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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Track Tested: Ford Shelby GT500 vs. Porsche Cayman GT4 4.0

Consider this metaphor I just made up: If a Porsche is a paring knife, small but potent, a fast Mustang is a fork. Still sharp, just larger and more blunt. Both help food reach your mouth, but one has no interest in artsy shaping. It just wants to stab hunks of meat.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/track-tested-ford-shelby-gt500-vs-porsche-cayman-gt4-4...
53 REPLIES 53
MajorTomB
Intermediate Driver

That was a quicker read than I expected. I stopped when I found out I couldn't get a three pedal version of the Ford.
erne75
Advanced Driver

Yep, it will be soon forgotten...All flappy paddle shifted cars, no matter the manufacturer, become a blur of boredom in my mind. The collector market concurs!!! Some of these wrong transmission exotics cant find a buyer once they become used cars while their three pedal predecessors are sought after.
DaveA
Instructor

Manual transmissions are a dying breed, and less and less young kids know how to drive them. It won’t be long before manual transmission cars are the ones that can’t find a buyer.
eighthtry
Advanced Driver

In addition, manual is still an excellent form of theft protection.
Tsaxman
Advanced Driver

One of these
Surely will screen out the sorrow
But where are you tomorrow?

And with your use of words like "frippery" and "aggro" it appears that you were perhaps sitting too close to Baruth on the track.
MATTMERICA
Technician

Steely canceled their show in Richmond VA, it was supposed to be a week or so ago - now it is next summer, on a Tuesday. I am still bitter. Thank you for reminding me lol
brians356
Advanced Driver

But without Walter, is it really Steely?
DaveB
Detailer

great story!
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

I have a mint 2009 Shelby GT500 convertible. Only 500HP, but that works well enough on this version that is not made anymore. I did not want my muscle car to be a race car. Nothing like a top down drive on a sunny day. Plenty of power and comfort plus the fun of a 6 speed manual transmission and excellent handling. Also, 20+ miles per gallon on a recent mostly 2 lane road trip. I also have a Porsche and a BMW, but the Ford wins in my book. Maintenance costs on the Ford are next to nothing compared to the German machines.
MATTMERICA
Technician

which bmw?
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

An excellent condition 1995 M3 coupe 5 speed manual stock. Very fun car, but the stiff suspension makes for a harsh ride compared to the Mustang
mbr2000
Advanced Driver

I have a 2016 Mustang GT with 435hp. I'm not a road race driver or drag racer, so can't imagine why I would ever need more power. Even 3/4 throttle simply rockets the car down the road! Acceleration from 60 to 80 mph seems almost instantaneous. Steering response and grip are great with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 all-season tires, but those suckers started getting noisy after 10K miles. (The original Pirelli P Zero Nero tires were rough and noisy from the start.) Like BatmanRR's GT500, my 5.0 gets great fuel mileage -- 19-21 around the suburbs and 24-26 on a trip.

I had been thinking about trading it in on GT350, but, alas, they are no longer made. The Mach 1 is just way too gaudy for me, and the GT500 too expensive and probably too scary!
brians356
Advanced Driver

The price difference is not as it first appears. The Cayman "as tested" is only $12.5k more than the GT500. But subtract $3.2k from that to opt for the recommended manual tranny, and it shrinks to a bit more than $9k. Then consider the cost extra time and money spent refilling the thirsty GT500.
OldCarMan
Instructor

But then consider the extreme high maintenance cost on anything German! If you're worried about spending time at the gas station, you may already be a Tesla owner. NO one buys a porsche because of the mileage, either!
MATTMERICA
Technician

Seriously lol. If the gas station is going to be an issue, you will flat out explode when you get the bavarian oil change special :0
brians356
Advanced Driver

I get that. But it's not the price of gas, it's the shorter road trip segments between fill-ups. Sam stated the GT500 tank empties "quick" and I believe him. A very valuable option in a 356A today is the 80-litre GT gas tank. Anyway my purchase price comment still stands - the 918 is not really "an expensive toy" relative to the GT500.
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

Hi brians356, my first sports car was a 356A convertible D Super. I learned so much as a teenager with this car. It was so much fun. Only one time did I ever worry about running out of gas. 3am at night, but I found an open gas station.
mbr2000
Advanced Driver

Yes, Porsche maintenance is priced as though all their customer were Saudi princes.
SuperDave
New Driver

Where are the lap times?
btukwh
Intermediate Driver

I didn’t see lap times?

