The Porsche 718 Cayman is an agile and well-balanced mid-engined machine, though relatively lacking it outright power compared to its big brother, the 911. But now, with the launch of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, Porsche has unleashed a beast of a compact sports car.
Keeping to a more purist profile, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS weighs only 1,415 kg. This flagship 718 model features a lightweight construction, agile chassis set-up, advanced aerodynamics, and a unique soundtrack.
The key feature has to be the naturally aspirated flat-six engine, which is found in the larger 911 GT3 Cup racing car and the 911 GT3 series production model. The engine revs as high as 9,000 rpm and comes with 500 PS (368 kW). Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS has an extra 80 PS (59 kW), resulting in a weight-to-power ratio of 2.83 kg/PS. Maximum torque has also increased from 430 to 450 Nm. Furthermore, the sports low-ratio 7-speed PDK dual clutch transmission underpins the incredible acceleration of this mid-engined sports car. The 718 Cayman GT4 RS can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds (GT4 with PDK in 3.9 seconds), and has a top speed of 315 km/h (GT4 with PDK: 302 km/h), which it reaches in 7th gear.
All the enhancements make the 718 Cayman GT4 RS king of the compact mid-engined range. During the final phase of set-up adjustments, Porsche brand ambassador Jörg Bergmeister lapped the 20.832-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife 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 i.e. 23.6 seconds faster than the 718 Cayman 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 also has an RS-specific shock absorber set-up, as well as modified spring and anti-roll bar rates.
Some of the striking physical features of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS are the process air intakes behind the driver and passenger windows which replace the small side windows of the regular Cayman. The new air intakes improve both the intake airflow and also 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.
This 2-seater weighs only 1,415 kilograms, with a full fuel tank and without a driver as defined by the DIN standard. This is 35 kg less than a PDK-equipped 718 GT4. The weight reduction is achieved with using carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for such components as the bonnet and front wings. Lightweight carpets also help save weight, as does reducing the amount of insulation material which enhances auditory pleasure. Additionally, the rear window is made of lightweight glass, and the door panels are also lightweight with textile opening loops and nets on the storage compartments, to save even more weight.
Another distinctive feature of its exterior is the new fixed rear wing which has a swan-neck attachment and aluminium wing supports. 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 mm lower ride height (vs 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, and in Performance mode reserved for use on race tracks, the GT4 RS generates approximately 25% more downforce than the GT4.
In addition, the optional Weissach package takes the dynamic design of the GT4 RS even further. This package features a carbon weave finish for the front luggage-compartment lid, process air intakes, cooling air intakes, airbox cover, exterior mirror upper trims and rear wing. The titanium tailpipes also look similar to the exhaust system on the Porsche 935, and the fitted roll cage at the rear is also made of titanium. Meanwhile, 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″ forged magnesium wheels can be ordered at additional cost to replace the stock 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
Further, 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. This 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 after the sports car’s rims and can be specified in different colours, just like the car.
Along with this, there is also a GT4 RS Clubsport racing version making its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The car is scheduled to be launched in several national and international racing series starting in 2022.