It was teased for months but thankfully the new GT4 RS is ready to order. With 500 PS from a high-revving mid-mounted engine meets a pared back 1,415 kg kerb weight, it is time for the term ‘driving enjoyment‘ to be redefined: the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is the new flagship 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. Whether it is being driven on narrow, winding mountains roads or closed race tracks, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS is king of the compact, two-door, two-seat model series. On the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it outperforms its sibling, the 718 Cayman GT4, by more than 23 seconds.
The naturally-aspirated flat-six power unit, familiar from the 911 GT3 Cup racing car and the 911 GT3 series production model, forms the literal centrepiece of a mid-engine sports car that has been designed for maximum driving enjoyment. 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), 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 engine induction 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 an emotive induction sound right next to the occupants’ ears. The characteristic side 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 accelerates through its seven gears at lightning speed and guarantees maximum performance. The shift 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 low-ratio sports PDK underpins the incredible acceleration of this mid-engine sports car. The 718 Cayman GT4 RS sprints from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds (GT4 with PDK: 3.9 seconds) and has a top speed of 195 mph (GT4 with PDK: 187 mph), which it reaches in seventh gear. Combined WLTP fuel consumption is 21.4 mpg (13.2 l/100 km), equivalent to 299 g/km CO2 Combined.
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 kg, 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 using 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. 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 the Performance mode reserved for use on a race track, approximately 25 per cent more downforce is generated by the RS than the GT4. In addition to the effect of the rear wing, contributing to this value is the combination of a ride height 30 millimetres lower compared to the 718 Cayman, eye-catching vents on the front wheel arches, an aerodynamically optimised underbody panelling with connected rear diffuser, a multi-adjustable front diffuser and new front spoiler lip with flow-around side blades.
Modifications to the chassis also contribute to its greater performance. Ball joints bind the suspension tightly to the body to deliver 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, induction air ducts, 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 optional Weissach package, 20-inch diameter forged magnesium wheels can be ordered at additional cost in place of the 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
All of these enhancements compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 make the GT4 RS the sharpest and most uncompromising 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.
First cars should arrive in Porsche Centres in the Ireland and teh UK from Spring 2022.
Customers will also be invited to explore the potential of their new car, and further develop their own skills behind the wheel, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the unique circuits at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.
The 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport racing version is also unveiled in California, and will be launched in several national and international racing series starting in 2022.