My favourite car of 2015? That's easy

Porsche Cayman GT4, driving, front
The Cayman GT4 has been developed by Porsche's motorsport division

After a year’s worth of reviewing cars - good, bad and ugly - find out what The Telegraph’s Chris Knapman has named as his favourite

At last, Porsche has committed to building an electric car to rival the Tesla Model S. However, while the Mission E looks full of promise, I’m sorry to say it is already an irrelevance.

Why? Partly because it’s not going on sale for four years, by which time Tesla will be flying people to Mars. But there’s also a bigger problem, which is that Porsche has now reached a level of perfection that not even it could surpass. It’s called the Cayman GT4, and is so sublime that I had to hold the man who came to collect it in a headlock until he agreed to go away again.

At £64,500 it is staggeringly good value, because by limiting production Porsche has pushed demand well in excess of supply. This means that if you are one of the 50 British customers, you can sell your car for a six-figure sum.

The Cayman GT4 is already sold out

Really, though, the GT4’s value lies in the fact it has been built by Porsche’s motorsport department, and thus reeks of engineering integrity. And so, as with a race car, you can crawl underneath and tweak the suspension. Just twist that duberry on the left (or was it the whatsit on the right?) and your mid-engined Porsche will handle like a Proton in no time at all

Next, the engine. Some have said that because the 3.8-litre, flat-six has been transplanted from a 911, it doesn’t feel quite as special as other motors from Porsche’s racing department. It is an argument that holds some water, but only in the way that lobster tastes better than crab. Either way, you are getting something truly delicious.

The Cayman GT4 uses a six-speed manual gearbox

It’s partly in how the GT4 takes on a new lease of life above 4,000rpm, its revs soaring skyward as the rear wheels chew at the road below. Inside the car, the racing seats with their deep side bolsters clamp you in place as you reach to the manual gear lever and, with the precision of an Andy Murray serve, switch from second to third. Click, clunk. The engine note burrows south once again before swelling into that same crescendo, and for a few seconds you forget about all of the bad things in the world. You are in the zone, enthralled and enlightened. So this is how good cars can be.

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Some might snigger when people like me go on about the quality of a car’s steering, but it really does matter. It’s not only that a system as rich in feedback as the GT4’s is a tactile delight, but it is better as a result. This is a car in which you can feel the road beneath you, how it dips and crests, where sodden leaves have fallen or HGVs have pummelled its surface. So it’s safe as well as fun, like an automotive prophylactic.

I’ll end this here, because it’s losing its way. But the Cayman GT4 is just that kind of car. It is the final thing I’ll review in 2015 – and by some margin also the best.


Porsche Cayman GT4

Tested: 3800cc flat-six petrol engine, six-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive

Price/on sale: £64,451/now (first deliveries in May)

Power/torque: 380bhp @ 7400rpm/310lb ft @ 4750rpm

Top speed: 183mph

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 4.4sec

Fuel economy: 27.4mpg/19.1mpg (EU Urban/Combined)

CO2 emissions: 238g/km

VED Band: L (£840 first year, then £475)

Verdict: As good on the road as it is on the track, the Cayman GT4 is sublime in every way you could reasonably expect.

Telegraph rating: Five stars out of five

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