With autonomous cars testing on closed roads, onboard computers and driver aids delivering near perfect lap times, and automatic gearboxes shifting in less than 0.20 seconds, manual transmission looks to be as antiquated as the horse and buggy. But Porsche has different thoughts.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 is the first Porsche in years to be offered as a manual only. But this isn’t the automotive equivalent of starting a vinyl collection. No, Porsche payed attention to what its fans wanted from a car when building the GT4. It’s a car for the driver who wants raw performance and tactile connectivity, not electronic convolution and Bluetooth connectivity. A car for the purist.
In the performance car industry, where serious Nordschleife lap times are all that is holy and every second shaved is another finger flipped at the competition, the thrill and pure enjoyment of spirited driving has been sucked dry. Porsche’s aim with the GT4 was to inject a more visceral experience back into to the art of driving a quick car fast. And, the Cayman GT4 has been such a resounding success that Porsche has even rethought the 911 GT3 RS (the most serious of Porsche’s track cars will have a manual transmission option in the next generation). It’s not the Cayman GT4’s performance that is so groundbreaking — the foundation of the Cayman lends itself to that from the get go. What makes the GT4 notable is that it powerfully causes drivers to step back and remember why we started driving in the first place. porsche.com
Engine: Mid-engine 3.8-liter Boxer-Six
Transmission: Six-speed Manual
Horsepower: 385 @ 7,400 RPM
Torque: 309 lb-ft @ 4,750 RPM
0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds
Top Speed: 183 mph