Psst, wanna know how the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS came about? | Top Gear
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Psst, wanna know how the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS came about?

GT boss Andreas Preuninger spills the beans on the GT4 RS’s origins

Published: 21 Jan 2022
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Porsche unveiled the new Cayman GT4 RS recently and our little corner of the world got very excited. It’s a mid-engined Cayman powered by the GT3’s mighty 4.0-litre, 9,000rpm flat six. It’s a car we’d been asking for since the first Cayman GT4 appeared back in 2015. And it turns out it’s a car Porsche has been working on for almost that long as well. Andreas Preuninger, boss of Porsche’s GT car department, takes up the story…

“I was very close to Wolfgang Hatz [Porsche’s R&D chief], and he said, ‘Hey, come on, let's take a GT3 engine, and put it in a GT4. I know it doesn't fit, but we have to weld a little bit and use tools, just [to see] how it feels’. This must have been sometime in 2015 or 2016. So that's a great idea, but we never did it because it was just too much to do.

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"And then his birthday came up. And we said, OK, we’ll make a surprise for him. We’ll make a prototype with the GT3 engine in a 981 because we wanted to do it anyway. And that was how the first test mule came into life.

"And the car was absolutely amazing. It was super loud so we already had the idea to get the air from the rear windows. And it was almost undriveably loud. But it was so much fun and it had a manual gearbox and we did a little bit of livery for his birthday. Anyway, we hid it in his garage and everyone’s waiting in his garden for a surprise party and I was sitting in the garage and when he came, I cranked up the car and pumped the gas, and he’s going 'what's in my garage?' and the garage opened and the car came out.

"This was a little fun that we played, but the car was so good, was so much fun that we thought we have to show it to the markets. There was a CEO meeting… and that was one of the projects which we asked them how they would feel about it. And it was at Weissach proving ground and everybody was like, ‘wow’.

"So that was the initiation process. It was market driven, it was curiosity of our own kind, but we couldn't fit it into the 981 life cycle because there was just too much going on with the production line in Zuffenhausen.. But we decided to do it on the second generation of 718.”

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And the rest, as they say, is history. Now what other mutant Porsches would you like to see? Me, I want the 918 Spyder’s remarkable nat asp 4.6-litre 608bhp V8 fitted to a Taycan, please.

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