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I thought I would give my impressions from a first drive of a 718 GT4 yesterday.

Can I say from the outset that I’m a great fan of the introduction of the NA 6 to the 718 (and the whole GT ethos) but equally I genuinely adore my own car - 718 Cayman S PDK. I don’t get too hung up about the whole F4T bashing thing, so I’d like to think I don’t have an axe to grind either way. (Although, I will admit to an insatiable desire for a 718 GT4 at present - hence the reason for the drive in the first place.)

The following ramblings are simply my views based on a 1 ½ hours session around Silverstone PECs small twisty handling circuits; neither of which I’ve driven my own car on. And this isn’t nearly long enough to learn about a car and take everything in – especially when you’re leaning a circuit, concentrating on the instructor’s advice (over a radio), and in my case also trying to remember that I’m in back in a manual!

And one further caveat in terms of the comparisons – my car has an Ehreshmann Stage 2 tune. Which means it may have up to 450 PS and 405 lb-ft (550 Nm) – but perhaps more realistically around 420-430 PS. I’ve not had it on a dyno so I don’t know the exact figures. Suffice to say though, it’s decidedly quicker than a standard car ‘S’. I’ve also got a slightly more aggressive geometry set-up compared to standard – but nothing spectacularly different so I doubt that’s influencing the following comments too much. For the record my car also has SPASM (i.e. – 20mm), but no PTV, and is currently running on Michelin PS4S tyres.

I didn’t take my car on the 8 hour return trip to the Centre, so I unfortunately did get that immediate comparison from jumping directly from one car to another. Although I did take my car out the night before for a decent flog around some local country roads, just to ensure things were fresh in my mind. Even after 2 ½ of ownership I’m still astonished as to how good the thing is when you really push on.

Anyway, enough of the caveats.

The new 4.0 NA engine is very good. It’s nicely free revving and obviously keeps going on and on for ever and a day - I never got beyond 3rd gear and only used that briefly. In terms of its power delivery. Based on this, arguably unrepresentative, drive it certainly didn’t feel to have the same sense of ‘ferocity’ as my car. I never expected this to be the case in the lower half of the rev range, but I was a little surprised in the upper reaches where I felt my car probably still had an edge. Mind you it’s a bit of a different mindset wringing it to close to 8,000 rpm instead of say 6,500 / 7,000.

To be honest, given all of things I mentioned above, I wasn’t consciously thinking that much about the throttle response. But it in retrospect it didn’t strike me as being markedly better than my car – in that it wasn’t something that really grabbed my attention in the way some of the other nuances did. (I am however mindful that the torque rush a turbo engine can be a good cover-up – both in a good and bad way)

Having said all of that, I think I could happily live with NA 4.0 engine. I was pleasantly surprised that there was still a decent amount of torque low down. I’d be keen though to try it in more mundane surroundings, on normal real world roads etc. So it’s perhaps a bit early to draw too many conclusions in terms of what it would be like to live with as a daily (as my car is).

As for the sound. It does have a nice kind of howl up top, but I just didn’t find it anywhere near as tuneful as its predecessor. I appreciate this is a subjective thing but I simply didn’t get the spine tingling feeling I get from other great sounding engines. A view that was solidly reinforced by the agonisingly glorious sound of numerous GT3s thrashing around on the main circuit on the day. The instructor I was following was in a 4.0 GTS (Cayman) and despite driving quite closely, I can’t say I heard that much from it. There are none of the pop and bang theatrics of the pre-GPF cars.

If I’m ever lucky enough to get my hands on one of these, an aftermarket exhaust would probably be a must for me.

Perhaps the biggest stand out for me was front end balance and grip. Whilst it wasn’t the world apart from mine that I expected it to be, the GT4’s responses and control did feel a notch sharper, and a little more ‘connected’. It still has quite a bit of understeer (obvioulsy if you go in a bit too hot) but at the same time the rear end felt a bit more playful / adjustable – not in an aggressive way, just in that you could perhaps feel what was happening a little more? How much of this is down to the stickier and bigger rubber, I don’t know. All-in-all it’s a beautifully composed car, and in my view would be easily liveable as daily (suspension / chassis wise).

