Porsche's iconic flat-6 really sings, given the right set of pipes.
The Porsche 718 Cayman may have succumbed to the "downsize and turbocharge" philosophy for the modern era, losing its excellent naturally aspirated flat-6 as Porsche looks to adhere to tightening emissions requirements the world over, but the high-performance 718 GT4 has, rather happily, been spared. That, along with the GT4's manual-only stance on transmissions, makes it a driver's car among lesser driver's cars, able to deliver the immediacy and linearity of a big naturally aspirated engine, and the direct involvement of a stick-shift.
Oh, and the soundtrack supplied by the car's 4.0L flat-6 is none too shabby, either. And now, it's been made even better by the exhaust experts over at Fabspeed Motorsport.
Based out of Pennsylvania, Fabspeed got its start crafting gorgeous, high-quality performance exhaust systems for Porsche vehicles, in a sense making this Porsche 718 GT4 exhaust something of a homecoming for the company. It's just a prototype for now, but it sounds absolutely ripping.
The Porsche 718 GT4 arguably has a tamer exhaust note than the 981-generation Cayman GT4 that came before it - something that could be attributable, in part, to its Gas Particulate Filter. GPFs are a recent thing on gasoline-fueled vehicles, helping to cut down on the sort of particulate emissions that direct-injection engines are prone to.
But Fabspeed's system features over-axle GPF delete pipes, removing the filters and letting lose more of the GT4's raw flat-6 rasp.
Of course, freeing up the exhaust flow brings benefits apart from an improved soundtrack. In dyno testing, Fabspeed saw gains of 7 peak horsepower, from 383 to 390 at the rear wheels, and an extra 9 lb-ft in peak torque. But far more impressive is how Fabspeed's prototype system outflowed the factory exhaust throughout the rest of the rpm range, achieving an astonishing 32 extra lb-ft at 2,300 rpm.
As acceleration is less a function of peak power, and more a function of area under the torque curve, that 32-lb-ft bump is significant. You'll feel it in the seat of your pants every time you mat the throttle.