesn't sound quite as good as the GT3's motor, or even the 3.8-liter engine from the old GT4. Of course, this is still a free-breathing flat-six that'll spin up to 8,000 rpm, so I should clarify that "doesn't sound quite as good" isn't really a demerit. Plus, it's a welcome bit of salvation for those put off by the lesser 718s' turbo-four soundtracks.
With 414 horsepower, the 4.0-liter engine improves upon the 2016 GT4's 3.8-liter flat-six by 29 hp. The torque specs are identical, at 309 pound-feet. Porsche says the 718 GT4 will accelerate to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which doesn't sound all that quick for a sports car in 2020, especially when a base 911 Carrera will do the same sprint in 4 seconds flat. But the extra emotion that comes with winding out a big flat-six more than makes up for any discrepancy in straight-line speed. Besides, the GT4 isn't about acceleration times. Throw it into a corner. That's when it comes alive.
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