The Porsche 718 Cayman thrills drivers with the incredible balance and agility of a mid-engine sports car. If it's missing anything, it might be the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-6 from the 911 GT3.
Call it case closed. On Tuesday, Porsche unveiled the new 718 Cayman GT4 RS on the eve of the Los Angles auto show with the GT3's 500-hp flat-6 as the high-revving highlight.
The 4.0-liter flat-6 revs to 9,000 rpm and makes 493 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque, increases of 79 and 14, respectively versus the previous top dog 718 Cayman, the 414-hp GT4.
The 718 Cayman GT4 RS will come only with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (apparently, that's an RS thing) with shorter gearing than the version in the 718 Cayman GT4. That helps acceleration: the Cayman GT4 RS can hit 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, a half a second quicker than the automatic-equipped Cayman GT4 and its 414 hp. The GT4 RS tops out at 196 mph, which is 9 mph higher than the GT4.
The 718 Cayman GT4 RS weighs 3,227 lb, 49 lb less than a 718 Cayman GT4. Weight savings measures include a hood and front fenders made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, a lightweight rear window, and lighter door panels with fabric loops for door handles and storage nets.
Porsche drops the Cayman GT4 RS by 1.2 inches compared to the standard Cayman on a revised suspension with unique ball joints, and stiffer springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. The 20-inch wheels are made of forged aluminum, and for the first time on a Cayman, they use center locks.
Exterior changes are mostly functional. They include additional air intakes added behind the side windows, revised air intakes in the rear quarter panels that channel more air, and a fixed rear wing with swan-neck mounts. The wing came from the Porsche 911 RSR race car and also appears on the 2022 911 GT3. Other aero bits include an adjustable front diffuser, a rear diffuser, front wheel ventilation, an aerodynamic underbody, and a front spoiler lip with flow-around side-blades. These elements, teamed with the lower ride height, give the GT4 RS 25% more downforce in Performance mode versus the Cayman GT4.
But wait, there's more. Buyers can get an optional Weissach Package that uses carbon-fiber for the frunk lid, process air intakes, cooling air intakes, air box lid, exterior mirror caps, and rear wing. It also includes titanium exhaust tips inspired by those of the Porsche 935/19 race car, a synthetic suede upper dashboard, and a large Porsche logo in the rear window. Additionally, Weissach Package buyers can spend more for magnesium wheels.
Porsche proved the 718 Cayman GT4 RS's capability on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Brand ambassador Joerg Bergmeister put up a lap time of 7:09.3 minutes on the longer 12.94-mile track and 7:04.511 minutes on the shorter 12.8-mile track that has been used for years. The latter figure represents a 23.6-second improvement over the 718 Cayman GT4.
The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS will hit U.S. dealers next summer with a starting price of $143,050, including destination. Its racing version, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, will also begin racing in international series next year.
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