Recent updates (Sept. 2021)
It’s been a long time that I have neglected this site. I’m sorry. I spend more time on social media sites nowdays, to the detriment of this website. Maybe I can resuscitate it in my retirement? The GT4 has 34,000 miles on it now, and six years of ownership anniversary is just a month away. The 981 GT4 is showing its age now that the facelifted and upgraded 718 GT4 has hit the streets, but it remains an iconic car in the Porsche lineup – the first modern watercooled mid-engined Porsche with a GT designation. Rumor has it that the 2025 Cayman and Boxster will be electric, and so the era of normally aspirated ICE mid-engine Porsches might go down in history, and the GT4 will remain the highest expression of that era.
After another wonderful 2,500 mile trip out to Monterey Classic Car Week last month with a whole bunch of Porsche buddies, I decided to change out the Fabspeed headers for some Soul headers and added a Soul catback system to complete the package. A little lighter and a whole lot louder, I doubt there’s much performance improvement over the previous setup.
Earlier this year I replaced the original paint protection film (PPF) with a complete removal and installation of a new full-car bumper to bumper PPF. It’s quite amazing how much damage the old film took and the car with the new film looks as it did six years ago. Incredible!
I also added some red highlights to the cars appearance, wrapping the mirrors and wing endplates in 3M 2080. Otherwise the car is still running strong as a good as the day I bought it. What a great car!
Latest mod: remap the ECU with a ProTune from Fabspeed using my COBB AccessPort. No photo necessary… Haven’t had a chance to really test the new tune out, due to pre-spring weather conditions. So far it just feels smoother, with a sense of never ending pull from 3000rpm.
New photos with BBS FI-R wheels:
Some new “practical bling” in the form of MRG titanium stud kit. Beautiful craftsmanship.
Other assorted images:
Mountainair, NM wall art. Sept 5, 2016 (Labor Day)
From a winter driveout through the Jemez Mountains. This car has few bad angles…
Porsche Motorsport makes a great car even better, by adding a bigger engine, bigger brakes, bigger tires, and a bigger wing!
Click images to see larger photos.
Click images to see larger photos.
New wheels (BBS FI-R forged in OEM size) and Bridgestone RE71R tires.
Having lost a couple of header bolts, I decided to tie them together just like the old track racers. New bolts, all torqued up, going nowhere…
Raceseng shifter knob. This thing weighs a LOT and feels great. A little shorter than the stock plastic Porsche shifter.
Wrapped the rear diffuser and exhaust surround to match the front splitter and the wing.
A little PORSCHE visor to keep the sun out of my eyes!
Visor with lettering, selected elements wrapped in CF vinyl.
GTS tail lights
Alignment, corner balance, setting of sway bars
DCS Sport V2 suspension control unit
Fabspeed headers and X-pipe with custom tips (on, off, and …)
Notes on owning the car
A trip to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX pushed the car over 12,000 miles, and time for another oil change and all filters, including the air intake filters. What a sublime car! It eats highways and long flat country roads up, while waiting for the more technical and demanding lanes like those in the Texas Hill Country west of Fredricksberg. A problem related to the headers, beginning with loose headers bolts raised its head and caused a series of check-engine lights that ultimately culminated in reinstalling the stock headers and a trip to the dealership. No solution from the dealer, but after 1600 miles with the OEM exhaust (god, how I hate the lack of noise…) still no CEL. I will put the Fabspeed headers back on in spring and see what happens, again.
Boy, I’m putting miles on the GT4 faster than I’m putting on weight! Did a big drive out to Durango in late June and mid-July sees another 1000 miles for a Taos Tour that I organized. The car is fantastic to drive, even in some pretty bad weather up near Silverton, CO. It’s so balanced, powerful, and interactive. And it sounds great! I am sure I will have over 12000 miles on it in the first year of ownership, a record for me.
