The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month and is available to order here in the UK with prices starting from £108,370, with the first cars arriving in Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland from next Spring.
The GT4 RS has some noticeable differences to the £30,000 cheaper 718 Cayman GT4 with its 430 PS. Firstly, there are the engine induction air intakes behind the driver and passenger windows, where the 718 Cayman would normally have small side windows. These air intakes improve both the intake airflow and, at the same time, create a rather emotive induction sound inside the cabin to add to the excitement when driving. The side air intakes in front of the rear wheels have also been retained, which help with cooling the engine.
With an extra 80 PS, the 500 PS (493 bhp) GT4, combined with its lightweight construction, extremely agile chassis set-up and sophisticated aerodynamics is an impressively fast car to drive and performs equally well on both narrow, winding roads as well as the racetrack. For example, it outperformed the GT4, by 23.6 seconds on the 20.6 km Nürburgring Nordschleife, in a time of 7:04.511 minutes.
The tried and tested 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six power unit which also powers the 911 GT3 Cup racing car and the 911 GT3 series production model, is at the heart of the GT4 RS. As well as having an extra 80 PS (78.9 bhp) over its sibling, the car has a weight-to-power ratio of 2.83 kg/PS, with maximum torque increased from 430 to 450 Nm, allowing the engine to rev as high as 9,000 rpm.
The new 718 GT4 RS is only available with the Porsche dual clutch transmission (PDK), allowing the gearbox to accelerate through its seven gears at lightning speed to ensure maximum performance. The shift paddles means that you can keep your hands on the steering wheel when changing gear manually or you can of course use the re-designed selector lever on the centre console.
The powerful flat-six engine and low-ratio sports PDK gives the GT4 RS blistering acceleration, completing the 0 to 62 mph sprint in just 3.4 seconds (the GT4 does it in 3.9 seconds) and will go on to a top speed of 195 mph (the GT4 tops out at 187 mph). The combined WLTP fuel consumption is surprisingly good for a car with this performance, averaging 21.4 mpg.
Weight plays a large part in the hair raising performance, as the 718 Cayman GT4 RS only weighs 1,415 kg with a full tank of fuel, thanks in part to the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic for components such as the bonnet and front wings. You will also find lightweight carpets and a reduced amount of insulation material making the cabin somewhat louder. In addition, the rear window is made of lightweight glass and there are lightweight door panels with textile opening loops and nets on the storage compartments.
As you’d expect, good aerodynamics plays an important part in the handling and speed of the GT4 RS. For example, there is a new fixed rear wing with its swan-neck attachment and aluminium wing supports, which is derived from the Porsche 911 RSR GT racing car and first adopted in a Porsche series production car with the 911 GT3.
Approximately 25 percent more downforce is generated by the RS than the GT4, which can be fully utilised on racetrack days. As well as the effects of the rear wing, vents on the front wheel arches, aerodynamically optimised underbody panelling with connected rear diffuser, a multi-adjustable front diffuser and new front spoiler lip with flow-around side blades, all contribute to the car’s superior performance, along with ball joints binding the suspension tightly to the body to deliver more precise and direct handling. There is also an adjustable RS-specific shock absorber set-up and modified spring and anti-roll bar rates for the track.
Similar to the exhaust system on the Porsche 935, the tailpipes are made of titanium, as is the fitted roll cage. If you choose the optional Weissach package, the car will come shod with 20-inch diameter forged magnesium wheels in place of the 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
As an added bonus, owners will also receive a unique Porsche Design Chronograph 718 Cayman GT4 RS, created by Porsche Design exclusively for customers of the road car. The watch even shares the same lightweight design concept with high-performance features and uses high-tech titanium in its construction. The winding rotor is modelled on the sports car’s alloy wheel design and, just like the car, can be specified in different colours.
So as to not be overwhelmed with the immense power of the GT4 RS, new customers will be given the opportunity to explore the full potential of their new car, as well as develop their own driving skills, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the circuits at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone.
For those interested in racing the car, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport racing version will be launched in several national and international racing series starting in 2022.
For more information on the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, please visit: www.porsche.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Porsche GB