The Porsche model lineup is quite an intricate one with many a variant based around each model. We already know that the 911 is peak Porsche, and it’s available in many avatars. But the brand’s entry-level sports car series, the 718, is famous for being closer to the original driver’s cars with its kart-like dynamics, manageable power outputs and smaller frame. Porsche’s racing engineers who also work on the GT products have now developed the ultimate track version of the 718 to date: the Cayman GT4 RS.
The Cayman GT4 has already been a success in both its iterations so far as a daily-driveable sportscar that is fun to throw around some twisty roads. But there was always a niche hankering for a slightly more aggressive, more dialled-in version and that’s what the new GT4 RS is meant to be. Its 4-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six powerplant now makes 493bhp and 450Nm from the 911 GT3 but more potent in the smaller and lighter body of the GT4 RS. That’s 79bhp and 29Nm more than what you get from the regular GT4 but it does miss out on the option of a manual shifter and is only available with the 7-speed PDK. Porsche quotes a 0-100kph sprint time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 315kph.
Only the ultimate track toys get the ‘RS’ suffix and the GT4 RS is no different. The increase in engine performance is only part of its evolution. It’s also been on a strict diet to bring the weight down along with bespoke bits for the chassis and model-specific suspension tuning. In its lightest configuration, the GT4 RS is 35kg lighter than a GT4 with the PDK thanks to the carbon fibre hood and rear wing. It also has lesser insulation, lightweight glass for the rear windows, loops and straps for the doors, and optional Magnesium wheels. The GT4RS also sits 30mm lower than standard and has lots of clever aero to keep it glued to the tarmac. It has a manually-adjustable front splitter, a swan-neck fixed rear wing (also manually adjustable), a more aggressive rear diffuser, more underbody aero and louvres on the front arches. Porsche estimates a gain of around 25 percent more downforce on the Cayman GT4 RS.
We also have some added vents for the larger GT3 engine in this rear mid-engine layout, such as the NACA ducts on the hood and the intakes behind the windows that are level with the passengers’ heads. This intake feeds the airbox just behind the seats and is a key characteristic of the experience inside the cabin. Another exterior difference is the design of the titanium exhaust tips which look a lot racier than the tips of the standard Cayman GT4.
All these changes culminate in a large improvement towards the car’s dynamic performance. In the hands of Porsche’s supremely capable Jörg Bergmeister, this hardcore Cayman was able to complete the 20.823km lap of the Nürburging Nordschleife in 7min09.3secs. That’s only 10 seconds slower than the latest GT3. The old benchmark version of 20.6km was complete in 7min04.511secs which is 23.6 seconds faster than the regular GT4!
There are no drastic changes to the cabin for the RS version of the Cayman GT4, apart from the weight saving measures and the roll cage. It also gets Race-Tex for the dashboard upholstery, a beautifully-shaped gear selector, visible bits of carbon fibre and analog dials in the instrument cluster.
The Cayman GT4 RS is not just an answer to people’s wishes, but also the last chance to do something fun with this platform. Future Caymans will be electrified and won’t be able to offer all the aspects of driving joy, especially the noise of a high-revving naturally-aspirated engine. So, the GT4 RS is the party piece, the chance to let loose and celebrate the brilliance of a track-centric Cayman that plays the role of a baby 911 GT3. It’s not a limited-run model either so a fair few are expected to be made even with a starting price of around €141,000.
The GT4 RS debuted alongside the track-only GT4 RS Clubsport and you can see how little they differ:
Would you pick the Cayman GT4 RS over the 911 GT3? Or go for a regular GT4 and tinker with it yourself? Let us know what you make of the craziest version of Porsche’s entry-level sports car in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and our socials (@autoloons on Twitter and Instagram) to keep up with our latest updates and more.