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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Unlike my Cayman GTS, which arrived on a specialized transporter from California after waiting 3 months for delivery, my GT4 wasn't really mine...until I negotiated with the dealer and traded the GTS to them. After negotiations, and paperwork, I drove the new car home from the dealership just like most new car buyers do.
So, here's what it looked like just home from the dealer:


The person who actually ordered the car (then cancelled, leaving it available for me to buy) ordered very few options. Some I wish he hadn't (satellite radio, 18 way seats) but one I really like: the leather steering wheel. I am indifferent to the fire extinguisher, but it could come in handy on drive outs with 356s...

Like the GTS, the GT4 comes with most of the things I'd check if they were options. Unlike the GTS, which is really just a fancy option package for the 981 CS (but some nice unique pieces like the front facia and the blacked out taillights,) the GT4 is really what happens when Porsche Motorsport thinks hard about what a track oriented Cayman should be like and then goes and raids the GT3 parts bin.

Impressions after 500 miles.
First impressions are of a very special car, even (or perhaps because) coming from a GTS. I had a pretty heavily modded 987 Cayman S before the GTS, and while the GTS is a very fancy car, to me it had lost some of the edge of the 987. The GT4 brings all that edge back, but it's honed by Porsche Motorsports to be the finest of knives. I'll expand on these things as time goes by, but here are the high points:
+ The steering is sublime. I've driven many GT3s, including the latest 991, and the GT4 clearly has the GT3 rack. It feels a little different of course, because of the car dynamics, but it's direct, with tremendous feedback. Light but solid. For me one of the greatest things about driving a Porsche has always been the steering. Across all models and generations, the Porsche steering feel has been extremely constant. I felt the GTS steering to be a little heavy and disconnected compared to the earlier 987, and the GT4 steering is a class above all these.
+ The suspension is amazing. I had X73 on the GTS, and it's rough, let's be honest. Firm and very sporty, but there's no relief. The GT4 suspension is the PASM from the GT3, and feels very similar (again except for the vehicle dynamics due to engine location.) It's pretty stiff and unforgiving in Sport mode, but in regular mode it's supple but firm. Compared to X73 it transmits less road roughness, but it still responds to road conditions and the movement of the car like a sports suspension. It's hard to describe, that's just it.
+ The Cup 2 tires are grippy. Expensive, wide, and grippy. Nothing more to say.
+ The shifter is the best shifter I've driven in a modern (977 and later) Porsche. Beats GT3, GT2, RS, 997, 987, 991, 981. It's short, direct, smooth, fast. And it sits closer to the wheel than any previous generation shifter, which is nice. The auto-blip in Sport mode is cool, but totally unnecessary. Modern gearboxes dont need to be rev matched due to the syncromesh trannys. Sounds cool, and makes grown men swoon, but not needed.

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You are in for a real treat! People who get to drive GT3s are privy to an incredible driving experience every time they get behind the wheel. Those with GT4s get to experience something very similar. The only thing wrong with a GT4 is that it doesn't have another 100HP!



Other observations on the GT4:
+ It has temperature (water and oil) gauges that read actual temperatures. This is something I've railed against for years, and the only car that had similar gauges was the GT3.
+ If I could, I'd cut the frickin satellite radio pimple off the roof, coz I hate XM Sirrius, and the pimple ruins an otherwise perfect roofline...
+ Despite AP saying the GT4 has forged wheels in the EVO video interview, it doesn't. There's a long thread on Rennlist that proves the wheels are cast. But I suspect they are cast a special way, as they don't weigh too much given their size (F=23lb, R=26lb or thereabouts.) The wheels look great, and the platinum is a nice finish with the white body.

Some people may have read my contributions to the hatch rattle thread on P9. The GT4 has the same interior as all other 981 Cayman, so it has the hatch rattle also. The suspension is more forgiving than the X73, so the rattles are not so pronounced. I removed the hatch trim and did all my usual mods to it. It is exactly the same as my GTS. Even the manual hatch release cable is there.
 

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The auto-blip in Sport mode is cool, but totally unnecessary. Modern gearboxes dont need to be rev matched due to the syncromesh trannys. Sounds cool, and makes grown men swoon, but not needed.
It's more about keeping the car balanced on downshifts and even slow upshifts in the event we don't make perfect rev-matched shifts. likely prolongs clutch life too.
 

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It's more about keeping the car balanced on downshifts and even slow upshifts in the event we don't make perfect rev-matched shifts. likely prolongs clutch life too.
Correct. Also the shift can be quicker now and more consistent. Plus you can late brake with less change of your foot slipping for H&T.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To the track? For sure! I did a high performance driving school this year, and intended to end the year with a DE last weekend. Unfortunately events conspired against me, so I didn't make it. The GT4 only had 100 miles on it then, so I was probably not going to drive it aggressively on the track anyway, but there were other cars to drive if I had made it down there. So it won't be until next year that I get to take it to the track, but fortunately the season starts pretty early here in the desert SW. It will give me time to get the protective film on the car, and tint on the windows, and pass the break in miles driving to work in the cold and wet.

