Is the New Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Racecar a Bargain?

The first factory Cayman racecar has debuted at the L.A. Auto Show. It looks like a screamin’ deal. Well, relatively speaking, that is.

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The Porsche Cayman S is as perfect a modern sports car gets. It’s not the fastest or prettiest, and the $80,000-plus sticker should push buyers toward a Corvette Z06. But then you plot a course in the San Francisco Bay Area, as I did last year. You race a Tesla sedan to Lake Tahoe and back, and you return astounded. Steering, braking, sound, balance, poise, feel, precision—everything is 100-percent on point. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with this car.

So it’s only a logical progression that Porsche has debuted a factory-build, track-prepped Cayman in L.A. The 2016 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is here, finally, because Stuttgart can no longer park this mighty mid-engine coupe in the 911’s shadow. It’s a turnkey racer based on the all-new, road-legal Cayman GT4, which incorporates a 911 GT3 front suspension and the 3.8-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six from the outgoing 911 Carrera S. The Clubsport brings all the requisite track gear: Roll cage, slicks, stripped interior, diamond-hard suspension, 12-stage adjustable anti-lock brakes, a mechanically locking rear diff, and a special version dual-clutch automatic gearbox, six-speed rather than seven.

Porsche

More interesting is what the Clubsport doesn’t have. The brakes are steel, not carbon ceramic. The engine makes the same stock 385 horsepower. The wheels use ordinary five-lug mounts, not high-torque center locks. Even the rear spoiler and aero trim are barely touched.

Porsche

That keeps the price down. Sure, at $165,000, it’s three times the cost a Mazda Miata Cup Car. Also: Still $100k cheaper than a 911 GT3 Cup, and not much more than the 911 Turbo Cabriolets rolling up Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway. And considering Porsche’s options scheme—a notoriously absurd thing that somehow nickel-and-dimes in four-figure increments—the Clubsport looks like a damn good deal for a showroom track car. Get your competition license and storm the field. Or finish last. You’re in a Cayman, after all. And your neighbor’s Macan Turbo ain’t eligible.

Porsche