“We are looking at customers that were considering a 911 and maybe don’t so much want the 911, but want the [same] performance.” Ellis told CarAdvice at the launch of the Cayman GT4 at Philip Island yesterday.
The track-focused and highly specialised Porsche Cayman GT4 retails for $189,900 and is powered by the Carrera S 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine with 283kW of power and 420Nm of torque.
It can go from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and 0-200km/h in 14.5 seconds. It’s available with a six-speed manual only.
“In terms of that sub $200,000 price point, it’s a very attractive car, but, again, being [offered with] a manual gearbox only we weren’t sure how many customers would warm to that, given that the PDK gearbox now is such an outstanding thing," Ellis said.
"But obviously there’s those that still want the absolute basics and the smile you get from shifting yourself…”
In terms of taking sales away from the 911, the issue doesn’t concern Porsche Australia, as the company seeks to shine more light on its mid-engined cars.
“We as a company think it’s a fantastic thing. The Cayman, the mid-engined cars have always been in the shadows of the 911 and I think once people start to realise what a great mid-engined car Porsches are, people will start saying maybe I don’t need a 911, maybe I can get my thrills with a mid-engined car," Ellis said.
So far 140 orders have been taken for the range-topping Cayman GT4, even if the current allocation for Australia is less than 100.
Nonetheless, Porsche Australia believes that unlike the 911 GT3 RS – which is no longer offered for sale due to extremely high demand and limited supply – GT4 orders can still be met in due time.
“The issue with a bespoke vehicle like that is you have a lots of component suppliers, more so than you do with a regular production model which you try and do many of the parts in house as you can, but with specialised motor car you have to use external suppliers… All you need is one supplier to say I can’t do that [many components] and you can’t build the car.”
The Cayman GT4 is on sale now with Porsche dealers still accepting orders.