Can the new BMW M4 Competition outpace a purpose-built track tool like the Porsche Cayman GT4 around a circuit?
The Porsche Cayman GT4 walks into this track battle with a serious fight on its hands. It concedes 66kW and 220Nm to the BMW M4 Competition, but can its lower mass, mid-engined balance and newly-fitted PDK gearbox make up the difference?
Around the narrow, technical Llandow circuit, you wouldn’t write it off. The Cayman GT4 has been without equal in the performance car arena, thanks to a sharp, sonorous 4.0-litre flat six and a finely honed chassis that excels on road and track. With a respectable kerb weight of 1450kg, it undercuts the M4 by a massive 350kg, too. The new PDK model puts out the same 309kW as before, but slashes half a second from the car’s 0-100kph time, which now sits at 3.9 seconds. Around the track, batting away at those aluminium paddles is going to be far quicker than juggling a gear lever around, which should help the Porsche’s chances against the BMW.
But while the M4 uses a torque-converter gearbox, which lacks the immediacy of a good dual-clutch, it sends more grunt through it. The headline figures are 380kW and a thumping 650Nm of torque – dwarfing the GT4’s outputs – and the stats tell only half the story. The new S58 engine fitted to the M4 is incredibly responsive and punchy from low revs – perfect for launching out of the slow speed corners at Llandow. It also has the steering and chassis precision to match, and if Steve Sutcliffe can keep the tail in check, should give an impressive lap time.
Two opposite approaches to the two-door track weapon, then, but which is fastest? Watch our partners at AutoExpress take battle in the two German powerhouses to find out.