The Porsche 718 family recently welcomed a new flagship model, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS which has been designed for maximum driving pleasure. Porsche let the GT department, their skunkworks team, at Stuttgart go slightly (read: completely) insane. The result is a $145,000 USD Porsche Cayman that carries a 4.0L flat-six engine from a Type 992 GT3 with the wick turned up to 11, has exhausts with the bare minimum of baffles to pass road legality making it the loudest Cayman ever made, and can keep up with a Lotus Exige in terms of handling.
The new Cayman 718 GT4 RS, according to Porsche themselves at least, is not meant to be a track monster. It certainly can be, and there is a customer-spec version of the GT4 race car coming in the GT4 RS Clubsport, dedicated to track only use. This beast is meant to be an “experience,” a car that makes the driver become part of the machine, the two symbiotically working together to scream bloody murder out those nearly direct-port exhausts and catapult the car to the horizon as fast as possible.
Sure, it can lap the Nurburgring’s famous Nordschleife track in 7 minutes and 4 seconds. Sure, it has unbelievably good handling and its aerodynamics are machined and tuned to precision German standards. But by letting the GT department off the leash, they’ve also made, as Top Gear describes it in the video below, a car that is steeped in the highest levels of “engineering nerdery.”
Our take? While there are still petrol-powered engines around, Porsche should let the GT department off the leash more often, if this is what results from the German equivalent of going mental!
More to come as we see real world tests in coming months.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is the new flagship model in the 718 family – an uncompromising driver’s car designed to impress with its lightweight construction, extremely agile chassis set-up, sophisticated aerodynamics and unique soundtrack.
When 500 PS (368 kW; 718 Cayman GT4 RS: fuel consumption combined (WLTP) 13.2 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (WLTP) 299 g/km, fuel consumption combined (NEDC) 12.3 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (NEDC) 281 g/km) from a high-revving mid-mounted engine meets a purist 1,415 kg kerb weight, it is time for the term ‘driving pleasure‘ to be redefined: whether it is being driven on narrow, winding mountain roads or closed race tracks, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS is king of the compact mid-engined range. On the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it outperforms its sibling, the 718 Cayman GT4, by more than 23 seconds.
Sports car designed for maximum driving pleasure
The naturally aspirated flat-six engine (911 GT3: fuel consumption combined (WLTP) 13.0 – 12.9 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (WLTP) 294 – 293 g/km, fuel consumption combined (NEDC) 13.3 – 12.4 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (NEDC) 304 – 283 g/km), familiar from the 911 GT3 Cup racing car and the 911 GT3 series production model, forms the centrepiece of a sports car that has been designed for maximum driving pleasure. The engine revs as high as 9,000 rpm. Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS has an extra 80 PS (59 kW; 718 Cayman GT4: fuel consumption combined (WLTP) 11.1 – 10.7 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (WLTP) 251 – 242 g/km, fuel consumption combined (NEDC) 10.9 – 10.2 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (NEDC) 249 – 232 g/km), resulting in a weight-to-power ratio of 2.83 kg/PS. Maximum torque has been increased from 430 to 450 Nm.
Among the striking features of the new, top-of-the-range 718 are the process air intakes behind the driver and passenger windows. The 718 Cayman normally has small side windows here. The new air intakes improve both the intake airflow and, at the same time, create a thrilling intake noise right next to the occupants’ ears. The characteristic air intakes in front of the rear wheels have been retained and are used for engine cooling.
Like every modern RS model, the new 718 GT4 RS is exclusively available with the Porsche dual clutch transmission (PDK). This gearbox shifts through its seven gears at lightning speed and guarantees maximum performance. The gearshift paddles allow drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel even when changing gear manually. Alternatively, they can use the re-designed selector lever on the centre console.
The sports low-ratio PDK underpins the incredible acceleration of this mid-engined sports car. The 718 Cayman GT4 RS sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds (GT4 with PDK: 3.9 seconds) and has a top speed of 315 km/h (GT4 with PDK: 302 km/h), which it reaches in seventh gear.
In typical RS style, lightweight construction is a defining element of the new 718 Cayman GT4 RS design. The two-seater weighs only 1,415 kilograms, with a full fuel tank and without a driver as defined by the DIN standard, which is 35 kg less than a PDK-equipped 718 GT4. This weight reduction is achieved thanks to the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for components such as the bonnet and front wings. Lightweight carpets also save weight, as does reducing the amount of insulation material. The rear window is made of lightweight glass. Lightweight door panels with textile opening loops and nets on the storage compartments complete the quest to eliminate every superfluous gram.
Highly efficient: the fixed rear wing with a swan-neck attachment
The new fixed rear wing, its swan-neck attachment and aluminium wing supports, are a distinctive element of the exterior design. This highly efficient wing principle is derived from the Porsche 911 RSR GT racing car and was first adopted in a Porsche series production car with the 911 GT3. In combination with the 30-millimetre-lower ride height compared to the 718 Cayman, the eye-catching vents on the front wheel arches, the aerodynamically optimised underbody panelling with connected rear diffuser, the multi-adjustable front diffuser and the new front spoiler lip with flow-around side blades, in the Performance mode reserved for use on race tracks the GT4 RS generates approximately 25 per cent more downforce than the GT4.
Modifications to the chassis also contribute to its greater performance. Ball joints bind the chassis tightly to the body to deliver even more precise and direct handling. The adjustable, circuit-ready chassis has an RS-specific shock absorber set-up, as well as modified spring and anti-roll bar rates.
The optional Weissach package takes the dynamic design of the GT4 RS even further. The front luggage-compartment lid, process air intakes, cooling air intakes, airbox cover, exterior mirror upper trims and rear wing have a carbon-weave finish. The titanium tailpipes look similar to the exhaust system on the Porsche 935. The fitted roll cage at the rear is also made of titanium. The upper section of the dashboard is upholstered in Race-Tex material and a large Porsche logo is integrated into the rear window. With the Weissach package 20-inch forged magnesium wheels can be ordered at additional cost instead of the 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
All of these enhancements compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 make the GT4 RS the most uncompromising and sharpest member of the 718 family. This is particularly evident on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. During the final phase of set-up adjustments, Porsche brand ambassador Jörg Bergmeister lapped the 20.832-kilometre track in 7:09.300 minutes. The GT4 RS conquered the shorter 20.6 km version, which previously served as the benchmark, in 7:04.511 minutes – 23.6 seconds faster than the 718 Cayman GT4.
The most uncompromising and sharpest member of the 718 family
The unique Porsche Design Chronograph 718 Cayman GT4 RS, created by Porsche Design exclusively for buyers of the vehicle, is as dynamic as its four-wheeled counterpart. The watch also benefits from a lightweight design concept with high-performance features based on the robust, high-tech characteristics of titanium. Its winding rotor is modelled on the sports car’s rims and can be specified in different colours, just like the car.
The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is celebrating its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show and can now be ordered at a base price of 141,338 euros (including 19 per cent VAT). Delivery begins in March 2022. In addition, the GT4 RS is available with the optional Weissach package to further enhance its aerodynamics. The 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport racing version is also celebrating its premiere in Los Angeles, and it will be launched in several national and international racing series starting in 2022.