Racing fun: The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Atlanta, Georgia. Born in Flacht with the genes of a race car, the new 718 Cayman GT4 RS shares naturally aspirated heart with the 911 GT3 making the most thrilling and focused 718 yet.
The naturally aspirated flat-six engine used in the 911 GT3 Cup car and the road-going 911 GT3 represents the heart of this uncompromising driver’s car. The engine revs up to 9,000 rpm. Power increases by 79 hp compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 to a total of 493 hp, resulting in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.55 lbs. per hp. Maximum torque increases from 317 lb.-ft. to 331 lb.-ft.
Accompanying the new engine and significantly enhanced performance are many changes to the appearance of the car, driven by functional demands. Among the many design changes applied to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS are the air intakes behind the side windows on the driver and passenger side where other 718 Cayman models would usually have a small window. The new RS-specific air intakes improve the flow of intake air, which can be clearly heard due to the proximity to the driver’s and passenger’s ears. Side intakes in the rear quarter panels – a long-running design feature of all Cayman models – are still present albeit revised to meet the greater cooling demands of the new engine.
Like every modern RS variant, the new 718 Cayman GT4 RS will be offered exclusively with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK): It changes gears with lightning-quick speeds and contributes to the high degree of performance that the car offers. Using shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel, drivers can change gears manually as they choose without taking their hands off the wheel. Alternatively, they can also change gears manually using the newly designed shift lever in the center console.
The Sport-PDK features shorter gearing than what is found in a PDK-equipped 718 Cayman GT4, and contributes to the impressive acceleration. The 718 Cayman GT4 RS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds – half a second quicker than the 414 hp 718 Cayman GT4 with PDK. Top track speed is 196 mph (GT4 with PDK: 187 mph), which the GT4 RS reaches in seventh gear.
In common with its RS model predecessors, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS was constructed with a focus on lightweight materials. The U.S. curb weight is 3,227 lbs. – 49 lbs. less than a 718 Cayman GT4 with PDK. For example the front fenders and hood are formed out of carbon fiber 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 focus on lowering weight.
The new, fixed rear wing with a swan neck mounts and aluminum supports represents a marked difference to other 718 models, including the GT4. This particularly efficient wing designed was adopted from the Porsche 911 RSR race car and was first used on a Porsche road car on the 2022 911 GT3. Combined with a ride height that is 30 millimeters lower than a standard Cayman, front wheel well ventilation, an aerodynamically optimized underbody with a rear diffusor, an adjustable front diffusor and a new front spoiler lip with flow-around side-blades, the GT4 RS generates up to 25 percent more downforce in the racetrack-only Performance mode than the 718 Cayman GT4.
Enhancements to the suspension also contribute to the even higher level of performance. Ball joints connect the suspension to the body and contribute to an even higher level of precision and responsiveness. The adjustable and track-focused suspension received an RS-specific damper setup as well as revised spring and anti-roll bar rates. Additionally, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with center locks are used for the first time on a 718 Cayman model.
The optional Weissach Package enhances the performance-focused appearance of the GT4 RS even further. When this option is selected, the front luggage compartment lid, process air intakes, cooling air intakes, air box lid, exterior mirrors caps and the rear wing are made of carbon fiber. Exhaust tips made of titanium are inspired by the exhaust of the Porsche 935/19. The upper part of the dashboard is upholstered in Race-Tex with this option, while the rear window features a large Porsche logo type. Magnesium wheels are available as an addition to the Weissach Package for an additional cost.
The sum of these enhancements compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 make the GT4 RS the most uncompromised and exciting member of the 718 family. Its performance on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife underscore this particularly well. During final testing and evaluation drives, Porsche brand ambassador Jörg Bergmeister completed a lap of the 20.832 kilometer (12.944 mile) track in 7:09.300 minutes. On the shorter track variant, which was formerly used as a benchmark (20.6 km in length), the GT4 RS set a time of 7:04.511 minutes – 23.6 seconds quicker than the 718 Cayman GT4.
To celebrate this impressive car, Porsche Design has created a Porsche Design Chronograph 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which will be offered exclusively to buyers of the vehicle. Like the car itself, the timepiece features a lightweight concept with a performance focused character by using high-tech titanium materials. The winding rotor design takes on visual cues from the wheels of the car and is available in different colors to match the vehicle.
The new 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is celebrating its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show and has an MSRP of $141,700, not including a $1,350 delivery, processing and handling fee. It is expected to reach U.S. dealers in the course of summer 2022. The racing version 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport is also being debuted in L.A., which will be competing in many national and international racing series next year.