The car I drove had standard steel brakes which are of course bigger again than those on the non-GT cars. I did the prerequisite emergency stop form 80(ish) mph and you of can of course almost stand the car on its nose. But I can’t say I noticed that much difference compared to the brakes on the ‘S’. To be honest though, I think all Porsche brakes of bloody good.

Some of the above might sound like I wasn’t totally blown away; which isn’t really the case. I just expected the GT4 to have a harder edge to it, and to be more aggressive / highly strung. (I haven’t driven the 981 GT4 and only briefly driven a 981 Spyder.) This isn’t a negative or criticism of the GT4 – it’s more a testament to the capabilities of the ‘lesser’ models. And of course in comparison to my ‘tinkered’ car,

Truth be told I’m not sure I’d be able to go that much quicker in the GT4 than I would in my own car. But perhaps I’m just not capable enough to appreciate it and fully exploit these nuances. Whilst I’ve been to the Nürburgring a number of times (<50 laps), and driven the Swiss / Italian passes, I’m certainly no track junkie – not by any stretch of the imagination. I do however live in part of the world were there are some very decent and relatively quiet roads, so I’m quite used to driving it ‘as it was intended to be driven’.

Do I still lust after a 718 GT4 as much? **** yes….but I’m not entirely sure I have a rational explanation as to why.

Another nice thing I got from yesterday’s drive - it’s really, really made me appreciate how good and capable my car is.

A couple of pics:

IMG_0689.JPG
IMG_0687.JPG
 

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Could the lust stem from the more aggressive intakes, longer nose and big wing? Also, those rims are very alluring. I know they tickle me lol

Oh very nice write-up!
 

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I had the exact same impression. I own a 718 GTS with 10mm spacers all around, full turboback exhaust and filter. My car definitely feels faster low to mid, obviously, and didn't feel that the GT4 was that much faster up top. Handling-wise I wasn't blown away either. I really had to try hard to differentiate the two and when pushed hard one can probably notice a difference, but my experience was limited to the public roads. And I also have an aggressive street alignment setting, at least as much as the stock suspension allows. Perhaps, with the same alignment setting, it would be more noticeable.

I will add something new to this original post and state that my car also has a manual transmission, but with an upgraded Numeric Shifter and felt that it was about a step better than the one in the GT4. The shifter in the GT4 felt a bit too light and rubbery for my liking, but that just goes to show you how good the Numeric Shifter is. I can't even imagine what it feels like with the upgraded cable. However, when compared to others like the M2, the 718 GT4 shifter is very good.

Definitely needs an upgraded exhaust, but the engine does sound a little better than mine, but not overly so.

I also had the pleasure of driving my buddy's 981 GT4 that's modified with headers, exhaust, and tune and the 981 feels a little sharper than the 718 GT4. The best way I explained it to my buddy is that the 718 GT4 felt mostly the same, but a bit more composed and refined.

Now having said all this, I still find myself running some calcs through my excel spreadsheet (budget) and the Porsche configurator almost every other day. I can't put my finger on it, but I still want the GT4, just not "OMG I want one now!".

And as the OP stated, I now have newfound appreciation for my car and bought and installed a DSC with the 718 GT4 file :)

Who knows, I may even get a tune, and at that point, I wouldn't be surprised if my GTS would beat the GT4 around the 'Ring.

I thought I would give my impressions from a first drive of a 718 GT4 yesterday.

Can I say from the outset that I’m a great fan of the introduction of the NA 6 to the 718 (and the whole GT ethos) but equally I genuinely adore my own car - 718 Cayman S PDK. I don’t get too hung up about the whole F4T bashing thing, so I’d like to think I don’t have an axe to grind either way. (Although, I will admit to an insatiable desire for a 718 GT4 at present - hence the reason for the drive in the first place.)

The following ramblings are simply my views based on a 1 ½ hours session around Silverstone PECs small twisty handling circuits; neither of which I’ve driven my own car on. And this isn’t nearly long enough to learn about a car and take everything in – especially when you’re leaning a circuit, concentrating on the instructor’s advice (over a radio), and in my case also trying to remember that I’m in back in a manual!

