981 gt4 vs 718 gt4

The Porsche 981 GT4 vs 718 GT4 – Which is better?

The Porsche Cayman is one of the most popular vehicles Porsche has come out with this side of the year 2000. The Cayman made waves as a track car due to its incredibly powerful and well-positioned mid-engine, compact size, lightweight frame, and exceptional handling.

But simply stating that the Cayman was a great car is a little too vague. There have been a ton of Caymans over the year, they can’t all be exceptional, and all those that are cant be equally exceptional, which is true.

A great example of this is the Porsche 981 GT4 and the 718 GT4. Two great cars, two powerful engines, two incredibly sought-after high-end vehicles – but which is better? Good question! And luckily for you, we have a good answer!


  • Porsche 981 GT4 and 718 GT4 are both high-performance Cayman models.
  • Porsche 981 GT4 was produced in 2016, powered by a 3.8-liter engine with 385 bhp.
  • Porsche 718 GT4 has a 4.0-liter engine with 415 bhp and was introduced in 2019.
  • The 718 has a slightly improved fuel economy and softer suspension compared to the 981.
  • Both models come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, but the 718 offers a 7-speed PDK automatic option.
  • The 718 has larger air intakes and a revitalized spoiler, making it visually different from the 981.
  • Both have the same amount of torque despite the 718’s larger engine, affecting their performance differently.
  • The 718 is considered more convenient and comfortable for everyday driving.
  • The 981 gained popularity for its power and quality, while the 718 is praised for its convenience.
  • The choice between the two depends on personal preferences, with some favoring the 981 for its simplicity and power, while others prefer the 718 for its comfort and usability.

A summary of the Porsche 981 GT4

First, we have the Porsche 981 GT4. The 981 was one of the first and most successful gen-three Caymans and was produced in 2016.

The 981 features the same typical Cayman mid-engine-layout but is powered by a larger, beefier, 3.8-liter engine that is capable of producing 385 brake horsepower with over 309 lb-ft of torque.

The 981 comes with a rear-wheel-drive 6-speed manual transmission that means in the right driver’s hands the 981 can get from 0-60 in just 4 seconds and reach top speeds of well over 180 miles per hour.

A summary of the Porsche 718 GT4

Building off of everything that the Porsche 981 GT4 did the 718 aimed to be bigger, better, more powerful, and far superior on the raceway. And in many ways, it succeeded.

The Porsche 718 GT4 houses a punchy 4.0-liter naturally aspirated mid-flat-six-engine that can produce over 415 brake horsepower and the same 309 lb-ft of torque (this is important, we will get to this later).

The 718 GT4 also uses a rear-wheel-drive system and the same, albeit slightly improved, 6-speed manual transmission.

With a top speed of 188 miles per hour and a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, the 718 is no tortoise on the track. The 718 GT4 also saw a revamped suspension and braking system with reimagined aerodynamic body paneling that all aim to improve the car’s overall speed off the line and handling.

The Porsche 981 GT4 vs 718 GT4 – How are they different?

There are some simple differences that set the two cars apart. For example, you will probably notice that the 718 has a larger and slightly more powerful engine, even though its positioning and operational style are still pretty much the same.

The 718 also has a slightly improved fuel economy (like, 2 miles per gallon), but it’s enough to make note of.

The 718 also has an improved suspension that is a little softer than the 891, which arguably leans further into the idea of being a production car rather than a track car, but that’s fair enough, given most people probably aren’t racing their Caymans.

Now, both cars come with the 6-speed manual transmission as stock, but that isn’t necessarily always going to be the case.

While the 718 allows you to request a 7-speed PDK automatic transmission, the 981 does not. They also look slightly different visually, with the 718 having a larger air intake and revitalized spoiler that differentiates the cars aesthetically.

We should also mention one strange way that they are similar. Torque. Why does the 718, with a more powerful engine, lighter frame, and improved suspension, have the same amount of torque?

Because the engine of the 718 is so much bigger and heavier, it counteracts the car’s punchiness. It’s the same reason that the 981 is faster off the line and faster 0-60.

Sometimes bigger isn’t better. Lastly, not that this matters to most people, the 718 is simply a newer car.

And since it came out in 2019 vs 2016, it actually saw a pretty big leap in the quality of its onboard media technologies, like better parking sensors and touchscreen center consoles.

Many people argue that the 718 is the better car, but the 981 is more fun to drive, which leads us to our next question.

The Porsche 981 GT4 vs 718 GT4 – Which is the most popular?

Both the Porsche 981 GT4 and the 718 GT4 have been highly regarded by Porsche enthusiasts and even critics for their tremendous performance, handling, and driver experience.

Where they differ is the kind of following they have gained based on their history. On one hand, the 981 is super popular because the GT4 version saw a real change in the power and quality of the Cayman.

It was a really defining point for the line, and for many people, it cemented its place almost on par with 911. On the other hand, the 718 was built on the 981 in a lot of ways and was far better as an everyday driver.

If you had to drive one of the two “day-in-day-out” you’d pick the 718 because it’s more convenient, easier to drive, and more comfortable in many ways.

And that probably ended up being the decider. The 718 is probably the most popular, though no firm numbers support that opinion.

The Porsche 981 GT4 vs 718 GT4 – A summary

Hopefully, this blog post opened your eyes a little to the kind of interesting little tidbits that differentiate these two cars.

While they are both excellent high-performance vehicles, they are certainly a little different. And difference always invites comparisons.

On the one hand, the 981 is a simpler car that is just as fast and just as powerful, albeit with a slightly lesser top speed, than its successor.

Does the 718 bring enough to the table to justify paying the larger price tag for less power and less speed?

Perhaps if you value comfort more than power. So that, in turn, begs the question, why are you buying a Cayman GT4? For the track for the streets? That’s for you to decide.

As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to let us know in the comment section which of these two powerful GT4s you think is best. Goodbye for now. Cheers.

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