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2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS article highlights:

  • The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS sends the gasoline-powered mid-engine sports car platform off with a 911 GT3-like flat-six shriek
  • It’s not comfortable, practical, or quiet on the street, but as The Smoking Tire discovered, it quickly puts a smile on your face
  • With a sticker price that quickly rises to GT3 levels, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS certainly isn’t cheap, but the experience is arguably worth it

After downsizing its main engine’s cylinder count, the Porsche 718 Cayman is about to ditch internal combustion completely. Starting with the next generation, the 718 siblings are going all-electric. But before that, Porsche is sending the 718 Cayman out with a big ICE bang courtesy of the 2022 GT4 RS. And as it turns out, this track-focused weapon is just as thrilling to wield on the street.

The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS has a 911 GT3 engine and the brakes of a Car and Driver record-holder

2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Engine4.0-liter flat-six
Horsepower493 hp
Torque331 lb-ft
TransmissionSeven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Curb weight3227 lbs
0-60 mph time2.8 seconds (Car and Driver)

Only two letters separate the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS’s and Cayman GT4’s names, but they represent a vast difference. If you just look at the specs, the RS might seem like just a sharper and faster version of an already honed Cayman. But it’s so much more than that.

For one, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS finally gives Porsche’s mid-engine sports car a 911 GT3 engine. Although packaging robs a bit of horsepower, that’s the same 4.0-liter, 9000-rpm flat-six with six individual throttle bodies the current 911 GT3 uses. Also, it’s bolted to a Cayman GT4 PDK transmission with the GT3’s limited-slip differential and shorter gear ratios. Plus, a shorter axle ratio. And this mid-engine powertrain comes in a package that’s 49 pounds lighter than the standard Cayman GT4.

As a result, the Cayman GT4 RS is 0.5 seconds faster to 60 mph than the PDK-equipped GT4, Car and Driver says. That also makes it just 0.1 seconds slower than the lighter, more powerful 992 911 GT3. Furthermore, the 2022 Cayman GT4 RS is faster around the Nürburgring than the ‘regular’ GT4, MotorTrend reports. But not just the GT4: it beat the last-gen 911 GT3’s Nürburgring time, too.

There is one area where the 718 Cayman GT4 RS is faster than the current GT3, though. Equipped with optional carbon-ceramic brakes, the mid-engine sports car stopped in 132 feet in Car and Driver’s 70-0 mph braking test. That’s shorter than the previous record holders: GT3, the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and the McLaren Senna hypercar.

But as impressive as these numbers are, they don’t tell this car’s whole story.

It’s loud, stiff, and uncomfortable, and it’s just as sublime on the street as the racetrack

Porsche set the 2022 718 Cayman GT4 RS for racetrack duty. In addition to being lighter than the GT4, the RS has a more rigid chassis, bigger brakes, wider tracks, revised adjustable aero features, sportier seats, and fully-adjustable suspension components. Also, not only are the springs and adjustable shocks stiffer, but the suspension has metal-on-metal ball joints. As in, the kinds of joints race cars use on glass-smooth tracks. And then there’s the Weissach Package’s carbon-fiber hood and trim pieces, titanium exhaust tips, and optional magnesium wheels.

Add all this and you’re left with a car that genuinely rivals the 2022 GT3, MotorTrend’s Performance Car of the Year. Admittedly, the GT3 makes more downforce and has trick double-wishbone suspension. Yet the GT4 RS is still a “gobsmacking…dreamy dance partner” that’s more than just a mid-engine GT3, MT notes. And in addition to braking, there’s one thing the GT4 RS does even better: noise.

“I feel like I’m riding on the back of the GT3 RS and holding on with my ear down by the exhaust system.”

zack klapman, The smoking tire

Porsche put the 2022 718 Cayman GT4 RS’s air intakes in place of the rear quarter windows. And the ducting runs inside the cabin right behind your head. So, that 9000-rpm symphony blasts metallic murder hornets directly into your skull.

No, the GT4 RS isn’t a good daily driver; it’s even worse than the GT4. The ball-jointed suspension picks up road bumps with maximum coffee-spilling efficiency even in Normal Mode. The sports seats rub on the roll cage and the exhaust isn’t freeway friendly without a helmet. But on a smooth, curvy road where you can enjoy its razor-sharp reflexes, the complaints quickly fall away.

Is the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS worth its GT3-level price?

The rear 3/4 view of a yellow 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS going around a desert track corner
2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS rear 3/4 on track | Porsche

Unfortunately, potential 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS buyers might have one or two additional complaints. Firstly, they’ll likely have to fight over dealership allocations. And secondly, although the base Cayman is one of the most affordable Porsches, the GT4 RS isn’t.

Sure, compared to the GT3, the $141,700 GT4 RS is a slight bargain. However, that doesn’t include destination, inevitable markup, and the $13,250 Weissach Package. Oh, and those trick magnesium wheels cost $15,640 on top of that. Tick all those boxes and you’re in 911 GT3 territory.

But then, you don’t buy a car like the 718 Cayman GT4 RS for comfort, practicality, or because it makes financial sense. You get it because of what it feels like when you turn the wheel and hear that raspy engine shriek. To quote The Smoking Tire, it’s “a joy machine.”

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