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We currently have my wife's weekend toy, a '07 Cayman S that has been pretty well modded for non track use on sunny weekends. This is our 14 Porsche and first one that is not rear engine. We love the car but now are looking to replace it with a more special one. This leads me to my questions. We want to get either a '12 R or '16 GT4 to add to our car collection. I have searched the the web for comparisons but have not seen many. We're looking for a car to use on sunny weekends, take to car shows and events, and possible track - vary rarely as we have other dedicated cars for that purpose. We realize there is quite a delta in price points, but this is a car we plan on keeping for a long time. With that said, we do want a car that is fun to drive, will at least hopefully maintain its value (possibly increase over the long term), and be that special car to fit in the garage space between my wife's C7 corvette daily driver and my concours condition '57 300SL Roadster (and no, I can't convince my wife to get both an R and a GT4). Either car we get will be low milage, well optioned inc. LWB, and stock. Part of the conundrum is that I'm concerned that the R will not be that different from our S which has very similar HP numbers after the mods mentioned in my signature. On the other side of the coin is the GT4 worth the $30K premium and will it hold its value with the new GT4's Porsche is planning to release (4.0, PDK). I'm very interested in people's thoughts as to what would be the best choice. Additionally, if we go with the R, is a 6 speed more desirable than a PDK? I like the 6 speed in the GT4, but the one in our S is not as precise (I know I can fix that). I have not driven a Cayman with PDK but did just drive an AMG GTC with a DC and was very impressed. So I thought it might be an interesting change. Thank you all in advance for your suggestions, I'm honestly interested in the opinions of this knowledgeable group.
 

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R will be a significant but not earth-shattering change performance-wise from your '07 S, but it is the sharpest and most connected/visceral 987.2. Not a lot of Rs made, and as you know it's holding its value quite well. Very special car, especially with a 6-speed and Sport Buckets.

There are more 981 GT4s available, and it's another jump in performance from the R as well as as a more modern interior with additional creature comforts over the R even in base form. They are now coming down in price to well below MSRP for "average" cars, and I expect the depreciation to accelerate somewhat once the 718 GT4 and 718 GTS 4.0l start arriving.

Long term, I would venture to guess that based on rarity alone the R would hold it's value better and have a greater chance of appreciation than a 981 GT4. That said, there's only a small pool of 6-speed LWB-equipped Rs out there compared to similarly spec'd GT4s. An R wouldn't get more than a second glance at an event from anyone other than Porsche brand aficionados as it looks pretty much like a 987.2 S. A GT4 will garner more attention from non-Porsche car lovers, but those in the "camp" will likely view the 981 as special and desirable while seeing the R as special, desirable and decidedly more rare.

As an occasional driving car, I'd go with an R; as a near-daily driving machine I'd go with a 981 GT4. Best case "collection" scenario would be the full triad: an R, a 981 GT4 and a 718 GT4.
 

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^^^. this. cayman r. Definitely more rare than a GT4.

If long term value is your goal go with the R.
 

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I would vote for the GT4 in some unique color. The R is just an upgrade from the OEM Cayman S. Your Cayman would most likely be an even draw with your current modifications, If you have a TPC DSC unit and R springs, then your car would out handle the R. The GT4 is clearly a different animal, in the straights or around the track, its going to be much faster. Call Jamie at Dundon to get some idea of what mods work really well on the GT4 to give it even more performance and bling.
 

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981 GTS PDK? Just a thought, rarer than 981 GT4 and faster off the lights due to the PDK. Hold their value well too.

My Porsche pics on Instagram: the_porsche_rich
 

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I agree with the Cayman R being more collectible. If you are going for collectibility and some day a nice return from a person knowing what they’re looking at and not just wowing non-Porsche people at car shows, the R for sure. Neither car was limited but 2009-2012 garnered the lowest number production of ALL Cayman years so the R by the numbers will be more rare. I personally would search for Peridot green, the launch color and gorgeous IMO. The GT4 is a sweet car but I think the R is more subtle, understated uniqueness. I think that combination tends to be the most sought after Porsche specials.

My VW R32 has this uniqueness effect at car shows. To me it’s more fun to talk to folks who KNOW what they’re looking at rather than attracting every person at the show.

I get SO many comments with my Cayman at car shows. It’s not an S, a GT4, a GTS or obviously a 911, just lightly modded base model that people seem to like the subtle understated-ness.

I just think that’s more fun talking with people about, who spot that quality.



Have fun with the search, it’s one of my favorite parts.


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If money was no object, it's an easy choice...... GT4

the R will hold better value I'm sure, but there is no denying the GT4 is the better car on multiple levels.

Looks are subjective but to me it's not even close
267016

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If money was no object, it's an easy choice...... GT4

the R will hold better value I'm sure, but there is no denying the GT4 is the better car on multiple levels.

Looks are subjective but to me it's not even close
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They’re both gorgeous cars, with the 981 a little more refined. But there’s not a huge difference in price as the GT4 has dropped to more appropriate levels and it seems to me lightly used examples of the R have increased. I’ve seen GT4 as low as $84k ($86k MSRP) and a nicely optioned PDK R as much as $70k ($67k MSRP). So not a huge difference when you are talking 70-80 grand. And to me, to say an 8 year old car for $70k selling $3k above its MSRP or a 4 year old car dropping from frenzy induced prices selling at MSRP, seems that the market is showing which one is possibly the better long term investment. I dunno... I don’t recall if the 2012 market was selling the R above MSRP like the GT4.

If the R was not getting all the frenzy (I really can’t remember) like the GT4 was and sold closer to MSRP, its had a head start to appreciate where as the GT4 took 4 years just to get to MSRP. Initial price increase was not appreciated value but frenzy to have one.

