The Porsche Cayman GT4 Is Just About Perfect On Track

Careening around Thunder Hill Raceway, Lawrence Ulrich declares the newest GT Porsche “purer than a Mormon high school.”

Words that should be banned when speaking of the Porsche Cayman GT4: "purity," "lightness," "connection," "feel," "tossability," and "balance." And yet how else to describe Porsche's meanest Cayman ever—the first with the full-strength, 385-horsepower 911 engine placed midship? We're giving Lawrence a pass; sometimes, behind the wheel of greatness, it's impossible not to lapse into spouting passages from the Mid-Engined Porsche Bible.

In a series of hot laps around Thunderhill, the GT4 shone very bright indeed. All the goodies from the bigger, 911 GT3—front suspension, brakes, steering rack, wheels—elevate an already overachieving little car into greatness and, at around $86,000 to start, the price is almost reasonable. Well, reasonable for a Porsche. Just steer clear of the $4,700 racing bucket seats.

This is the Cayman every Porsche enthusiast dreamed about, and argued for, usually citing some subtle under-engineering on Porsche's part to keep the 911 superior. But it's here now and, by the sounds of that ripping flat-six and Lawrence's tumble into driving rapture, it is most excellent.