Even the best make mistakes.
Porsche is renowned for building some of the best sports cars in the world, and in recent times, the 718 Cayman GT4 has taken the title of being arguably the best junior sports car on the planet. A high-revving, naturally aspirated engine mounted midship is paired to the rear wheels via a good old-fashioned row-your-own-gears manual gearbox - the perfect recipe for automotive enthusiasts. But time and time again, the gearbox has come under fire for the gearing being too long, with second gear taking you well beyond 60 mph, meaning you don't need to use the sweet shifter as much as you'd probably like. Porsche knows it's a problem, and in an interview with Australian publication Which Car, Frank-Steffen Walliser - the man in charge of the 718 Cayman and Porsche 911 product lineups - explains why.
While many expected the reason to be a way to let the GT4 get around emissions regulations, the truth is that Porsche simply used an old gearbox, and according to Walliser, "changing the gear was just technically not possible as we were running out of space on the shafts, if we need an adjustment there".
Speaking about the potential of shorter gearing, "We would have loved to have seen that, [the gearing] a little bit shorter, but technically there was no way. We have an answer, which will come later this year and that's very nice then." The answer he refers to is the upcoming seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox which has shorter gearing, but sadly for the DIY-aficionados, the manual will not be getting any changes.
The gearing is generally considered to be the only weak link in the Cayman GT4's overall package, and with 414 horsepower on tap from the 4.0-liter flat-six and a 0-60 mph sprint of 4.2 seconds, most buyers will hardly have anything to complain about.
It's still one of the most enjoyable sports cars around, and with the forthcoming GT4 RS packing 500 hp, it could be getting even better. The latter model will only be available with a PDK dual-clutch automatic, as its focus will be purely on decimating lap times.