I guess I’m saying that the older car appreciated quicker than the newer car. The 981 took several years to get back to actual real world, non frenzy, inflated levels and therefore took longer to (and actually hasn’t) appreciate over MSRP. The initial increase was just frenzy. Most buyers got their profit already with the second/third owners taking the hit now, especially with the 718 GT4 out (in Europe at least).

It doesn’t sound like the OP is too concerned about price and apparently likes, as do I, the looks of both. I would almost say the R would ‘feel’ more raw too and provide more feedback due to not having that refinement. But! I’ve never driven either so I may be way off base.


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The R is more special, and always will be. Solely as a road car I'd pick the R all day every day.

If you are going to track it consider the GT4. It's why I currently have a GT4 in the garage rather than an R.
 

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Why not throw the upcoming 718 GTS 4.0 into the mix?
 

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Tough choice. The R's gonna cost OP a lot less and imho be just as entertaining as a weekend toy. Eventual appreciation is a given and there are always plenty of them available. In fact, of all the 987.2s it seems Rs always outnumber all the other non-base examples available at any given time. I use cars.com alerts to watch for 987s and there are 10 Rs currently listed for sale. Including a crazy Visuvio (purple) example.

Just imo and I’m very biased. 😋
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your thoughtful and knowledgeable responses. Please keep them coming as we are still debating our choices. Additionally, we’re still researching the 6 speed vs PDK choice on the R.

Todd


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We currently have my wife's weekend toy, a '07 Cayman S that has been pretty well modded for non track use on sunny weekends. This is our 14 Porsche and first one that is not rear engine. We love the car but now are looking to replace it with a more special one. This leads me to my questions. We want to get either a '12 R or '16 GT4 to add to our car collection. I have searched the the web for comparisons but have not seen many. We're looking for a car to use on sunny weekends, take to car shows and events, and possible track - vary rarely as we have other dedicated cars for that purpose. We realize there is quite a delta in price points, but this is a car we plan on keeping for a long time. With that said, we do want a car that is fun to drive, will at least hopefully maintain its value (possibly increase over the long term), and be that special car to fit in the garage space between my wife's C7 corvette daily driver and my concours condition '57 300SL Roadster (and no, I can't convince my wife to get both an R and a GT4). Either car we get will be low milage, well optioned inc. LWB, and stock. Part of the conundrum is that I'm concerned that the R will not be that different from our S which has very similar HP numbers after the mods mentioned in my signature. On the other side of the coin is the GT4 worth the $30K premium and will it hold its value with the new GT4's Porsche is planning to release (4.0, PDK). I'm very interested in people's thoughts as to what would be the best choice. Additionally, if we go with the R, is a 6 speed more desirable than a PDK? I like the 6 speed in the GT4, but the one in our S is not as precise (I know I can fix that). I have not driven a Cayman with PDK but did just drive an AMG GTC with a DC and was very impressed. So I thought it might be an interesting change. Thank you all in advance for your suggestions, I'm honestly interested in the opinions of this knowledgeable group.
I bought a 12 R new with PDK after driving a 12 R 6 speed manual. I now have 52000 miles on my 12 R and it has been a perfect car, not a single problem, and a true joy to drive all those miles on twisty roads. I also got to drive a 981 GT4 for about 30 miles on twisty roads. The GT4 is slightly better in that it has more power, but my Cayman R has all the power I need and so much so that I need to be cautious about staying within legal limits. The R has more steering feel than the GT4. I do not think you can go wrong with either choice.

I believe the R will one day be more valuable than the GT4 due to the greater rarity (only 624 sold in north America, 531 USA, 91 Canada, I guess 1421 worldwide based on a registry), the original Cayman curvy styling that has a more classic Porsche look, the simplicity of the well tuned and lowered suspension, the light weight characteristics, and the hydraulic steering with excellent feeling and feedback.

Based on your post I think you will like the R better. If I were you I would buy one with high miles and drive it to enjoy the uniqueness of this rare car. For a reference point I have recently seen a blue R with 99000 miles located at a Porsche dealer in an eastern state I believe on Cars.com that started at $42000? and has dropped a couple of times to $39000? asking price. I am just guessing it may have belonged to a member of this forum, Ed Merry, who I believe was putting many miles on his R early in its life.
Enjoy which every car you decide on.:)
 

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I believe the R will one day be more valuable than the GT4 due to the greater rarity (only 624 sold in north America, 531 USA, 91 Canada, I guess 1421 worldwide based on a registry), the original Cayman curvy styling that has a more classic Porsche look, the simplicity of the well tuned and lowered suspension, the light weight characteristics, and the hydraulic steering with excellent feeling and feedback.
So likely WAY less than the GT4 is my guess. As I suspected on the feel and feedback. Good info.
 

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An R with a 6-speed will be more collectible due to rarity. A 6-speed with Sport Buckets it’s the closest thing to a Cayman unicorn. The 987.2 PDK is a fine gearbox, but not as smooth as in the 981/718. If it matters to you, the 987.2 is the last of the Cays/Boxsters that doesn’t have farting (backfires in Porsche parlance) in Sport Mode.
 

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Yeah, they sound like crap compared to the 981 GT4/Spyder......
Wow! Definitely night and day. I figured the 981 would sound a lot different than my 981 base with PSE, but it really doesn't. Sounds just like mine. My guess is the design configuration of the new car exhaust with the wide set pipes. IMO, the GT3 sounds better than a std 911 with PSE too. SO it may very well be the exhaust design.
 

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In Europe, there are particulate filters in the exhaust on the 718. They dramatically change the tone of exhaust for the worse. I'm very curious to hear a 718 with the stock sport exhaust modded to remove those. The current word is that they won't have the particulate filters on USDM cars, so they should sound different, and hopefully better, without mods.
 
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