911 Carrera vs 718 Cayman GT4 - Specs, Price, Performance

Porsche Cayman vs 911

Porsche Cayman vs 911 is a popular topic for good reason. Generally, the Cayman/Boxster are the cheapest models and are a great entry to Porsche ownership. 911 models take performance and driving experience to the next level, but come at a much steeper cost. Regardless, both models offer plenty of options, features, and performance. Which one is the better car, though? Is the Porsche 911 or Cayman the better car for you?

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to these models. Porsche offers dozens of different new models, and there are also older 911 and Cayman chassis to consider too. In this article, we discuss Porsche 911 vs Cayman models, specs, performance, reliability, & more.

911 Carrera vs 718 Cayman GT4 - Specs, Price, Performance

Porsche Cayman vs 911 – The Basics

We will dive into some more specific comparisons later in this article. However, there are a few basic concepts that apply to just about any Porsche Cayman vs 911 discussion. In general, the 911 is the faster, sportier, and better handling car. It also comes with some additional features as well as extra upgrade options. For that, you’ll pay a higher price and in some cases the price difference can be very large. Let’s jump in and discuss these factors further.

Cayman vs Carrera Performance

The base 2022 911 Carrera delivers 379 horsepower and 4.0 second 0-60 time. Move up to the 911 Carrera 4 GTS and you get a 473 horsepower twin turbo boxer 6 engine. The 4 GTS delivers an impressive 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds. If you want the fastest straight-line Porsche 911 then check out the 911 Turbo S. It delivers a staggering 640hp and 590 lb-ft from it’s 3.7L twin turbo engine – good for 2.6 seconds to 60 and a top speed of 205mph.

On the other hand, a base Porsche 718 Cayman uses a 2.0L turbo boxer 4 engine. All 911 models use 6 cylinder engines. Anyway, the base Cayman has 300 horsepower – good for 4.9 seconds to 60mph. You can move up to the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 with its 4.0L NA boxer 6 with 394hp. The Porsche GTS 4.0 will clip 60mph in 4.3 seconds. If you want the ultimate Cayman model then you’ll be looking at the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The 4.0 boxer 6 engine in this model manages an insane 9,000 RPM and 493 horsepower; 0-60 comes in just 3.2 seconds.

These specific examples show that the Porsche 911 delivers better power and performance. That holds true when comparing similar models. However, high-end Cayman models like the GT4 RS can and do deliver better performance than base model 911 Carrera’s.

Handling Differences

Porsche Cayman vs 911 handling is much the same as the performance discussion above. The Nürburgring is one of the most demanding race tracks in the world. At this track, the 991.2 GT2 RS put down a 6:38 lap; the quickest lap by any production/street-legal car in the world. The 2022 Porsche 992 GT3 isn’t too far behind at 6:55.

Next is the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS, which managed an also impressive 7:04 lap. It might not sound quick compared to the Nürburgring record holding 911 GT2 RS. However, for reference, the GT4 RS is still quicker around the Ring than a McLaren 720S, 911 Turbo S, C7 Corvette, Nissan GT-R, and many others.

Once again, model for the model the 911 is going to deliver better handling and overall performance. The Cayman is still capable of insane performance, though. GT RS models are certainly track focused, so don’t expect the same results out of other 911 and Cayman models.

Porsche Cayman vs 911 Reliability

In honor of keeping things moving we’ll be quick on Porsche 911 vs Cayman reliability. There are so many various models, engines, chassis, and more. It’s virtually impossible to come out and say the 911 is indefinitely more reliable than the Cayman, or vice versa. Instead, it often depends on which model, year, engine, etc. you’re specifically considering.

There are a few general tips to keep in mind, though. For one, the 911 is the higher-end Porsche that generally uses larger engines, more performance parts, and has more features. Not only does that mean maintenance is higher on the Porsche 911, but it also leaves a bit more room for potential issues.

That said, the Porsche Cayman likely has the small edge in reliability. Regardless, Porsche is often seen as a very reliable brand so both the 911 and Cayman can deliver good reliability and longevity. Narrow down the specific models and years you’re looking for and do some additional digging on the specific models and engines. We will also add some links to 911 & Cayman reliability and common problems articles as we write more.