To those who responded to my claims about rev matched down shifting--thanks. It's a topic that interests me, and so my comment about modern gear boxes and synchro-mesh are about all I know. Can someone provide a web link to some technical explanations supporting the advantages of rev matching in modern cars for me? I'd like to see evidence that it prolongs clutch and gearbox life. I like it for the cool factor regardless, but it would be nice to see some empirical evidence that it has other advantages.
 

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Hi Phil, interesting and somewhat intriguing comments. It would be interesting to compare a PTV, PASM, PDK GTS wearing PSC2 with a GT4.

My suspicion is that, for all intents and purposes, the differences would be relatively small if both vehicles had the same rubber - (note, the small difference in Fig 8 times with stock tires e.g. 23.5s Vs. 23.8s with ~80% difference due to tires)

Even at the track, the difference would be around 2 seconds (relative to a 1:30 lap and with the same tires) for a hot lap. The real departure would occur with repeated lapping where the GT4s brakes and top end torque will make a substantial difference coupled with the additive effect of the improved suspension components.

In a daily there isn't that much in it (IMHO).

On another note, your GT4 looks fantastic in white - and just think no more swirl marks!
 

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I'm coming from a PASM 981 Cayman S to a GT4 and I'm still breaking in the GT4, but under 5000 rpm I can't feel much power difference between the 2 cars. The GT4 grips better, corners flatter and the steering is more precise.

At the track or autocross 2 seconds can be a lot. At the last timed track event I did (22 cars), the top 5 places were less than 2 seconds apart! As a daily driver this doesn't matter, but the GT4 was built to be a track focused car. But even as a daily driver the better grip, cornering and steering are worth the price. I also suspect that once you get to the higher rpms the GT4 HP and torque will become more apparent.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree with you RandR--in normal daily driving there is probably little performance difference between the GT4 and a spec'd out Cayman S. I am looking forward to seeing what the Fabspeed headers do to the mid-range torque of the 3.8L engine. Not only being limited to 4-5k during break in, but also around town, it's likely I'll spend most of my time between 2500 and 5000rpm (btw, I can feel the LWFW in the GT4--I had one on my 987 CS, and it does make the engine rev a little more freely.)

BTW, I notice the GT4 comes with PTV standard. I never had it on the GTS. I've also read it's almost undetectable. Presumably it kicks in on the track to good effect?
 

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Hi Phil - thats the good thing about PTV - you shouldn't really notice it. It operates at all speeds thanks to the locking diff switching varying proportions of drive between the rear wheels. The braking component (or brake based yaw control) is often noticeable if you over cook a corner - you will notice a little tug on the inner rear wheel.

You may also notice the diff redistribution of power if the road surface is slippery or of general poor quality e.g. gravel and leaf detritus.

In my view, if you want to enjoy your car to the full in autocross, road rally or on the track then PTV is a great addition to the Porsche performance arsenal (hence the inclusion of PTV as a standard item on the GT4).

By the same token, PTV adds another layer of safety in a daily driven car by optimising traction at the rear particularly in the wet or where snow/ice can be expected.

In terms of feel, most tend to notice PTV when they move from a car that has it to a car that doesn't have it.

Your rev matching question is a good one - the reason why heel and toe is prevalent is to ensure the engine revs are still within the "power band" which really means within the the maximum torque window. In my view its great that Porsche offer the auto blip function.

I was actually going through some old Nbr records the other day and found a gear change log - it took around 60 gear changes to get round the ring! so 60 x 500ms =30 seconds devoted to gear changes (effectively off power) conversely with PDK 60 x 100ms = 6000ms = 6 seconds off power.

Hence the need for flat foot shifting in manuals (which really needs ECU modification to control fuel cut) or fast shifting which requires "muscle memory" in other words a lot of practice :)

and ultimately thats the point of the GT4 - its there to be driven :cheers: and thats a wonderful thing. Nontheless a PDK version is inevitable
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow-thanks RandR! I really appreciate your input. Having never experienced PTV, this is very helpful information.
BTW, the Fabspeed headers and CF tips were installed today... but I am in a situation that means I won't have much data until next week.
More to follow.
 

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Wow-thanks RandR! I really appreciate your input. Having never experienced PTV, this is very helpful information.
BTW, the Fabspeed headers and CF tips were installed today... but I am in a situation that means I won't have much data until next week.
More to follow.
I'm curious, were the stock exhaust tips spot welded on or are they held by a compression ring? I seem to remember way back when the 981's were introduced the way to get them off was to loosen one side of the muffler but I could be completely wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I can provide a detailed answer to your question soon, but not right away. Sorry.
The stock tips appear to be very "over-engineered"!
Phil


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hi phil, interesting and somewhat intriguing comments. It would be interesting to compare a ptv, pasm, pdk gts wearing psc2 with a gt4.

