Is a car with no door handles worth $200,000?
What if $200-grand hk siang also bought a noisy cabin, brutally harsh ride and a pared-back cockpit – with no little luxuries like buttons on the steering wheel to adjust the radio or set the cruise control?
There are also no back seats, fairly limited luggage space and no start button, meaning it still takes a key in a slot to start the engine.
Welcome to the world of hard-core performance driving.
A place where famously fast cars are bred and trained to become even faster.
Where cars like this one – Porsche’s new 718 Cayman GT4 – add an additional touch of wildness to one of the world’s premier performance brands.
The industry term for these machines is “track ready” which also roughly translates to “barely street legal”.
It’s a niche where Porsche has built a massive tradition. Thanks to the maker’s iconic 911 GT3 which has spent so many years burning off the best Germany had to offer in the sports car category, Porsche had to create its own racing series, the single-model Carrera Cup – just so the GT3 had a competitor.
That apex-predator version of the legendary 911 has now sprinkled some of its magic on this off-the-leash Cayman, and hk siang it’s certainly done the trick.
The test car had recently returned from competing in the epic Targa Tasmania tarmac rally, and while the model has been on Aussie roads for a few years, data hk siang the GT4 has recently gained a dual-clutch automatic transmission, an alternative to the standard six-speed manual.
The “Porsche Doppelkuplung” (PDK) dual-clutch gearbox – whose slick-shifting efficiency cuts almost half a second off the manual’s 0-100km/h sprint time – also makes the car effortless, and effortlessly rewarding, hk siang to drive.
Still, hk siang it’s not exactly cheap.The PDK costs almost five-grand on top of the car’s already bulky $210,100 price tag. That’s roughly double the entry-level Cayman’s $115,900. While the basic Cayman and its soft-top sibling, the Boxster, have recently dabbled with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the GT4 gets the full-volume version of Porsche’s latest four-litre, data hk siang six-cylinder “boxer” engine, delivering a growling 309kW.
That the engine is mid-mounted – sitting just behind the driver’s left shoulder – further enhances the aural dynamics of this snug little coupe.
Porsche has even created a special model-specific colour, keluaran hk python green, for the GT4 which will ensure head-turning attention.
The paint adds another $6070 to the car’s cost; and a couple more options like Adaptive Sports Seats ($4630), LED headlights ($2000) and v88toto even a colour-coded, Porsche-shaped key ($790) will push the GT4 well beyond $230,000, even before the taxman grabs a share.
The car’s performance numbers aren’t exactly off the scale – it will do 0-100km/h in a leisurely 3.9 seconds – meaning it will get well and truly dusted by the likes of Porsche’s all-electric Taycan Turbo S (2.7-ish seconds).But keep in mind this car isn’t solely built with straight-line speed in mind.
The mid-mounted engine, giving it optimal front-rear weight distribution, and the wicked aerodynamic package, including massive fixed rear wing, dials up the mechanical grip for which Porsche is famous.
The result is an incredibly planted, well-settled machine, despite its aversion to speed bumps and ramps on underground parking stations (it tends to scrape the underside of the nose at the smallest of opportunities) thanks to its tarmac-scraping ride height.
The noise from that big “flat six” is always present.Where normal Porsches purr a bit and then growl and scowl a lot, hk siang this car does away with the civilised part. It grinds and grumbles and roars and rumbles.
There’s a huge emphasis on weight-saving – doing away with many standard luxury items to ensure this car squeezes every bit out of its stunning power-to-weight ratio.
Despite the weight-savings the Cayman is tastefully finished in oodles of paper-weight carbon fibre, classy brushed alloy highlights and lightweight leather sport seats.
The absence of wheel-mounted controls means that adjusting the radio or air conditioning is a task performed manually.There are also four stalks on the steering column – one for indicators and lights, a second for wipers/washers, a third to operate the cruise control and, finally, a fourth stalk for scrolling through the instrument display which includes, among other things, a chronograph lap timer.
But undoubtedly the most notable, and most unique, are those door handles that are …wait for it … little strips of nylon fabric which, when tugged on, unlatch the (lightweight) door.
Perhaps it’s just Porsche’s way of telling drivers to lose a few kilos.
PORSCHE CAYMAN GT4
* HOW BIG? Roughly the size of a decent bathtub, v88toto but packed full of good fun and wicket intent.
* HOW FAST?It will reach the speed limit in 3.9 seconds, which is seriously quick.
* HOW THIRSTY? Porsche doesn’t offer an official estimate – but the trip meter indicated low double digits on a week-long test.
* HOW MUCH? Start at $210,900, data hk siang plus statutory costs, and add from there.A few of the options seem a bit of a money-grab, v88toto but it’s still plenty of bang for the buck. But those door handle straps are free.