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Here's Why the Porsche Cayman GT4 Is One of the Best Cars I've Ever Driven

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author photo by Doug DeMuro September 2016

Every so often in my business, you have the chance to drive a good car, like a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, an Aston Martin or a Maserati. And then, every so often, you have the chance to drive a truly great car, like the Porsche Cayman GT4.

In fact, the Porsche Cayman GT4 isn't just a great car -- it's one of the best cars I've ever driven, right up there with the BMW 1 Series M, the Porsche Carrera GT and any functioning vehicle when it's 2 a.m., the grocery store is about to close, and I really want some Doritos.

I wasn't expecting this. I was expecting the Cayman GT4 to be good but maybe a little too harsh-riding for me, a little too impractical, a little too unwieldy or a little too overpowered, and I figured I would come home thinking it was a decent automobile but not an amazing automobile. This is not what happened. Instead, I came home and spent 3 hours on Autotrader trying to find a Cayman GT4 equipped exactly as I wanted it before my fiancee gently reminded me that we already possess four automobiles and only one parking spot.

Before I explain what made the Cayman GT4 so good, allow me to tell you how I had the chance to drive it. A few weeks ago, I got an email from a doctor who lives here in Pennsylvania, a couple of hours from my house, asking if I wanted to review his Cayman GT4. I do not think when I receive these emails. I simply reply, say yes, and tell my fiancee I will no longer be able to go berry picking because, oh darn it, my stupid job has me traveling again. Heh, heh, heh.

Anyway, I drove out to his house and found that this doctor also had a brand-new BMW M3, a Range Rover Sport and a BMW X5, and I suddenly began to wish my profession was cutting open other human beings just like his is. Then we took the Cayman GT4 out.

Here is the first thought I had upon driving the Cayman GT4 about 2 miles to our initial filming location: This car feels like home. This is despite the fact that I had not driven a Cayman in more than 4 years.

But that's the thing about the Cayman GT4: I believe it's absolutely impossible to climb inside and not feel instantly like you know what you're doing, like you're completely in control and ready for a spirited drive. You'd think you'd be intimidated by the huge rear wing, all the cutting-edge electronics you know are under the skin somewhere, and the high (and apparently rising) value, but you aren't. The clutch is ridiculously smooth. The shifter is insanely easy to operate. The engine revs tremendously quickly. The steering wheel sends the car wherever you point it.

Put more plainly: I've driven a lot of cars that intimidate you. Cars with trick clutches, weird starting techniques, famously difficult driving experiences, absurd visibility, wildly insane values or some quirk you have to get over before you feel comfortable with it. The Cayman GT4 has none of these. The Cayman GT4 does not intimidate you. The Cayman GT4 makes you feel confident.

And I felt so confident -- after I finished filming all the lines where I'm standing in front of the car, talking like a guy in an infomercial who sells pens with birds of prey on the cap -- that I was eager to take the GT4 on some excellent country roads near the owner's house. So we did: We spent more than an hour on a wide range of back roads that included all varieties of hills and valleys and tight turns and wide sweepers, and the GT4 handled them all with utter brilliance.

And when I say "utter brilliance," I'm referring to every aspect of the driving experience. Of course, it's fast. It's no 911 Turbo -- but to me, that's a good thing: It can be throw-you-back-in-your-seat fast if you floor the accelerator on a long straightaway or work-for-the-power fast if you're downshifting in a tight corner. More importantly, though, it's balanced. It devours corners. The ride isn't anywhere near as harsh as I was expecting. There's no body roll. The steering is quick and precise. And it's so quick to rev and oh-so-fun to rev-match.

With every passing minute, I felt even more impressed and even more confident. When I drove the Ford GT a month ago, I was nervous. When I drove the Porsche Carrera GT a few weeks ago, I was nervous. When I drove the Cayman GT4, I was smiling.

This is unusual for me, because I generally don't like driving a car that's owned by someone else. When I film these videos, I usually drive the car just long enough to get a decent feel for it, then I turn it back over to the owner so I don't have to worry about smashing it up. Not the Cayman GT4. I would've stayed out there on those roads for hours, hammering the throttle in the corners, if only the owner didn't have to someday resume his profession of cutting open human beings.

And so, my drive came to an end. I guided the GT4 back to the owner's house, trying to take in every last bit of my experience, since rising values and low availability suggest I may never have the chance to actually own one of these. I parked it in his driveway, we took a picture with the car, and then I walked back to mine. I don't think anyone has ever been so disappointed to climb back inside an Aston Martin.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Here's Why the Porsche Cayman GT4 Is One of the Best Cars I've Ever Driven - Autotrader