My suspicion is that, for all intents and purposes, the differences would be relatively small if both vehicles had the same rubber



************
I have driven and tracked(25yrs HPDE Instructor) them all(Boxster to GT3RS 4.0L, CGT, etc) and IMHO the GT4 is miles above the GTS. It might not make a much better lap time due to gizmos(PDK) and electronics but for me its all about the drive! Most of us are not racing these cars so it really comes down to how the car feels, and the GT4 feels so much different(much better IMO) than the GTS. Its not even close. It's really an entirely different car, even the body in white is a different P/N. Only if you look at the parts under the car will you understand. Similar to a 911GTS and a GT3, worlds of difference. It truly is currently THE HOLY GRAIL of Porsche! If you can get one, get one! What ever it takes!
The differences are definitely NOT Relatively small...
I am guessing that you have not driven one yet.
If you like the GTS better its all good tho. Porsche is so good at making one platform work for so many different applications.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The real problem with post-cat exhaust mods on the Cayman, whether GT4 or other, is where the mufflers sit. There is so little room between them that an X-pipe or similar GT3 exhaust is out of the question. On the GT3 the sharkwerks Xpipe replaces the center muffler to good effect. But here is no equivalent on the GT4, and so no opportunity. The Fabspeed tips have replaced the factory Tpipes with an open Xpipe design, but there's only so much room there.
Still, the 3.8L in the GT4 has a deeper sound than the 3.4L in the GTS in stock form, and this is enhanced with the Fabspeed headers. I've never been one to think the tips are anything more than aesthetics.

As to holygrail's comment comparing the GT4 to the GTS, while track and AX times might not be all that different, I agree wholly that the cars feel very different.


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Discussion Starter #18
To PistolPete:
Here's what the stock GT4 exhaust tips look like. From above:



and below:



Maybe the guy who made them wanted to practice his welds? They weight a ton...btw
 

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hi phil, interesting and somewhat intriguing comments. It would be interesting to compare a ptv, pasm, pdk gts wearing psc2 with a gt4.

My suspicion is that, for all intents and purposes, the differences would be relatively small if both vehicles had the same rubber

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I have driven and tracked(25yrs HPDE Instructor) them all(Boxster to GT3RS 4.0L, CGT, etc) and IMHO the GT4 is miles above the GTS. It might not make a much better lap time due to gizmos(PDK) and electronics but for me its all about the drive! Most of us are not racing these cars so it really comes down to how the car feels, and the GT4 feels so much different(much better IMO) than the GTS. Its not even close. It's really an entirely different car, even the body in white is a different P/N. Only if you look at the parts under the car will you understand. Similar to a 911GTS and a GT3, worlds of difference. It truly is currently THE HOLY GRAIL of Porsche! If you can get one, get one! What ever it takes!
The differences are definitely NOT Relatively small...
I am guessing that you have not driven one yet.
If you like the GTS better its all good tho. Porsche is so good at making one platform work for so many different applications.
Ok, well I hold the following licences CAMS ICC/ IR and IRN and am currently in the process of rebuilding a 996 GT3 for an international 12 hour event (which will be held next year) ;).

The point I was trying to make was of a philosophical and technical nature e.g. that in a daily driven situation there is very little between these cars even more so if they have the same rubber. Feel is often very subjective and endless wheel feedback and tram lining gets irritating very quickly in a car that spends the majority of its time away from the track - even for track rats. In fact, I have driven cars that feel relatively poor but are in fact blisteringly quick e.g. GT-R. I have also experienced the converse of this e.g BRZ.

Phil raised the point that his X73 GTS was harsh (from his point of view) and that the PASM in the GT4 was better. Personally, I wouldn't option X73 on a car that was a daily and the fact the GT4 has PASM speaks volumes. Obviously there are many that would take X73 and its great that option exists.

Both the GTS/GT4 have nanny aids so thats a zero sum game and where do you stop? is PTV a nanny aid? (thats a rhetorical question). Many would say the yaw control aspect is a very definite aid.

I think Porsche nailed the GT4 and the market - it is the perfect clubman racer and therefore the "holy grail" of the clubman racing enthusiast - a genuinely good outcome. I guess I'm just old school e.g. prefer to have a dedicated daily and a dedicated track (or tarmac rally car).

In essence you are correct, Porsche has everyone (and their wallets) well and truly covered ;)

I look forward to seeing how Phils journey unfolds - and hopefully with lots of photos.
 

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To PistolPete:
Here's what the stock GT4 exhaust tips look like. From above:


Maybe the guy who made them wanted to practice his welds? They weight a ton...btw
Thank you. I'm a little surprised at the quality of the welds on the tips compared to what we get from FabSpeed for example.
 
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