The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is already off racing | Top Gear
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The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is already off racing

The GT4 RS Clubsport is your new 493bhp, 9,000rpm racecar. If you have £160,000, anyway

Published: 17 Nov 2021

Porsche isn’t messing about. Mere minutes after introducing us to the hardcore world of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, it’s cranked up the aggression yet more and chiselled off the number plates. This is the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, and it could be your new friendly mid-engine racecar.

It’s a replacement for the stock GT4 Clubsport and lands with a claimed two per cent laptime improvement. Some of that can clearly be attributed to its hike in power, from 420 to 493bhp thanks to a heart transplant from the 911 GT3 Cup car.

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That means four litres and 9,000rpm, with peak power delivered at 8,300rpm. Which is great in a track toy, but in a race car you’ll crave something instant, and thankfully there’s also higher torque at lower revs than before, a 343lb ft peak delivered at 6,000rpm. “A much wider usable speed band” is promised, “which makes driving the car much easier for pro-racers and amateur drivers alike”. Phew. The engine drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed PDK transmission, up one ratio on before.

There are chassis tweaks, too, with a new setup for the suspension and three different spring rates on offer. NACA ducts feed air to the braking system while the stability control has been retuned. And can, naturally, be turned off.

Naturally there’s a host of race-specific additions compared to the GT4 RS road car, with a rollcage, six-point-harnessed Recaro seat (singular), a 115-litre fuel cell with the option of fast refuelling and the option of two different exhaust systems to help navigate the increasingly tricky world of circuit noise limits.

Even more in keeping with the times is the use of “renewable natural-fibre composite materials” in place of carbonfibre. It debuted on the previous Clubsport but is used with much more vigour this time around. “In addition to the doors and the rear wing, the bonnet, the wings, the aerodynamic components at the front end and the steering wheel are now made of this material,” we’re told. With motorsport traditionally a test bed for road car technologies, we’ll almost certainly see materials like this rolled out on future Porsche sports cars too.

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Prices start at 196,000 euros before tax, or around £160,000 before you’ve plonked on VAT. A few grand up on before, not to mention over £50k pricier than the GT4 RS road car.

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