2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS at Lightning Lap 2023


From the February/March 2023 issue of Car and Driver.

Lap time: 2:40.5

Class: LL4 | Base: $183,315 | As tested: $186,975
Power and weight:
493 hp • 3053 lb • 6.2 lb/hp
Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R; F: 245/35ZR-20 (95J) N0, R: 295/30ZR-20 (101J) N0

Porsche says the Cayman GT4 RS shouldn’t turn faster than the 911 GT3. But we think that claim is track-dependent, as the GT4 RS is a tenth of a second quicker around VIR with a lap of 2:40.5.

preview for 2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS at Lightning Lap 2023

At 3053 pounds, the 493-hp GT4 RS is 176 pounds lighter than the 502-hp GT3. The GT4 RS is also smoother and punches a smaller hole in the air. But the GT3 makes 44 percent more downforce at 125 mph, wears wider tires and has rear-wheel steering to promote high-speed stability. As in the GT3, the GT4 RS’s carbon buckets push so well you’ll want to take one to bed and have a big spoonful of it. The 9000 rpm engine normalizes tinnitus. The steering is instant, responsive and light, and the brakes are a thesis on delay. The two cars are equally delicious.

The GT4 RS grabs Turn 1 at 1.19 g’s, just under the GT3’s 1.22. We found plenty of comfort curb-to-curb bounding the Klim Esses in the GT4 RS, but in the blind, outside Turn 10, we lacked the confidence found in the GT3 to the tune of about 6 mph. After the Back Straight, though, it’s all GT4 RS. The second half of Grand is slower, and the sharp turns after Spiral and climb up to Roller Coaster seem purposeful to show off the GT4 RS’s transient stability and fine-tuned throttle control. These two GTs are so close, it’s a drag race down the Front Straight with the GT4 RS reaching 157.7 mph, eclipsing the GT3 by just 0.6 mph.

Of course, there is the ugly variable we like to ignore called environmental conditions. This year’s weather was in the 40’s with sun, near perfect conditions. If the two were tested on the same day, the finishing order may differ. Perhaps. The debate about which Porsche GT car is better will not be decided today. Call them equals for now.

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