For their comparison, they had a moderately loaded up 3LT Z51 package C8 against an almost no-options GT4. The C8 was fitted with the magnetorheological dampers and a bunch of comfort and appearance items.
The Cayman GT4, by comparison, only had heated seats, automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, and a sat-nav system installed. That’s it.
Oh, and it comes out to just about $20,000 more expensive than the C8.
The C8 brings 495 angry American horses to the comparison, while the much lighter Cayman GT4 (3,211 lbs vs the C8’s 3,638) brings 414 HP. The C8 has an 8-speed DCT, while the GT4 retains the sublime Porsche 6-speed manual.
So, how did the C8 do against the GT4?
Surprisingly, it was almost too close to call. C&D had to choose, so they decided on first and second winners.
The Corvette, both on paper and in actual testing on the track, beat the GT4 in almost every performance test and metric. However, it came in second place.
What C&D brought it down to was that while the Corvette C8 is, in their opinion, the most track performance-oriented Corvette yet, but it feels a bit number, a bit less laser-sharp as the Cayman. As they put it, it drives and feels huge in comparison.
The Cayman GT4, on the other hand, is an expert in communicating the road to the driver. A button-free wheel, suspension bits from the 991.2 911 GT3, a flat-6 wail at 8,100 RPM, and the ability to corner 0.04 g harder than the C8 sends a ton of information to the driver. As well, while the C8’s DCT is extremely good, there is just something about driving where you row your own, especially with a stick as snappy and short as the GT4’s, that gives a sports car that extra little thing that makes it special.
Overall, as their numbers show, the Corvette does lap the track they were testing at 0.1 seconds faster than the GT4, and beat it both to 60 and to 100 handily. Yet, the Cayman GT4 wins out by remaining true to the ultimate sports car philosophy, that of a manual transmission, a responsive engine, excellent feel, and a laser focus on being a pure track monster.