It has been one of the worst kept secrets in the motoring world. In fact Porsche themselves have preempted the launch of its latest RS car by announcing its Nurburgring lap time ahead of the official launch (earlier story here). Earlier today the German sportscar maker pulled the wraps off the production 718 Cayman GT4 RS and race-ready GT4 RS Clubsport.
Reporters have been trying to guess the source of motivation used in the 718 Cayman GT4 RS and it may not be a complete surprise to hear that it shares its naturally aspirated heart with the latest 911 GT3. The flat-six is the same 4,0-litre unit used in the 911 GT3 Cup car and the road-going GT3.
For years people have been postulating that the reason Porsche has not fitted large engines to its Cayman range is that it will start to steal sales from the ever-green 911. Now that a pukka RS motor has been mounted midships in the little coupe we are about to see if those guesses were correct.
The naturally aspirated engine revs up to dizzying 9 000 r/min. Power in the road car is quoted as 368 kW with 450 N.m of maximum torque. The 718 Cayman GT4 RS will be offered exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK). Drivers can cog-swap using steering wheel mounted paddles or a newly designed shift lever in the center console.
In the 718 Cayman GT4 RS drivers can expect shorter gearing than in a PDK-equipped Cayman GT4, which helps improve acceleration. Porsche says the 718 Cayman GT4 RS can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3,4 seconds. Top speed is quoted as 315 km/h.
Apart from the new engine there are several other changes to earmark the hard-core RS version from the ‘regular’ GT4. Most obvious external change is the adoption of a massive rear wing. The fixed item has motorsport-style gooseneck mounts and aluminum supports. The design was lifted from the 911 RSR racecar and is similar to that found on the 911 GT3.
Among the other changes are air intakes where other Cayman models would usually have a small window. RS-specific air intakes in the rear quarter panels supply more cool air to the engine. There is also an aerodynamically optimised underbody with a rear diffusor, and a new front spoiler lip with flow-around side-blades. All these aero changes mean that the GT4 RS generates up to 25 percent more downforce in the racetrack-only performance mode than the GT4.
Part of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS’s mass-saving measures include front fenders and bonnet that are made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). The rear window is made of lightweight glass. Lightweight door panels with fabric door opening loops and storage nets round off the model-specific diet.
For the first time ever a Cayman wears centre-lock wheels in the shape of 20-inch forged aluminium alloys. The car rides on an adjustable and track-focused suspension with RS-specific damper setup coupled with revised spring and anti-roll bar rates.
An even racier option
If you read the above and, like us, thought: That’d make the basis of a great racecar, then rest assured Porsche had the same thought process as it simultaneously debuted the 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. The homologated 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport is track-ready from the factory and can be used in SRO racing series around the world without further modifications.
The race ready Clubsport features a welded-in roll cage as well as an adjustable Recaro race seat fitted with a six-point harness. There is a built-in fire suppression system and on-board air jack system with three jacks. An FT3 fuel cell can accommodate up to 115 litres of fuel.
The Clubsport derivative is based on the 718 Cayman GT4 RS road car and features the very same engine. However it boasts a slight bump in torque to 465 N.m. The 4,0-litre engine is still mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Key changes are related to the suspension. They include two-way adjustable dampers as well as adjustable double-blade anti-roll bars. Ride height, camber and toe are also adjustable. Special NACA ducts in the ‘bonnet’ feed air to the front 380 mm vented and slotted rotors.
From an aerodynamics viewpoint the Clubsport has front dive planes and an enlarged front spoiler lip, both of which increase downforce on the front wheels. An enclosed underbody optimises air flow to the rear diffusor. A similar rear wing now has a 20 mm long Gurney flap and two steps of adjustability.
Porsche GT4 RS R 2 507 000