And one further caveat in terms of the comparisons – my car has an Ehreshmann Stage 2 tune. Which means it may have up to 450 PS and 405 lb-ft (550 Nm) – but perhaps more realistically around 420-430 PS. I’ve not had it on a dyno so I don’t know the exact figures. Suffice to say though, it’s decidedly quicker than a standard car ‘S’. I’ve also got a slightly more aggressive geometry set-up compared to standard – but nothing spectacularly different so I doubt that’s influencing the following comments too much. For the record my car also has SPASM (i.e. – 20mm), but no PTV, and is currently running on Michelin PS4S tyres.

I didn’t take my car on the 8 hour return trip to the Centre, so I unfortunately did get that immediate comparison from jumping directly from one car to another. Although I did take my car out the night before for a decent flog around some local country roads, just to ensure things were fresh in my mind. Even after 2 ½ of ownership I’m still astonished as to how good the thing is when you really push on.

Anyway, enough of the caveats.

The new 4.0 NA engine is very good. It’s nicely free revving and obviously keeps going on and on for ever and a day - I never got beyond 3rd gear and only used that briefly. In terms of its power delivery. Based on this, arguably unrepresentative, drive it certainly didn’t feel to have the same sense of ‘ferocity’ as my car. I never expected this to be the case in the lower half of the rev range, but I was a little surprised in the upper reaches where I felt my car probably still had an edge. Mind you it’s a bit of a different mindset wringing it to close to 8,000 rpm instead of say 6,500 / 7,000.

To be honest, given all of things I mentioned above, I wasn’t consciously thinking that much about the throttle response. But it in retrospect it didn’t strike me as being markedly better than my car – in that it wasn’t something that really grabbed my attention in the way some of the other nuances did. (I am however mindful that the torque rush a turbo engine can be a good cover-up – both in a good and bad way)

Having said all of that, I think I could happily live with NA 4.0 engine. I was pleasantly surprised that there was still a decent amount of torque low down. I’d be keen though to try it in more mundane surroundings, on normal real world roads etc. So it’s perhaps a bit early to draw too many conclusions in terms of what it would be like to live with as a daily (as my car is).

As for the sound. It does have a nice kind of howl up top, but I just didn’t find it anywhere near as tuneful as its predecessor. I appreciate this is a subjective thing but I simply didn’t get the spine tingling feeling I get from other great sounding engines. A view that was solidly reinforced by the agonisingly glorious sound of numerous GT3s thrashing around on the main circuit on the day. The instructor I was following was in a 4.0 GTS (Cayman) and despite driving quite closely, I can’t say I heard that much from it. There are none of the pop and bang theatrics of the pre-GPF cars.

If I’m ever lucky enough to get my hands on one of these, an aftermarket exhaust would probably be a must for me.

Perhaps the biggest stand out for me was front end balance and grip. Whilst it wasn’t the world apart from mine that I expected it to be, the GT4’s responses and control did feel a notch sharper, and a little more ‘connected’. It still has quite a bit of understeer (obvioulsy if you go in a bit too hot) but at the same time the rear end felt a bit more playful / adjustable – not in an aggressive way, just in that you could perhaps feel what was happening a little more? How much of this is down to the stickier and bigger rubber, I don’t know. All-in-all it’s a beautifully composed car, and in my view would be easily liveable as daily (suspension / chassis wise).

The car I drove had standard steel brakes which are of course bigger again than those on the non-GT cars. I did the prerequisite emergency stop form 80(ish) mph and you of can of course almost stand the car on its nose. But I can’t say I noticed that much difference compared to the brakes on the ‘S’. To be honest though, I think all Porsche brakes of bloody good.

Some of the above might sound like I wasn’t totally blown away; which isn’t really the case. I just expected the GT4 to have a harder edge to it, and to be more aggressive / highly strung. (I haven’t driven the 981 GT4 and only briefly driven a 981 Spyder.) This isn’t a negative or criticism of the GT4 – it’s more a testament to the capabilities of the ‘lesser’ models. And of course in comparison to my ‘tinkered’ car,

Truth be told I’m not sure I’d be able to go that much quicker in the GT4 than I would in my own car. But perhaps I’m just not capable enough to appreciate it and fully exploit these nuances. Whilst I’ve been to the Nürburgring a number of times (<50 laps), and driven the Swiss / Italian passes, I’m certainly no track junkie – not by any stretch of the imagination. I do however live in part of the world were there are some very decent and relatively quiet roads, so I’m quite used to driving it ‘as it was intended to be driven’.

