After years of neutering the Cayman to protect the iconic 911 as the pinnacle of Porsche’s lineup, the German automaker finally unleashed the full potential of its mid-engine sports car with the newest GT4 RS model. Porsche dropped in the 911 GT3’s immaculate 4.0-liter flat-six and fitted extreme aerodynamic doodads to create the ultimate track-ready Cayman. The GT4 RS is already considerably more expensive than the base Cayman, starting at $143,050, but as is tradition with Porsche, the extensive and expensive options list can make the price quickly skyrocket. With the online configurator now live, a few of our editors got together to build our ideal versions of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
Carlos Lago’s $149,429 718 Cayman GT4 RS
As I see it, there are two paths you can take when building your dream Porsche. The first is the usual impulse to click all the go-fast(er) boxes and wind up with a track weapon that is miserable to drive at anything other than the absolute limit. The second is the more realistic option, one that ignores future market speculation and focuses more on the way I drive cars in the real world. My potentially boring GT4 RS has a combination of creature comforts for road use and a few features that should be standard, like auto-dimming mirrors with integrated rain sensors ($700), a smartphone cubby ($560), and heated seats ($530). I also opted for the no-cost Adaptive Sport Seats; the standard Full Bucket Seats look fantastic, but do not agree with the shape of my spine. I only picked two expensive options. The front axle lift system ($3,040) should cost less than replacing your front splitter after it meets a steep driveway for the seventh time, while the LED Headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus ($2,020) comes with several upgrades that improve night visibility — plus, the LED lights look super cool. The last option? All-weather floor mats ($89), because I find it insane that we still accept carpet in the place where our dirty shoes sit. — Carlos Lago
Connor Hoffman’s $153,670 718 Cayman GT4 RS
To me, the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS might be one of the best GT cars. A 493-hp flat-six from the 911 GT3 mounted behind the seats with those air intakes, oh, the intakes, and the 718 interior’s analog feel that the 992-gen 911 went away from. The only downside is you can’t get RS cars with a stick. I’d get mine finished in—wait, there’s no Chalk?!—GT Silver and keep the standard aluminum wheels painted in silver. It’d be awesome to daily this mid-engine, 9000-rpm screamer, so I’m selecting the sport seats over the carbon buckets. I’m also forgoing the $13,250 Weissach Package because I don’t need all that carbon fiber and deleting the GT4 RS logo on the doors and rear. Give me the front-axle lift ($3,040), heated seats ($530), Arctic Grey seatbelts ($360), and a Bose sound system ($990). It’s crazy that the 718 Cayman starts at $61,850 and this GT4 RS costs more than double at $153,670. — Connor Hoffman
Eric Stafford’s $174,130 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Why buy a house in middle America when you can use that money to build what might go down in history as one of the best driving and best sounding Porsche models ever? My wife probably doesn’t see it the same way, but that’s married life for you. To maximize my investment and the GT4 RS’s performance, the $13,520 Weissach package is a must-have. It adds a slew of exposed carbon-fiber bits, and it’s the only way to unlock the optional 20-inch magnesium wheels ($15,640) that reduce unsprung weight by 21 pounds. I like the clean look of the $3540 Carrara White metallic paint, and I’d pair it with the blue-accented interior that’s included with the Weissach pack. I think the dash-mounted stopwatch in the $310 Chrono package is a neat touch. Plus, it gives the gauge cluster a useful digital stopwatch for tracking lap times, and the touchscreen gains a unique performance display. No RS would be complete without carbon-ceramic brakes. Their $8000 surcharge comes with the territory and makes the $800 fee to change the calipers from yellow to black feel like chump change. The enhanced headlights ($2020) look sick and help lower the odds of me obliterating an animal—and my six-figure dream car—during a late-night driving session. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t pay $900 for the Porsche Experience Center Delivery in Atlanta, which, most importantly, includes 90 minutes of instructed track time in an equivalent car. — Eric Stafford
Caleb Miller’s $192,880 718 Cayman GT4 RS
If you’re buying one of Porsche’s RS track cars, you might as well go all in, so I specced my GT4 RS with the Weissach Package, adding oodles of exposed carbon fiber for an extra $13,250. This allowed me to select the $15,640 forged magnesium wheels, and I dropped $8,000 on the ceramic composite brakes. I also splurged for the $3,540 Gentian Blue Metallic paint; I needed a splash of color and the no-cost red and yellow options don’t speak to me. $170 added gloss black door handles. Inside, I went for the Deep Sea Blue stitching and got the seat belts and door pull loops in yellow ($360 and $200, respectively) to match the brakes. I spent $350 on the Light Design Package—I have to admit I’m a sucker for ambient lighting. Auto-dimming mirrors for $700 were a must because I’m tired of being blinded by the powerful LEDs on many modern SUVs. I decided to pick up my GT4 RS at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, paying $900 for a tour of the facility, lunch at the restaurant, and a 90-minute instructed track session to get to grips with my new beast. Since I’d then drive 11 hours back to Michigan, I went for the adaptive sports seats instead of the buckets—making them heated for an extra $530—the $990 Bose sound system, and the $3,040 front-axle lift system. Somehow I’ve ended up with a $192,880 Cayman. — Caleb Miller
David Beard’s $202,240 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Can you hear that metallic grinding sound? Those are the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 2022 Porsche 718 GT4 RS gears grinding in my head. I’m torn which car to be more excited about. Sure, the Z06 will be the obvious value play but like Tom Cruise stated in Risky Business: “Porsche. There is no substitute.”
My idea of a GT4 RS is one that’s not for daily use, but one for that crushes the occasional canyon twisties and for full-send track days. This is my forever car. One that will be passed on for generations. And because this is fantasy land, I’m not holding back.
First off, the exterior. Why limit yourself to one of the nine standard colors? Paint-to-sample is a must for $12,830 and I’m leaning towards Oak Green Metallic or perhaps NATO Olive, because there aren’t enough green vehicles on the road. With that special paint comes the mandatory weight savings of the Weissach package for $13,250 and the included leather and Race-Tex interior for an additional $2160. That’s fine, I would add those anyway. To keep this masterpiece light as possible, the $15,640 magnesium wheels are a no-brainer and to keep them free of disgusting brake dust, the $8000 carbon-ceramic brake package will find a home in their barrels. LED headlights for $2020? Why not. With the $730 carbon-fiber window trim and deletion of the model designation on the doors, my exterior is complete.
On the inside, things are simple. Because this is for occasional use, I’m keeping the standard full bucket seats and adding the soft 3D-printed inserts to them to maximize what little comfort they have. The Arctic Grey seat belts will pair nicely with the rest of the interior and the no-cost Smoking package and luggage net in the passenger footwell are useful additions. All in, I’m at $202,240* for my little dream machine. Why the asterisk? The dealer-installed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R gumballs cost has yet to be determined and for a car of this pedigree, they’re the final piece of the puzzle. I hope my grandkids approve. — David Beard
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