I had one thought when I first saw this 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4: “Please let it be Signal Yellow.” From the thumbnail it looked like it might be, but lighting and small pictures can deceive and don’t always yield what appears at first glance.
It is Signal Yellow.
Like many of Porsche’s vintage pastels Signal Yellow is a long time favorite and one of the colors that always will attract my notice. Though it doesn’t always work as well on modern Porsches as it did on the early models on which it debuted. A while back I featured a Signal Yellow GT3 and while the color looked great on that car, it just wasn’t quite as great as on an early 911. It’s the lack of contrasts. Those early cars had chromes and blacks on various exterior pieces that complemented well that bright yellow paint. The GT4 is similar to the GT3 in that regard, but the color still looks really good and its brightness combines well with the spirit of the machine to produce a phenomenal result.
Do you want to turn some heads? And I mean really turn heads? Not just, “oh there’s a cool car” and then move on, but the stop and stare sort of attention. Yes? Good, keep reading. Here we have a paint-to-sample Riviera Blue 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4. Porsche has long been known for its pastels and Riviera Blue follows in that tradition. It’s not the only bright vibrant blue Porsche has offered, but it has quickly become one of the most iconic. First debuted on the 993 I’ve always thought that was the model it looked best on. Later 911s wearing the color have looked good, but never as good as the 993. This Cayman GT4 might just top it. I’ve loved the GT4 since I first saw one and this one is just stunning! Like it or not – and I can’t imagine someone buying Riviera Blue and hating attention – everyone is going to take notice.
At $125K, the price of all of this wonderfulness is very high. You can easily find a GT4 for $15K, even $20K, less than this one. It is practically new and looks flawless so you’re getting the right sort of car for your money. It’s just a lot of money.
I really don’t feature the Porsche Cayman often enough. It’s not that I don’t like them, I like them a lot. I think they just fall into that world of newer machines that we see so many of that it becomes easy to pass them by for more rare alternatives from earlier years. The same happens with the 911 since I’ll feature very few of the water-cooler models and when I do it is almost always the 996TT or GT3.
When I come across a Cayman R the decision is much easier as these possess the sort of rarity and performance that immediately makes us take notice. The R provides a glimpse of everything the Cayman could be and serves as a precursor to the current GT4. As a lightened and more powerful version of the Cayman S, the R takes an already well-balanced machine and turns everything up. Creature comforts are a little more limited though for those who like A/C and a radio they can be added back. Even still the R makes for a wonderfully fun drive and hell I think they look pretty great too!
The one we see here comes in a really pretty Basalt Black over Red combination and sits with just 12,000 miles on it. The asking price is quite high, but the option list is quite extensive so if you’re looking for one that checked a lot of the boxes this may be it.
Model: Cayman R
Engine: 3.4 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 12,000 mi
The car is black with red full leather and has a manual transmission, bucket seats, sports exhaust, sport chrono among many other options. Currently has a little over 12,000 miles and I am the original owner.
I sometimes feel I am neglectful of the Porsche Cayman. I write almost exclusively about Porsches and it turns out equally exclusively about the 911. This is by choice, not necessarily by design. The Cayman is (in relative terms) the new kid on the block for Porsche so it doesn’t always possess the sort of historicity that remains rooted in my brain. In simpler terms: these were not the Porsches that captivated me as a kid; not the Porsches that I saw on posters and dreamed about. All of this may be to my loss.
The Cayman is a fantastic car possessing inherently better dynamic balance than its much more well known sibling, the 911. Porsche has been oft criticized for holding the Cayman back, portrayed as fearful that it would overtake their beloved 911, but that doesn’t make the Cayman a family sedan. Impeccable balance, impeccable feel, and still plenty of power for everyday use characterize the chassis. In S specification with a 6-speed manual transmission you’re getting nearly 300 horses propelling a car weighing just over 3,000 pounds. That’s good for 0-60 in around 5 seconds and should you so desire you’ll top out north of 170 mph – not too shabby. There really is a lot to love with these cars and here we have one that comes from the very beginning: an Indischrot 2006 Porsche Cayman S with Sand Beige leather interior and just 31,000 miles on it.
As Spring 2017 officially kicks off today, my thoughts inevitably turn towards the track. While race series at Daytona, Sebring, Formula 1 (final testing, at least) and even Goodwood have already commenced, as I look out my window there’s still a layer of snow covering the ground and temperatures have barely crept past freezing. It certainly doesn’t feel like Spring yet, but that doesn’t mean that preparation for heading to the track can’t begin. And though I dearly love tracking my Audi Coupe GT and it’s racked up some serious mileage on the race courses of New England, I can’t help but think that maybe it’s time for something newer. Maybe something like a Porsche Cayman, the “affordable” way into a track-friendly performance Porsche:
Porsche history has always been intrinsically linked with racing since before they were even a company. From Mercedes-Benz to Auto Union and later Cisitalia, Porsche offered world-beating designs prior to establishment of its own independent racing heritage. Since the 1950s, they’ve never looked back, and every successive generation has their own legends that were born. For my father, it was the 908 and 917, while I grew up with the turbocharged whistle of the 956 and 962 dominating race tracks. To capitalize on this nostalgia, coupled with more gentleman drivers heading to the track every weekend than there ever have been, Porsche’s lineup has increasingly focused on track-biased cars. But that hasn’t stopped some from going a few steps further, and Napelton Porsche launched an interesting idea just before the turn of the decade.
