Yes, you read the title right. Porsche knows it, and the GT4 version of the Cayman is about the fastest factory-built variant of the compact mid-engined car you can expect to see.
Quite simply, if the German carmaker dropped the GT3’s engine in a Cayman chassis it would be faster than a 911. And that’s exactly what M’s Machine Works has done with this time attack car.
While the team were at it they also grafted on the front end of a 997 GT3, creating a curious hybrid that stops people in their tracks. I’ve been waiting for a while to feature this thing, mainly because M’s Machine Works is continuously testing the car, playing with different engine configurations and intake solutions. The Cayman currently runs consistent low 59-second laps at Tsukuba Circuit but is no doubt capable of more.
While success at Tsukuba is a goal, the main focus of the project has always revolved around extracting a fast Fuji Speedway lap; the team’s best so far is in the low 1-minute 50 second bracket.
Aerodynamic upgrades extend to a completely flat floor, and a sturdy front splitter with canards raked high to meet the GT-like fenders.
In fact, the whole car has a sort of street-car-meets-GT-racer feel about it, because that’s what it still is – street registered!
The hubs have also been swapped out for those of a single lug nut type and the Cayman runs BBS race wheels at all four corners.
Through the slide-type Lexan window in the driver’s side door you can see the race steering wheel, and looking further around the cabin I was surprised to see that the dashboard and most of the transmission tunnel trim has been kept intact. There seems to be a lot of conflicting things happening in this car, as if it wants to become a fully-fledged time attack beast but isn’t quite prepared to make the jump just yet.
That said, viewing the Porsche from the rear end shows just how serious this car is. A massive GT wing is held in position by a pair of swan neck stays that sprout from under the engine cover.
And speaking of engines, the 997-spec 3.6L GT3 powerplant seems to have found a pretty snug home in the Cayman. The last time I saw this car it was running a 6-throttle setup controlled by a MoTeC ECU, but it’s since gone back to a stock intake and single throttle body.
Here’s a closer look at that glorious rear wing.
Along with the wing, the rear bumper and diffuser treatment helps keep the car planted to the ground through the faster and trickier corners of tracks like Fuji and Tsukuba.
The M’s Machine Works team was aiming to break into the 58-second zone with the car at the Attack meet, but not everything went according to plan.
Unfortunately, the driver locked up a front wheel which sent the car right into the kitty litter on the last corner. Damage was minimal, so no doubt it will all be sorted out. In fact, M’s Machine Works has plans to make the car quite a lot faster through the use of a GT2 engine. But that’s something for the 2017 season…
Dino Dalle Carbonare
It looks cool, and each to their own, but isn't that an awfully expensive way to not beat a 15-year-old Civic?
I refer to the 57'580" Garage Work EK4 in Mr Dalle Carbonare's earlier coverage of this event. The Civic and the Cayman may be running in different classes, but even so… Civic seems to be running a mostly-stock chassis and body panels…
If I were Porsche, I would be bothered by this for different reasons than the one hinted at by Mr D.C. in the title to the piece.
Street registered. And if i put on four 18 inch wheels on my car, the police takes off the license plate. The world is not fair :)
@Im_JustJim he said probably not. He likes his twisty road racer just like it is. IF he were to get a strictly track car ...another thing.
@Im_JustJim looks like a $150k upgrade, what's your guess?
@miloandbono sounds about right.
No Rauh Welt stickers?!? But seriously, the GT4 is the car Porsche needed to build to realise that the 911, despite how good it is, isn't the be all and end all. I should be getting my GT4 in July or August, my first P-car! I love 911s but the perfect balance and engineering of the Cayman is just brilliant!
@Dave Uwe Alzen started in the 2007 24h Nürburgring with a custom build, GT3-engined Cayman. This angered Porsche enough to stop all further collaboration
@muazyusof It's not that bad actually. Assuming you keep the standard turn signals and such, wheels staying within the fenders, ride height, and noise level are the big ones that are easily remedied with a few hours of time.
@Paolo Siega Time Attack has probably some of the most relaxed rules in motorsports although there are different classes and certain modifications that will automatically put you in one of them. There's usually a Street, Enthusiast, Modified, and then Unlimited. Then there are usually sub classes broken down into RWD, FWD, or AWD.
@D1RGE@MikeDonnellyahh I see. I was thinking why not make a hill climb-ish build for the sub 1 minute times. A short car (like a fiesta/polo), with an AWD system and heavy aero upgrades. It's cost effective than looking for r32s, old evos and the likes, and you can focus more on the aero side of things where top end WTAC cars are heavily focusing on.
just my 2 cents tho.
@Gary89 Makes sense! Now I'm starting to get why they choose those cars. I didn't know the rule about keeping the drive type the same. thanks!
Because the base car fiesta/polo would need a new engine and drivetrain straight up to be competitive before any aero can be done. With a base car that uses a rb26, sr20, 4g63, 13b, k20 etc you can just heavily modify the factory engine which saves you loads of money and time. Also consider there is a very big aftermarket for your normal jdm cars, rx7, evo, wrx, skyline, s2000, integra etc etc, starting with a polo/fiesta you going to have to completely custom everything from suspension arms and Coilovers to lexan windows, roll cages, front and rear guards, seat rail to fit aftermarket seat, chassis bracing, just everything.. Most of what I named is easily purchased for a lot of JDM cars which again saves weight and time.. Also you need to know the rules of times attack.. No matter what class or where you are in the world it is a solid rule that you CAN NOT change the drive type of the original car which means a evo has to stay awd, a civic has to stay fwd, a rx7 has to stay rwd etc etc.. So... If you want a fast I suggest you stay away from a fwd polo/fiesta when you going up against full carbon and mostly custom tubed framed 900+HP awd evos.