You’d have to work pretty hard to find anything to complain about with the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. This, after all, is a mid-engined Porsche equipped with a naturally-aspirtaed 4.0-liter flat-six engine, the only such Cayman still to offer one (at least, until the new 718 Cayman/Boxster GTS models arrive). That engine revs to 8,000 rpm, making 414 horsepower in the process; better still, it sends all that power to the rear wheels solely through a six-speed manual gearbox. If we were sketching out our dream car, odds are good it might not look too dissimilar from this.
It seems the Aussie editors down at WhichCar‘s Wheels have found a flaw — or at least what they perceive as one. According to them…second gear is too tall.
Given the car’s high-revving nature, any driver with high-octane blood will want to wring it out as much as possible — but the second cog is so long, the car is doing 85 miles per hour by the time you hit the redline, which is fast enough to make you a lawbreaker anywhere in Oz. (And Australians take their speeding very seriously.)
Yet they’re not the only ones who seem to take issue with the six-speed stick’s gearing. When asked about it, Porsche 911/718 boss Frank-Steffen Walliser said that the gearing isn’t exactly what the carmaker would have preferred. “”We would have loved to have seen that, [the gearing] a little bit shorter, but technically there was no way,” he told Wheels.
Blame the fact that even Porsche is sometimes forced to use existing parts for its speedy specials. “The gearbox we have…it’s an old one, an existing one,” Walliser said, “and changing the gear was just technically not possible as we were running out of space on the shafts.”
But Walliser did say that Porsche is working on a fix, which will arrive later this year: the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which will be added to the options list for the 718 Cayman GT4 (and the closely-related 718 Spyder). That beastly computer-controlled ‘box should enable drivers to rev the engine out a tad more often (as well as knock a good chunk off the car’s 4.2-second 0-60-mph time)…but of course, they’ll have to do it using paddles on the wheel, not a stick shift and clutch.
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