Why not create a race series of equal cars, slap historic liveries on them, and hit the track? The Interseries was just that, with door to door action pitting the iconic color combinations of Porsche history at the hands of mere mortals. From the Salzburg 917 that first took Porsche to the Le Mans title to the unmistakable Rothmans colors, each of these cars wore a bit of what made the marque a legend for so many people. Everyone has their favorite design, so this series offered Porschephiles a veritable cornucopia of visual pleasure. Today, one of these cars has come up for sale:
To close out my week of green Porsches I’ll return to the color that I began with: Viper Green. Unlike Kermit, which wore a metallic shade of Viper Green borrowed from the VW Scirocco, this 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 appears to have returned to the color’s roots with the non-metallic Viper Green of the early ’70s. The differences between the two colors are readily apparent and if we compare it to Porsche’s own metallic shade of Viper Green, as seen on this 911SC, we pretty much cover all of our bases for variants of this color. Each is great in its own way and the blend of vintage color on modern machinery we see here, even when not on a 911, almost always produces a stunner.
From seemingly the moment it released the Cayman Porsche was criticized for holding it back so as not to outclass the 911. As we often heard, the Cayman’s inherently better balanced mid-engine layout should easily be able to outperform Porsche’s icon, if only Porsche would truly unleash it and give it a proper engine. Regardless of this criticism, the Cayman has been widely praised; it followed in the long footsteps of Porsche’s racing history providing excellent performance and refinement in the same package. With the release of the Cayman R criticism was abated. With the new Cayman GT4 we have a glimpse of what the Cayman truly can be. Here we have an example of the former, a Speed Yellow 2012 Porsche Cayman R, located in Texas, with 12,726 miles on it. The Cayman R didn’t really add much in the horsepower department – gaining only 10 hp over the standard Cayman S – but when combined with its lighter weight – some 120 fewer pounds than the Cayman S – the results began to take shape. Marry extra power and lighter weight with more performance-oriented suspension tuning and the Cayman R stood apart from its mid-engined siblings and finally bit at the heels of the 911. Was the R akin to the 911 GT3 RS in its track focus? Not quite, but it pointed in that direction and gave many critics what they had clamored for.
The popularity of track days and amateur racing is at perhaps an all-time high, with seeming countless versions of track-prepared options out there. Back in the 1970s, there were basically no track-ready options available. Even when supposed track-derived cars arrived in the 1980s, they wouldn’t hold up to hot-lapping for very long. But today you can pop down to your Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and even Bentley dealer and walk out with a full factory prepared race car. The Porsche model which traditionally has carried this flame was the 911, first with the RS models followed by the GT3. But they’ve gotten hugely expensive, and Porsche has another popular track platform in the Cayman. Recently gussied up for track duty in the GT4 model everyone is swooning about, the Cayman is better prepared than ever to take on your favorite track. And by track, for many that means garage, waiting for the model to appreciate. But Porsche also released a full turn-key race version of the Cayman to the public this past year. With a mid-mounted 385 horsepower 3.8 flat-6, motivation wouldn’t be a problem. Porsche ups the track-bias with the 6-speed PDK, a factory roll cage, gutted interior and lightweight aluminum/steel hybrid panels, 15″ 6/4 piston brakes, and a slew of GT3 bits. You could even get a 26 gallon endurance fuel tank. But unlike the normal Porsche factory race cars, this fully-prepped GT4 Clubsport would run out the door at $165,000:
We haven’t featured Porsche’s Cayman GT4 in a while and since this is probably my current favorite offering from the marque – I’m going to ignore the 911R for now – I wanted to revisit one of these. Since they became available it hasn’t been difficult to find a GT4 for sale second-hand and prices have unsurprisingly been pretty high. Most have virtually no mileage. This one is a little different: it’s an auction so we may have a better shot at a more reasonable price and this has a couple thousand miles on it. Nothing significant, but well past break-in. In that regard it qualifies much more as a used car than most of the others. The real distinguishing feature of this GT4, however, is the color. I have seen very few in Guards Red. I’m not sure why that would be the case since it’s a standard color, but for fans of Guards Red – and a car like this really begs for a color like this – this GT4 may serve as a pretty nice opportunity at a lightly used example.