The new 8,000rpm Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

A new engine. Bigger wing. Manual gearbox. You better believe Porsche's best modern sports car is back

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Introducing the new Porsche Cayman GT4. Although now with ‘718’ in its name, because when Porsche facelifted its mid-engined two-seater and dropped in a controversial four-cylinder turbo engine, it added the ‘718’ part to pay homage to a classic of the good ole days. But fear not. The turbo engine has been banished from the GT4. This thing’s packing a 4.0-litre, 8,000rpm, 414bhp flat-six. That ought to make a jolly nice noise.

Compared to the previous GT4, this new one has an additional 35bhp. And we loved it. It even won our 2016 Sports Car of the Year Award. Plus, a few extra horses never hurt. Torque matches on old 3.8-litre version’s 310lb-ft. And it’s actually no quicker: the GT4 does 0-62mph in 4.4sec. Just like before. Top speed is up just a dash from 182mph to beyond 186mph.

It’s worth noting that the new engine is also more efficient and nicer to the environment. Not only producing more power while breathing out through a heftier exhaust filter (which adds about 12kg in weight), but it can also shut down a bank of cylinders when you’re cruising. The bigger engine also now has a wider torque band. Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger is confident this erases one of the only problems with the old GT4 – that the gearing was too long. The gearing is the same this time around, but the car might punch through each ratio a bit harder.

Apart from upgrading to a heftier engine, Porsche has also been hard are work in the wind tunnel. Yes, yes, we know it looks the same. Of course it does. It’s a new Porsche. What were you expecting?

Anyway, the headline is a 50 percent jump in overall downforce. How? Firstly, the split exhaust opens up space for a more useful – if perhaps uglier – rear diffuser, sucking the car’s backside into the road. The rear wing’s been redrawn to conjure more downforce without adding drag (so, with the extra power the top speed goes up).

Now, we’re not talking about an Aston Valkyrie AMR nutter here, so the GT4 isn’t a drive-it-on-the-ceiling kinda car. Apparently, even with the tweaked front splitter and so on, the extra downforce amounts to 12kg at 125mph. Still, next time you’re pinned over Flugplatz at the Nürburgring, you’d be very glad over every extra kilo pushing you back down to Earth…

On that note, the 718 Cayman GT4 is also reportedly ten seconds a lap faster around the German racetrack. But Preuninger makes it clear that the GT4 isn’t a humourless grip machine. “The tyres are not ultra-rated super track day tyres – more like an ultra-high performance all-rounder – so it can live with the horrid conditions as well,” he tells TG. “This is a car for the back roads in Wales, maybe Scotland too. You would rather dance with the car than drive it, that is how I would describe it.”

Prices are said to start at £75,348.00. That’s only a dash more than the last GT4 when new.

What do you think TG.com? Are you adding it to the wishlist?