So the big V8 is fast and handles poorly. The Porsche is slower in a straight line, but handles better.

What did we learn here?
Srmert
Intermediate Driver

Don’t think they ever said the tang handled poorly. Maybe just a subjective interpretation on your part.
mbr2000
Advanced Driver

Agreed.
audiocage
Advanced Driver

We learned that Sam Smith is living the dream.
Bunka
Detailer

The definition of muscle car people vs sports car people. The dividing line has been crossed over and is heading for erasure.
SuperDeLuxe
Advanced Driver

A Porsche will always outclass a Ford when it comes to conspicuous consumption. People of a certain generation will think of a Mustang as a cheap set of wheels, ultimately disposable. Setting the price of admission high means even those who can afford the base Porsche will not be rubbing elbows with the kid who can conversely buy a base Mustang. Wealth has its privileges. 🤑
brians356
Advanced Driver

As tested here, the Porsche is all of 13% more expensive than the Mustang. With a 6-speed manual (recommended by the author) it's only 9.5% more expensive. That noise-level stuff.
Srmert
Intermediate Driver

What you need to factor in is that the Ford has a factory warranty that covers the mechanicals even with the track use. That has real value. Oil changes at a dealer for a Porsche….pricey, for the Ford? Same as any other domestic at 6.5 qt.
1933ford
Intermediate Driver

The author appears to be extremely wrapped up in superfluous language. Would have preferred - tell it as it is and the content would have been more satisfying and a quarter of the length!
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I lean towards the GT500 in this case but the flat 6 wail in a lightweight Cayman is also hard to ignore. Different strokes as they say, I'd happily add both to my garage.
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

Why Not? I have my GT500 and a BMW M3. Heavyweight vs light weight. 8 vs 6 cylinders. Both have their merits and both are fun.
Scary
Intermediate Driver

The latest GT500s look fantastic, and they have done a ton of work to get them to be track cars. I have a 2008 GT500 and put the Whipple Supercharger kit that Ford's SVT team and Whipple worked on together. Came with the 2.9l supercharger, cold air, high flow fuel pump, larger throttle body, programmer, and a custom tune program to flash the ECU. Now it is supposed to be 725hp (haven't put on a dyno) and the difference is greatly noticeable. That said, its now almost dangerous on a track with corners. The original config was almost linear in the acceleration band like what they said about the new one. Now when the boost kicks in there is a big surge in power making it almost impossible to get on the power smoothly coming out of a corner. it may be a Hellcat killer, but its a human killer in the hands of someone that shouldn't be behind the wheel. Glad to hear that Ford was able to tame the boost in this Mustang to make it smooth on a track. I just dont have the ~$100K to drop on one. All in on mine(bought new) and still under $50K
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

Why do you think I have a stock GT500. Very predictable.
hunter4masonry
Pit Crew

The Cayman would be Porsches premier super car if it had the GT-3 motor . Because of the mystic and zealot like following of the 911 they cannot do that . Hands down the Porsche wins here . Break one of those carbon fiber rims on the Pony and you will cry . $7,000 for a front and $5000 for a rear .
Inline8OD
Technician

Trust all those salivating over these press releases for the latest super cars du jour are getting remunerated, as Hagerty obviously is. Is parroting Motor Trend the best this site can do?
0luke1
Pit Crew

I guess I’m too old to appreciate the ‘roid rage front of the Ford, or the plastic snakes, giant stripes and other geegaws plastered all over the thing. When I was 8, that stuff was exciting.
SteveR
Pit Crew

"Meet your huckleberry?" When I read this article, I could swear that I'm reading Car&Driver from 1983.