Do I still lust after a 718 GT4 as much? **** yes….but I’m not entirely sure I have a rational explanation as to why.

Another nice thing I got from yesterday’s drive - it’s really, really made me appreciate how good and capable my car is.

A couple of pics:

View attachment 28195 View attachment 28194
 

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Great reviews! I can honestly say that I have driven my 718 GTS at the limits in the presence of a 981 GT4, and I can tell you the 981 (followed by a 991.1 GT3) went by me effortlessly on a big arching curve. It was as if the 981 wasn’t even trying. I was able to catch and stay with the 981 on the straight bits, but that 981 was on another level in turns at the limit. I think that is what makes the GT4s “special.”

I expect that the 718 GT4 will sound just as glorious as the 981 GT4 does once exhaust and headers have been replaced.

As for me wanting a GT4? It appeals to me a lot, and you may add me to the list of people that have spent a bunch of time on the GT4 configurator. The 718 GT4 looks amazing with all of the aero and bigger brakes, and I still can’t get over the feeling seeing the 981 go by me, but then I look at the price tag and I remember that my GTS is pretty **** good already. I can probably put all of the GT4 handling bits on my GTS to improve my speed through the corners, if I care to. I actually love the F4T. I think it sounds pretty **** great when you rev it out, so the F6 and the sound isn’t really part of the “GT4 lust factor” for me.
 

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Great reviews! I can honestly say that I have driven my 718 GTS at the limits in the presence of a 981 GT4, and I can tell you the 981 (followed by a 991.1 GT3) went by me effortlessly on a big arching curve. It was as if the 981 wasn’t even trying. I was able to catch and stay with the 981 on the straight bits, but that 981 was on another level in turns at the limit. I think that is what makes the GT4s “special.”

I expect that the 718 GT4 will sound just as glorious as the 981 GT4 does once exhaust and headers have been replaced.

As for me wanting a GT4? It appeals to me a lot, and you may add me to the list of people that have spent a bunch of time on the GT4 configurator. The 718 GT4 looks amazing with all of the aero and bigger brakes, and I still can’t get over the feeling seeing the 981 go by me, but then I look at the price tag and I remember that my GTS is pretty ** good already. I can probably put all of the GT4 handling bits on my GTS to improve my speed through the corners, if I care to. I actually love the F4T. I think it sounds pretty ** great when you rev it out, so the F6 and the sound isn’t really part of the “GT4 lust factor” for me.
what tires did you have? The sport cup 2 on the GT4 makes a huge difference especially around long sweeping turns.
 

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Nice review. If there was a PDK GT4 available when I bought my GTS I would have considered it. However the change over now will be a little too much for me . The latest straight line performance figures for the PDK GT4 also seems to be on par with my PDK GTS with 0-100 time quoted as 3.9s. I can also install motor sport quality suspension upgrades that are better than a GT4, notwithstanding better forged wheels and R compound tyres. I can also add the aero later and maybe a tune.

However I'd say by the time I finish setting up my GTS as a GT car I probably will have spent as much as the cost of a new GT4 but I will potentially have a faster track or mountain road car.

I think if you are starting out and want a performance oriented car the PDK GT4 is probably the one to get or wait for the RS model.

But if you already have an GTS or S it makes more financial sense to improve what you have if you want GT level performance.
 

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Great reviews! I can honestly say that I have driven my 718 GTS at the limits in the presence of a 981 GT4, and I can tell you the 981 (followed by a 991.1 GT3) went by me effortlessly on a big arching curve. It was as if the 981 wasn’t even trying. I was able to catch and stay with the 981 on the straight bits, but that 981 was on another level in turns at the limit. I think that is what makes the GT4s “special.”

I expect that the 718 GT4 will sound just as glorious as the 981 GT4 does once exhaust and headers have been replaced.

