Is it quicker than a 911? What about a Taycan?
The 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 is one of the greatest driver's cars around right now, but there is always a feeling in the back of our minds that it could be a bit better because Porsche needs to ensure the hierarchy in its lineup, making the 718 just a tad slower than the 911. The upcoming 718 GT4 RS model could throw a wrench into that idea, but the standard GT4 is still no slouch around a racetrack.
Porsche recently released onboard footage of the GT4 at Road Atlanta. Driven by pro racer Leh Keen, the GT4 lapped the track in 1:32.24. The footage is pretty fun to watch on its own, but since Porsche has sent other cars around Road Atlanta, we were curious to see how the GT4 stacks up against its siblings.
Late last year, Porsche sent the Taycan Turbo S around Road Atlanta, where it clocked a world record for electric vehicles with a time of 1:33.88. Though the Taycan is much more powerful and quicker in a straight line, the GT4 was still quicker due to its lighter weight and superior handling ability. But what about the gas-powered Panamera? Well, Porsche sent one of those around Road Atlanta as well.
The Panamera Turbo S also set a lap record, this time for a four-door sedan, with a time of 1:31.51. That means the Panamera is less than one second quicker than the GT4 despite having more power. It's worth noting that Keen piloted a manual GT4, so a PDK-equipped model might have defeated the Panamera.
"Like all cars we've lapped at Road Atlanta in the past, the 718 Cayman GT4 was a production car in stock form as a customer can purchase, including the tires," said Frank Wiesmann, Manager, product communications at Porsche Cars North America.
The GT4 was riding on the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 N1 tires while the Panamera wore optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ND0 tires. "So although it is heavier, this more performance-focused tire along with the 620 horsepower engine (an advantage on the longer straights) is the reason why it is slightly faster than the GT4 on this particular track," Wiesmann explained.
You may also wonder how the GT4 stacks up against the venerable 911. Porsche hasn't released any lap times yet for the 992 911, but we do have results for two 911 GT models. The 991 GT2 RS lapped Road Atlanta in 1:24.88 while the GT3 RS took 1:26.24. It's no surprise that the GT2 RS and GT3 RS were both quicker than the GT4.