Lead photo by Jodi Lai, additional photos courtesy Porsche
Numbness is something we’ve all had to embrace over the past couple years.
The overwhelming need to just be a potato is a coping mechanism that protects us from the constant stress, general anguish, and mental exhaustion the past two years of collective trauma have put us through. The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is the antidote to that numbness. Of course, with its $175,200 starting price, the cure doesn’t come cheap, but if therapists started prescribing time with this ballistic weapon of a vehicle, I think the world would be a better place.
Because while numbness is easy and feels safe, feeling your feelings can be hugely beneficial, and this Porsche forces you to feel everything. And it’s absolutely thrilling. It’s a huge reminder of what it feels like to be living and not just alive.
The Cayman GT4 RS is about as raw and focused a car as they come. As a purpose-built marvel that’s engineered for the singular goal of speed, if something doesn’t help it go faster, it’s been cut. The Porsche badge on the hood has been replaced with a sticker; the door handles are fabric pull straps because they’re lighter; everything is carbon fibre. This extreme and obsessive dedication to speed from a gorgeous group of lunatics living their best lives working at Porsche is a reminder of the absolute magic that can happen when you give passion the space to flourish.
Uninhibited rawness is exactly what makes it such a good sports car. All the nerdy mechanical noises it makes; the way it wooshes, hisses, inhales, and exhales; the animalistic howl it makes when you stab the throttle; the way you can hear pebbles pinging off the undercarriage. These sounds are all a direct result of an action you took. It reminds you all the time that you’re in full control of the car, and when you allow yourself to feel everything, it allows you to take greater control and get the most out of it. It’s a lot like life that way.
As a driver, the satisfying weight and surgical precision of the steering, the sensation of the 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat six-cylinder mid-mounted engine (the same one powering the 911 GT3 that made me cry) vibrating into the fixed carbon fibre seats and shoving you through corners with thunderous energy, the intuitive transmission, the low centre of gravity, and extreme aerodynamics all combine to engulf every single one of your senses. You sense the car communicating to you, urging you to feel your feelings, enticing you to push through the next corner faster than the last one. It makes you feel confident while simultaneously letting enough fear through to get that adrenaline coursing through your veins. And when you flawlessly blast through the corner and arrive on the other side feeling like Lewis Hamilton, you can feel your heart pounding in your chest and all you want to do is find another corner and do it all over again. This car gives me life; it reminds me how healing it is to be fully engrossed in my feelings. The Cayman GT4 RS doesn’t know the definition of numb.
As one famously evil guy once said, “Let the hate flow through you.” I’m not suggesting allowing yourself to be consumed by aggression, anger, and hate, but it can be very therapeutic to feel your feelings (the good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between), process them, and let them flow through you, instead of burying them deep and refusing to deal with them until they bubble up and explode. Feeling is what makes us human. Maybe we’ve all become too accustomed to being numb, and it’s stripped away some of our humanity. Maybe we all just need to drive race cars from time to time.