You can’t go wrong with a top-spec German sports car – they are fast, fun and precise to your every driving input, which makes them capable of offering an unadulterated driving experience behind the wheel. Among all those German sports cars, the BMW M4 Competition xDrive holds a special place in itself, and in all these years of its existence, has created a stature of being one of the best driver’s cars in the world.
And when it comes to discussing the best cars to drive, Porsches too rank in higher orders. The German sports car specialist has recently dropped a bomb in the form of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, the most powerful and driver-oriented version of the 718 range. This outright performance coupe has a pure focus on performance, which is well evident in the way it looks and is kitted.
Here, we compared both these two-door, high-end, German sports cars – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and BMW M4 Competition M xDrive, cars with very long names and even longer legacy behind them – and find out which one of the two offers a more involving pure driving appeal.
Porsche launched the 718 Cayman GT4 RS at Rs 2.54 crore, thus making it the new range-topping version of the 718 lineup of sports coupes. At the same time, it is significantly more expensive than the BMW M4 Competition M xDrive, which is priced at Rs 1.44 crore – more than a crore cheaper!
|Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)||Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS||BMW M4 Competition M xDrive|
|Petrol||Rs 2.54 Crore||Rs 1.44 Crore|
(All prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, pan India)
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Engine and Performance
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS might be carrying a hefty premium over the BMW M4 Competition M xDrive, but it is the latter which has a much more advanced powertrain under its hood. But that doesn’t mean that the Porsche is a slouch here.
Powering the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is an old-school 4.0-litre flat-six petrol engine, which is one of the last naturally-aspirated petrol engines available in the sports car universe. Available with Porsche’s fantastic 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox as standard, this engine produces 493 bhp of maximum power and 450 Nm of maximum torque.
On the other hand, the BMW M4 Competition M xDrive sources its power from a 3.0-litre inline-six petrol engine. While this engine is smaller, it features a twin turbocharger setup, thus making it significantly more powerful and torquey – 503 bhp of maximum power and 650 Nm of maximum torque, and that too at lower RPMs, making all the performance even earlier.
When it comes to outright numbers, both these sports cars cover 0-100 kmph sprint in under 3.5 seconds, with the Porsche having a 0.1-second advantage. While the M4 Competition M xDrive has an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS has no such restriction and can touch a top speed of 315 kmph.
|Specifications||Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS||BMW M4 Competition M xDrive|
|Engine||4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six petrol||3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six petrol|
|Maximum power||493 bhp @ 8,400 rpm||503 bhp @ 6,250 rpm|
|Maximum torque||450 Nm @ 6,250 rpm||650 Nm @ 2,750 rpm|
|Transmission||7-speed PDK (dual-clutch) automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Drivetrain||Rear Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|0-100 kmph timing||3.4 seconds||3.5 seconds|
|Top speed||315 kmph||250 kmph (electronically limited)|
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Exterior and Dimension
Dimensionally, the BMW M4 Competition M xDrive appears to be bigger than the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, and it is longer and taller than the latter. However, the Porsche offers a sportier stance out of the two with its wider profile and lower ground clearance, the latter of which makes it one of the most low-slung sports cars on sale in India. The Porsche is also significantly lighter than the BMW, due to several weight-saving measures (more on that below).
|Dimensions||Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS||BMW M4 Competition M xDrive|
|Length||4,456 mm||4,794 mm|
|Width||1,994 mm||1,887 mm|
|Height||1,268 mm||1,393 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,482 mm||2,857 mm|
|Turning radius||5.7 m||6.1 m|
|Ground clearance||98 mm||120 mm|
|Kerb weight||1,415 kg||1,725 kg|
Both the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and BMW M4 Competition M xDrive look drool-worthy in their ways – while the former looks like a proper track-ready sports car, the latter impresses with its richer and sportier look as a road-going car.
Based on the regular 718 Cayman, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS looks like a proper track car with its carbon fibre reinforced plastic bonnet, side air inlets and rear swan-neck shaped adjustable rear wing, all of which contribute to its light-weighted nature. The car gets a front bonnet with air inlets for channelling air towards the brakes, additional vents on the fenders to release air pressure from wheel arches and air inlets behind the glass windows to supply air to the mid-mounted engine. It also gets a rear carbon fibre diffuser, 20-spoke forged magnesium alloy wheels, aluminium exhaust tips and an elongated front splitter.
The BMW M4 Competition M xDrive, compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, looks lesser aggressive and comparatively more road-oriented, with lesser track bits and higher ground clearance. It was the first car which received BMW’s new-generation vertical grille with horizontal louvres. The front bumper has gaping air intakes, while the bonnet has two distinct indents above the grille. The M4 Competition M xDrive also gets a boot-mounted spoiler, which is smaller than that of Porsche, a multi-channel diffuser on the rear bumper, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof and black chrome tailpipes.
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Interior and Features
While the cabins of both Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and BMW M4 Competition M xDrive exude top-class quality, there is a lot of difference in approach and equipment. Here also, while the Porsche focuses on committed sportiness, the BW spoils you with its more advanced and user-friendly features. In comparison, it is the BMW which feels more up to date from the inside, while the Porsche offers you a better track-car experience here as well.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is available with a Clubsport package as standard, in which the sports car comes with aspects like carbon-fibre bucket seats with a six-point racing harness and 18-way power-adjustability for the driver’s seat, Alcantara leather upholstery, steel roll cage and a fire extinguisher. However, the touchscreen and instrument console of this Porsche looks outdated for a car of this price, especially in front of the crisp and intuitive displays in the BMW.
The BMW M4 Competition M xDrive feels more modern with bits like 12.3-inch full-TFT instrument console, a more modern 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with gesture control, 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, three-zone automatic climate control, head-up display, wireless charging, Merino leather upholstery, BMW display key, Driving Assistant Professional Package and more. It also has that much-needed flavour of sportiness with the presence of plenty of carbon fibre touches, M Sport seats, M Sport steering wheel, M graphics on the screens, M compound brakes and M racetrack package.
Being pure thoroughbred sports cars focusing on front seat experience, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and BMW M4 Competition M xDrive have their own set of virtues in the mechanical department, making them special in their ways.
The 718 Cayman GT4 RS is bestowed with Porsche Active Suspension Management in its best form, along with other bits like stiffer springs, adaptive dampers with two modes – normal and sport and brakes made of cast-iron and aluminium alloy. The M4 Competition M xDrive is not behind either, with bits like M compound brakes, M racetrack package, M Sport exhaust system with Sport and Sport+ programmes and M xDrive all-wheel-drive system with active differential and three drive modes – 4WD, 4WD Sport and RWD in DSC-off mode.
Both the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and BMW M4 Competition M xDrive are perfect driver’s cars appealing straight to the hearts. But when compared, the story becomes clearer after this exhaustive comparison. The Porsche here is purely for the purists – it offers extremely precise performance and driving dynamics, which is evident in its hardcore mechanicals and choice of bits everywhere. While it is a car hard to beat on track, it suffers from practicality issues in the practical outer world. And it is where BMW inches ahead with a finer balance of outright madness and practicality. It has a cabin which is better equipped and easier to live with and has more usable performance in the real world, without compromising on the aspects where the Porsche outshines brilliantly. So, if you want something purely for tracks, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS makes a strong case for the hefty premium it asks. But in our opinion, the BMW M4 Competition M xDrive makes a more sensible choice of the two, even if it’s a decision made purely by heart.