The Porsche 718 Cayman range has a new halo model, one that closes the gap on the 911.
The GT4 RS, revealed today after a long gestation, is billed as a completely uncompromising driver’s car, with a screaming mid-mounted flat-six and track-ready aero.
Australian deliveries are expected to commence from mid-2022.
Here the 718 Cayman GT4 RS will additionally be equipped with automatically dimming mirrors including a rain sensor, cruise control, a reversing camera, the Light Design Package, and digital radio.
The price is $300,800 before on-roads, compared to $211,690 for the Cayman GT4 PDK.
“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,” claims Porsche.
The naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre engine, familiar from the 911 GT3 Cup racing car and its 911 GT3 series production model, puts out 368kW and 450Nm (up 59kW and 20Nm over the Cayman GT4). It also revs to 9000rpm.
As well as the power increases, it’s designed to sound even more epic. New air intakes behind the driver and passenger windows don’t just improve air flow, they do it right next to your head.
The flat-six is mated as standard with a seven-speed double-clutch PDK auto with paddles, though the new shifter looks rather like a stick shift.
The claimed zero to 100km/h time is just 3.4 seconds, which is 0.5 sec faster than a PDK-equipped GT4, while it bumps the V-Max up from 302km/h to 315km/h.
Porsche has also cut 35kg in weight from the non-RS GT4, with the two-seater tipping the scales at 1415kg with a full tank and without a driver, as defined by the DIN standard.
The RS uses carbon-fibre reinforced plastic for components such as the bonnet and front wings. There’s also lightweight carpet, reduced insulation, a lightweight glass back window, and new door panels with textile loops and storage nets.
Porsche calls its development a “quest to eliminate every superfluous gram”.
The fixed rear wing, its swan-neck attachment and aluminium supports, are a distinctive element of the exterior design. This wing principle comes from the Porsche 911 RSR GT racing car and was first adopted in a series production car with the 911 GT3.
The Cayman GT4 RS also sits 30mm lower than a regular Cayman, has wild vents near the front arches, aerodynamic underbody panelling with connected rear diffuser, a multi-adjustable front diffuser, and new front spoiler lip with flow-around side blades.
Porsche claims that 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 include ball joints binding the chassis to the body, an RS-specific shock absorber set-up, as well as modified spring and anti-roll bar rates.
An optional Weissach package takes the design of the GT4 RS even further.
The bonnet, air intakes, airbox cover, exterior mirror 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.
How’s it all go? During the final phase of set-up adjustments, Porsche ambassador Jörg Bergmeister lapped the 20.832-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:09.300 minutes.
But for context the GT4 RS also hammered 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.