Spring is really here, and summer is just around the next bend. The first PCA driveout of the year to Safford AZ was a blast over the first weekend in May. More highway 191 goodness on Sunday, but some beautiful mountain roads in southern NM from Hillsboro to Silver City on Saturday got everyone in good spirits. The GT4 is proving to be all that the reviewers, in both the press and on the internet, have raved about. I did get a chance to drive a 991 GT3 back to back with the GT4, and the write up is here. The GT3 remains the greatest of Porsche’s drivers cars in my opinion, but the GT4 is a very capable car and a real blast to drive, both slow and fast.
The official break-in period is over! I followed the procedure advocated by Andreas Preunigner, Porsche’s GT division guru. He recommends starting off below 4000rpm and progressively increasing the rev range over time as miles build up: about 500rpm each 250 miles or so. It gets you to redline just at 2000 miles. I never rev the car hard until the oil temperature is above 180F, since that is just car abuse.
Impressions after 1500 miles.
As the cold winter weather has settled in, it’s been frustrating to put those break in miles on the car. I tried to start it a few days ago and the battery was flat! After two weeks it had faded enough that the car decided there wasn’t enough juice to kick the motor over. A day on the charger, and fortunately the next afternoon was in the 50s, so I took it for a spin. Boy I missed driving it, for sure!
Since the weather has been a little more “GT4-friendly” I’ve driven twice in the last ten days. It’s great to get out in this awesome car. The Fabspeed headers are amazing! The sound is incredible, but better with the PSE engaged. And the power delivery (I’m on the Preuninger plan–building up to the magic 2000 mile line progressively) is more impressive each time I raise the revs…just a little each time.
The photo above was taken on a drive New Year’s Eve on an impromptu drive with my friend Jim in his Sapphire Blue Metallic GT3. Where we parked here for this photo were the worst road conditions of the whole drive.
Impressions after 500 miles.
First impressions are of a very special car, even (or perhaps because) coming from a GTS. I had a pretty heavily modded 987 Cayman S before the GTS, and while the GTS is a very fancy car, to me it had lost some of the edge of the 987. The GT4 brings all that edge back, but it’s honed by Porsche Motorsports to be the finest of knives. I’ll expand on these things as time goes by, but here are the high points:
+ The steering is sublime. I’ve driven many GT3s, including the latest 991, and the GT4 clearly has the GT3 rack. It feels a little different of course, because of the car dynamics, but it’s direct, with tremendous feedback. Light but solid. For me one of the greatest things about driving a Porsche has always been the steering. Across all models and generations, the Porsche steering feel has been extremely constant. I felt the GTS steering to be a little heavy and disconnected compared to the earlier 987, and the GT4 steering is a class above all these.
+ The suspension is amazing. I had X73 on the GTS, and let’s be honest, it has high NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) values. The GT4 suspension is s variant of the PASM from the GT3, and feels very similar (again except for the vehicle dynamics due to engine location.) It’s pretty stiff and unforgiving in Sport mode, but in regular mode it’s supple but firm. Compared to X73 it transmits less road roughness, but it still responds to road conditions and the movement of the car like a sports suspension. It’s hard to describe, that’s just it.
+ The Cup 2 tires are grippy. Expensive, wide, and grippy. Nothing more to say.
+ The shifter is the best shifter I’ve driven in a modern (977 and later) Porsche. Beats GT3, GT2, RS, 997, 987, 991, 981. It’s short, direct, smooth, fast. And it sits closer to the wheel than any previous generation shifter, which is nice. The auto-blip in Sport mode is cool, and makes grown men swoon, so why not?
Wrapped the carbon fiber wing with carbon fiber vinyl wrap:
So why would I wrap a CF wing? Because it’s painted by Porsche. So there…LOL
Day of purchase
The day I drove home from the dealership:
Check out this video of the Cayman GT4 when it was released in March 2015. Sort of like a GT3 with the engine in the middle… Video here.
Chris Harris has a nice — if not his usual fare, since he spends way too much time drifting the car, but that’s just his thing — review of the GT4. Like every other reviewer, he thinks it’s fantastic, but no GT3, and of course, the gear ratios are too long…