As for me wanting a GT4? It appeals to me a lot, and you may add me to the list of people that have spent a bunch of time on the GT4 configurator. The 718 GT4 looks amazing with all of the aero and bigger brakes, and I still can’t get over the feeling seeing the 981 go by me, but then I look at the price tag and I remember that my GTS is pretty ** good already. I can probably put all of the GT4 handling bits on my GTS to improve my speed through the corners, if I care to. I actually love the F4T. I think it sounds pretty ** great when you rev it out, so the F6 and the sound isn’t really part of the “GT4 lust factor” for me.
That's interesting about the 981 GT4 passing you effortlessly. I've been on track with my '17CS multiple times with 981 GT4s. I've been able to get past all of them. Maybe they were not great drivers, but neither am I.
 

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I have the Sport Cup 2s.

EDIT: I was incorrect. I have the Sport 4 S tires on my GTS. That probably would make a big difference.
Yeah for sure. You guys might have been almost dead even but still a small edge to GT4 given the entire GT3 front suspension.
 

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That's interesting about the 981 GT4 passing you effortlessly. I've been on track with my '17CS multiple times with 981 GT4s. I've been able to get past all of them. Maybe they were not great drivers, but neither am I.
I've been on track with a stock 981 GT4 and it was seriously quick - the driver was keeping the GT3s honest and they weren't slouches. There are so many variables (drivers, tyres, mods, suspensions set up etc.) at track days that it isn't possible to make any conclusive calls either way.
 

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Great reviews! I can honestly say that I have driven my 718 GTS at the limits in the presence of a 981 GT4, and I can tell you the 981 (followed by a 991.1 GT3) went by me effortlessly on a big arching curve. It was as if the 981 wasn’t even trying. I was able to catch and stay with the 981 on the straight bits, but that 981 was on another level in turns at the limit. I think that is what makes the GT4s “special.”

I expect that the 718 GT4 will sound just as glorious as the 981 GT4 does once exhaust and headers have been replaced.

As for me wanting a GT4? It appeals to me a lot, and you may add me to the list of people that have spent a bunch of time on the GT4 configurator. The 718 GT4 looks amazing with all of the aero and bigger brakes, and I still can’t get over the feeling seeing the 981 go by me, but then I look at the price tag and I remember that my GTS is pretty ** good already. I can probably put all of the GT4 handling bits on my GTS to improve my speed through the corners, if I care to. I actually love the F4T. I think it sounds pretty ** great when you rev it out, so the F6 and the sound isn’t really part of the “GT4 lust factor” for me.
I have to say I am with you on the 718 engine sound. The F4T sounds amazing under stress and it pulls HARD. As for those new cars passing you, it will be ever thus. Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?

I blame the bigger rubber, big wing and the front end aero, not the suspension or the hps for you getting passed. Cayman owners I talk to agree it has the right (spelled s-a-f-e) amount of understeer. Who wants a hair trigger?

BTW, great review and response on the GT4 from members 9 and P.
 
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That's interesting about the 981 GT4 passing you effortlessly. I've been on track with my '17CS multiple times with 981 GT4s. I've been able to get past all of them. Maybe they were not great drivers, but neither am I.
Anecdotal driving data is tough since we're all different skill levels. Comparing hotlaps from pro drivers is pretty reasonable though, as the delta between drivers should be pretty small.

If we trust the times from Car and Driver's Lightning Lap on VIR Grand, 981 GT4 (2:54) is 2 seconds quicker than 718 GTS (2:56), and 4 seconds slower than 991.1 GT3 (2:50). GT3 and GT4 on Cup 2, GTS on whatever max performance tire it comes with.

This is consistent with Randy Pobst doing 1:38.79 in a GTS at Laguna Seca, and 1:37.43 in a 981 GT4. Again different tires.

981 GT4 at Nurburgring with Porsche driver: 7:40. Same setup for 718 GTS: 7:40. Which makes sense as the torque curve will help at the ring. 991.1 GT3: 7:25

The 981 GT4 looks better, sounds better (imo), and probably 'feels' better due to a more track focused suspension, more aero, etc. In terms of outright performance, the 718 generation was a big step up in performance and with similar tires will keep up with a GT4. GT3 is in another category entirely, and the only way a GT4 is keeping up is with a much better driver. Or a slow, windy track that is minimally affected by hp, maybe.
 
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