911 vs Cayman Price

OK. Porsche Cayman vs 911 pricing is where the discussion becomes lengthy. In this section, we will look at 2022 MSRP for a few Cayman and 911 models then jump into the used car market in the next section. Here’s the pricing for some new Porsche Cayman models:

  • 718 Cayman: $60,500
  • 718 Cayman GTS 4.0: $87,400
  • 718 Cayman GT4: $101,200
  • 718 Cayman GT4 RS: $141,700

Next up, MSRP for some 2022 Porsche 911 models:

  • 911 Carrera: $101,200
  • 911 Carrera S: $117,100
  • 911 Carrera 4 GTS: $144,000
  • 911 GT3: $161,100
  • 911 Turbo S: $207,000

One thing to keep in mind is that MSRP is simply the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Sometimes base model cars may sell above or below MSRP. It’s generally well above since MSRP once you add some options. That’s especially true with Porsche where you can quickly and easily find yourself adding an extra $10,000 to $30,000 or more in options.

Anyway, a base model 718 Cayman vs 911 Carrera have more than $40,000 separating them. You can get into a Cayman GT4 for the same MSRP as the base model Carrera. Likewise, you can get into the highly impressive Cayman GT4 RS for less than a Carrera 4 GTS. Each to their own, but if we had that kind of budget it would be hard to pass on the Cayman GT4 RS.

Used Porsche Pricing

In the used market, you’ll be shelling out at least $50,000 for any 2010+ Porsche 911 (most are a good $10,000+ over that). And that gets you a pretty base 911 Carrera, Carrera S, or Carrera 4S model. For reference, 2010 Carrera, S, and 4S MSRP was around $77-88k.

Want something a bit faster, more powerful, and higher-end? You might need to think again. Even a decade old 911 Turbo or Turbo S will set you back about 6-figures.

You can look at the used 911 pricing as a good thing or a bad thing. If you’re looking to get into a 911 at a reasonable price then it’s not so great. However, if you’re willing and able to afford a new 911, then rest assured they hold their value pretty darn well.

The Porsche Cayman also holds it’s value pretty well, but not quite to the same extent. Base Cayman’s in the 2010-2015 ballpark are available for about 35-45k. Higher-end models – like the GT4 – do hold their value very well. Even a 2016 Cayman GT4 will set you back 6-figures or more.

Ultimately, pricing is where the Porsche Cayman becomes a very compelling option vs the 911 Carrera. With the base 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman starting at $60,500 it’s about the same price you’d pay for a 10-12 year older 911 Carrera. Of course, the used car market is just a crazy thing right now in general – not just for Porsche’s.

Cayman & 911 Years/Models

As mentioned, the 911 and Cayman have been around for a long time with many different models and chassis. In this section, we’ll lay out some of the basics with the chassis by year. Here’s a quick breakdown of Porsche 911 chassis starting with the 996 in 1999:

  • Porsche 996 (1999-2005)
  • Porsche 997 (2005-2013)
  • 991 Series (2012-2019)
  • Porsche 992 (2019-present)

The legendary Porsche 911 did begin production back in 1964, so the actual list of 911 chassis is much longer. Since this is a comparison with the Cayman models we skipped over older model 911’s since the Cayman didn’t come out until 2006. Porsche Cayman chassis are as follows:

  • 987 Boxster/Cayman (2005-2012)
  • 981 Boxster/Cayman (2012-2016)
  • 718 Boxster/Cayman (2016-present)

Porsche Boxster models actually date back to 1996, but the Cayman didn’t begin production until 2005. With the release of the 718 Cayman, the base models receive a 4-cylinder engine rather than the traditional 6-cylinder Porsche engines.

Base Cayman & 911 Carrera Models

Now that some of the basic concepts and chassis info is out of the way let’s jump into some more specific Porsche Cayman vs 911 comparisons. First, we will look at base Cayman vs Carrera models.

2022 Porsche Cayman:

  • $60,500 MSRP
  • 2.0L turbocharged boxer 4
  • 300hp and 280 lb-ft
  • 170mph top track speed
  • 4.5 to 4.9 second 0-60mph (depends on transmission and Sport Chrono Package)
  • 3,040-3,104 pounds

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera:

  • $101,200 MSRP
  • 3.0L twin turbo boxer 6
  • 379hp and 331 lb-ft
  • 182mph top track speed
  • 3.8 to 4.0 second 0-60mph (3.8s w/ Sport Chrono Package)
  • 3,354 pounds

Looking at the base specs you can see a few of the basic concepts we discussed before. The 911 Carrera is about $40,000 more than the 718 Cayman. It also has a larger 3.0L twin turbo engine that delivers more power and performance. However, the smaller and lighter Porsche Cayman may be appealing to some. It still delivers great performance and the lower weight helps the 718 feel very quick and nimble around the corners (the 911 Carrera is still great, too but you can feel a bit of the extra weight).

Ultimately, the 911 Carrera vs 718 Cayman are very different price points. If you do have a $100,000+ budget then it’s unlikely you’re considering a base Cayman vs base 911. In reality, that budget gets you into some higher-end Cayman models. On the other hand, if your budget is under $100,000 then you’ll be looking at used Porsche 911 models while a brand new Cayman may be affordable.

