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