That is a good thing.
timb0
Intermediate Driver

I was hoping for a report on the outcome of a real track race between the two.
CitationMan
Gearhead

I’m glad Hagerty compared two somewhat dissimilar cars, it’s reflective of how people actually decide which car to buy next. It pains me to say this, but I would choose the GT4 over the GT500 as the car to drive on the tight, twisty, two lane roads in Western North Carolina where I live.
Fun fact, the GT4 has a bigger gas tank than the GT500, 16.9 to 16.0 gallons, even though the GT4 is 13.5 inches shorter and 5 inches narrower than the GT500.
Seisen
Pit Crew

Great write up and nice pix. A table and some graphics with specs and stats including LAP TIMES would make this “track test” better. Having said that the GT4 is predictably a great track car while the GT500 is astonishingly powerful and competent. Hagerty: More comparisons please.
SJ
Technician

Interesting, but again where are the track times? I am addicted to the V8, result of my youth.
HV24
Intermediate Driver

Interesting read - but why compare two cars with completely different characters. There is no comparison.
farna
Advanced Driver

In the end, for a little over $12K you can have a Porsche instead of a Mustang (as tested prices). The Porsche is likely to hold value better, but probably not much more than the GT500. Still, not as much of a price difference unless you get a base model GT500. This is really an apples/oranges comparison. Typically, those who like something like the Porsche can contend with the Mustang, but not the other way around. Depends on what you like, and what you intend to do with the car. Just short commutes and some autocrossing on weekends? The Porshce might be the better choice. A lot more driving time (longer commutes and/or trips) and the Mustang would surely be more comfortable -- and still able to do the autocrossing weekends.
CameronG
New Driver

After owning multiple Ferraris and 911s I currently own a 6 speed NC Miata and a manual Camaro ss 1LE….It’s true that the maintenance costs with Euro cars just wear you down after awhile. Yes they have a feeling of “specialness” but for pure driving fun on the road (Miata) and track(SS1LE) I feel I have the same experience. I think Mustangs and Camaros have really closed the gap with Porsche in the last few years. Regardless all are amazing cars and we’re fortunate to have these great choices
carguyjim
Detailer

Being a "Carguy" I get the gist of the writer's in the comparison. I kind of wish they dumbed it down a bit so everyone gets the feel... Just a BIT too much sophistication for this exercise .... A great gig they have, to be sure. I sure didn't have permission let alone provided fuel and spare tires when I "hot lapped" exotic and muscle cars back in the day...
Ark-med
Detailer

Heck, even regular Mustang GT's can barely make 175 miles between fill-ups if driven with the verve with which the V8 goads you into indulging. I wish they'd given it a real fuel tank instead of the hip flask it has.
BobbyShoe4
Intermediate Driver

No manual transmission option in the GT500 kills it for me. Would never pay $97k for a Mustang given how cheaply built and low quality it is
joefo
Pit Crew

I have owned two Mustang GT's, a 2010 and a 2018 (currently) and have put a collective 190,000 miles on them. They have had no overnight shop time, never left me stranded and only petty failures all covered by warranty. I pay $49 for oil changes while my brother pays $450 for his 911. Ford has done an amazing job keeping the Mustang relevant.
mbr2000
Advanced Driver

Cheaply built and low quality? I'm not sure about the latest models, but my 2016 GT is probably the tightest car I've owned. No creaks, rattles, or wind noise, and only one failure -- a flaky back-up camera. If you haven't owned or driven an American performance car in the past 5 years, I suggest you do so before condemning them.
timb0
Intermediate Driver

Your reply was meant for mbr2000, but it is in my inbox.  I like both cars, and have rented a Mustang 2017 once.  Nice car, and I wanted to buy it or one like it.  I have a 1966 Volvo 122s as my daily driver, and have been able to fix everything that goes wrong with it.  I cruise at 68 mph because I dont have the OD trans.  I also collect 1968-1972 Volvo 142's.  Got a couple nice ones, but drive only one.  Insurance in California is way too expensive even for cars that are driven under 1000 miles per year.