Cayman GT4 vs 911 Carrera

Porsche Cayman vs 911 - Porsche Price, Specs, Reliability

Anyway, as we discussed earlier, the lower price-point of the Cayman is the real benefit. This is where you can close the gap between the performance & features of the 911 and Cayman. Let’s look at the 911 Carrera vs the Cayman GT4:

Porsche Cayman GT4

  • $101,200 MSRP
  • 4.0L NA boxer 6
  • 414hp and 309-317 lb-ft
  • 188-189mph top track speed
  • 4.2 seconds 0-60mph (3.7s w/ PDK automatic)
  • 3,208 pounds (3,276 w/ PDK)

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera:

  • $101,200 MSRP
  • 3.0L twin turbo boxer 6
  • 379hp and 331 lb-ft
  • 182mph top track speed
  • 3.8 to 4.0 second 0-60mph (3.8s w/ Sport Chrono Package)
  • 3,354 pounds

Here we see the 2022 Porsche 911 and Cayman GT4 share the same MSRP. This is a base 911 compared to a higher-end Cayman (only the GT4 RS bests the GT4). You’ll get a large 4.0L naturally aspirated engine in the Cayman GT4, which delivers 35 horsepower more than the 911 Carrera. Additionally, the Cayman is the lighter, more nimble car with a higher top speed.

So, the Porsche Cayman GT4 is likely the better performance car for most buyer’s. However, the base 911 Carrera does deliver a higher-quality interior with more features and tech. You’ll notice the GT4 has a sportier feel on the interior. As performance enthusiasts, we see the value in the Cayman over the 911 here. You may feel the opposite if you value performance a bit less, and want a better rounded daily-driver (and the base 911 Carrera still delivers phenomenal performance).

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS vs 911 GT3

Finally, let’s compare two top of the line models for the Porsche 911 vs Cayman. To note – the Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S do deliver more power and better straight-line performance than the 911 GT3. However, the GT3 is the track-inspired model that’s a good comparison with the Cayman GT4 RS.

2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS

  • $141,700 MSRP
  • 4.0L NA boxer 6
  • 493hp and 331 lb-ft
  • 9,000 RPM max engine speed
  • 196mph top track speed
  • 3.2 second 0-60mph
  • 3,227 pounds

2022 Porsche 911 GT3

  • $161,100 MSRP
  • 4.0L NA boxer 6
  • 502hp and 346 lb-ft
  • 9,000 RPM max engine speed
  • 199mph top track speed (197 w/ PDK)
  • 3.7 second 0-60mph (3.2s w/ PDK)
  • 3,126-3,164 lbs

Up until this point, the Cayman has been the lighter model. However, the 911 GT3 is a legendary track-car and Porsche puts a lot of work into keeping weight down. When both cars are equipped with the PDK the GT3 is still about 70 pounds lighter than the Cayman GT4 RS.

They both share the same 4.0L NA engine, but the GT3 receives a bump to 502hp and 346 lb-ft. All of these factors propelled the GT3 to a 6:55 Nürburgring lap time – a whole 9 seconds faster than the Cayman GT4 RS.

The Cayman is still incredibly fast around the track, and most people will never realize the full potential of either car (certainly not on the streets). It’s all up to whether or not you’re willing to spend an extra $20,000 to gain a bit more power, performance, and handling.

Porsche 911 vs Cayman – Which is Better?

Hopefully we’ve made this topic clear by now, but we’ll summarize some final thoughts. Is the Porsche 911 or Cayman better? The 911 is the better car compared to the Cayman. At least, that’s true from a performance, handling, and driving experience perspective. Better is subjective, though.

When considering price, fuel economy, and other factors you could make a very good argument for the Cayman being the better car. Remember, you can get a 718 Cayman GT4 RS for a lower MSRP than the 911 Carrera 4 GTS. The GT4 RS delivers 493hp, a 3.2s 0-60 time, and laid down a 7:04 lap at the Nürburgring.

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS models are no slouches. It is 0.1 seconds quicker to 60, but isn’t quite as potent around the track. We also believe the Cayman GT4 RS is the better looking car between the two. Ultimately, we would take that Porsche over the 911 of roughly the same price. However, if you want to go model by model then we’re back to the Porsche 911 being the better car. We’ll take the 911 GT3 over the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, please.

Point is – there really isn’t a perfect answer as to which car is better, or which is the better value. It all comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for in a Porsche. Either way, the Porsche 911 vs Cayman are both phenomenal cars that deliver on many different aspects.

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