Porsche basically invented the road racer genre with its GT department. Its line-up of special performance cars are sprinkled with special motorsport pedigree and have long been cherished as the ultimate motoring devices in terms of raw driving thrills. Case in point with the GT range still offering a stick shift and racer-honed dynamics with its newer cars. Lightness is also the mantra for Porsche’s GT range and now the same treatment is being given to the Porsche Cayman.
The Porsche Cayman now joins the hardcore 911 GT3 and GT3 RS as part of the holy grail of Porsche performance cars. The Cayman is supposed to be the junior Porsche sports car. But it seems that has not stopped the new 781 GT4 RS in being worryingly close to the 911 GT3. The 911 is still the crown jewel but the Cayman GT4 RS presents a different flavour with its mid-mounted lay-out. In other words, it’s the Cayman recipe taken to the max.
LA Auto Show debut: Porsche Cayman 718 GT4
Shown at the LA Auto show, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS looks very much track ready in its extreme avatar. The naturally aspirated flat-six engine is similar to the 911 GT3 Cup racing car and revs to a dizzying 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 (331 lb-ft). The only gearbox option is the Porsche dual clutch transmission (PDK) since only its fast shifts can keep up with the raw speed of this motor. Performance is encroaching supercars levels now with a 0 to 100 km/h time of just 3.4 seconds (GT4 with PDK: 3.9 seconds). It has a top speed of 315 km/h (GT4 with PDK: 302 km/h). That means the RS is way faster than the GT4 while fully realizing the potential of the Cayman.
Porsche Cayman: A track car for collectors?
It also looks purposeful and it seems to be better off sitting at a race track rather than at a glitzy motor show stand. The massive wing dominates your attention the most. And it has a swan-neck attachment along with having aluminium wing supports. Larger air-intakes increase the visual aggression while it has a 30-millimetre-lower ride height when compared to the 718 Cayman.
Elsewhere, there is a new front spoiler lip with flow-around side blades while a massive diffuser rounds off the changes at the rear. A lot of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is being used to lower the weight which stands at an incredibly low 1,415 kilograms. Don’t expect your regular Porsche interior. It’s all lightweight carpets, less sound insulation materials and door panels with textile opening loops. While being extreme, the Cayman has sacrificed a lot of its practicality but that’s the price you pay for the ‘RS’ badge.
How fast? Supercar levels: 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds
It’s slightly cheaper than the 911 GT3 but still massively expensive at $143,050. That means the Cayman GT4 RS is a collector track car and will no doubt end up in garages sharing space with a 911 GT3 or RS.
While not a limited-edition car, the GT4 RS would still be hard to get and would be quickly lapped up due to its unique positioning in the market. There is no rival to the Cayman GT4 RS. And it will only widen the appeal of the Porsche GT range while still keeping the original motorsport ethos intact. It’s all about Porsche doing what it does best.
What we like
The Cayman finally deserves the power and performance upgrades while posing a threat to the 911. Looks incredible and represents what pure driving is all about.
What we do not like
It is massively expensive and for committed Porsche geeks only due to its raw personality.
Images by Jim Donnelly