Is the Porsche Cayman sports car going up against the Renault Megane hatchback family in the Auto Express twin test? It’s a legitimate issue, but get closer to it. Those are not the usual Cayman and Megane models.
This is a war between two of the most extreme, track-focused vehicles around:
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R.
Both were built from smaller models. With engineers assigned the challenge of making the best-handling car, they could probably draw customers who care deeply about driving. So they are rare, limited-edition vehicles that draw on decades of road cars and motorsport history from their respective brands and bear nameplates – GT4 and Trophy-R – that fans know are reserved for the very best.
Ironically, they are very tightly price related. As the top-of-the-line Trophy-R edition comes with some very different wheels and brakes that go some distance to justify the premium quality. Yet unlike most of our road reviews, quality isn’t the main consideration here. So, it’s more about how cars move and make you look.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
The GT4 stands out from the rest of the 718 Cayman lineup for its powerful body package and rear wing, but the most important improvements come beneath the bodywork. At £ 75,348, it’s more than £ 30,000 more expensive than the Cayman entry-level.
Such big improvements mean that the extra cash not just warranted. It also seems like fair value. A brand new engine mounted just ahead of the rear axle:
A naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six (replacing the turbocharged 2.0 or 2.5-liter flat-four in the standard and S models) built from the configuration used in the Porsche 911 flagship.
The lack of a turbo here is not a drawback. However, and the keen drivers would be happy to learn that the engine is capable of spinning to 8,000 rpm.
Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R
For the Nürburgring Record pack included, the RenaultSport Megane Trophy-R costs £ 72,140, taking it to below the GT4 whisker. The test car in these pictures doesn’t have the $12,000 carbon-fiber wheels, but we’ve got a lot of experience with this model, and it’s the one we’re reviewing here. The Trophy-R is £ 51,440, without choices.