New Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport gets 425hp flat-six and 'hemp fibre' doors
The previous generation Cayman GT4 was a smash hit – a fast, fun and hyper-focused track car for the road which for a little over £66,000 was the bargain of the century. Now we have a glimpse into the new 718 generation Cayman GT4, thanks to the newly released GT4 Clubsport – an entry level track-only car aimed at the track day enthusiast and amateur racers.
The flat-six is back, baby!
While the standard 718 Cayman controversially lost its naturally aspirated flat-six engine in favour of a turbocharged flat-four, the 718 GT4 Clubsport managed to escape with its 3.8 litre naturally aspirated flat-six intact. It has more power too. Thanks to a new intake system it now develops 425hp – 40hp more than before. All this power is sent to the rear only, via a Porsche six-Speed PDK double-clutch transmission.
Oh – and it looks gorgeous.
But the most innovative bit of tech on the car lies in the the materials it's made off. The doors and rear wing are made of 'natural fibre', which according to Porsche is "an organic fibre mix, which is sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibres, and feature similar properties to carbon fibre in terms of weight and stiffness."
The car weighs in at just 1320kgs which is 20kgs more than the previous model. Just like the old GT4, this one gets a front spring-strut suspension from the 911 GT3 Cup car and 380mm steel disc brakes all around. The rear suspension uses McPherson strut with adjustable blade-type adjustable anti-roll bar.
It's now available in 'Trackday' and 'Competition' flavour
Porsche offers the new GT4 in two flavours: a milder and cheaper option called the 'Trackday' for the enthusiast doing track days, and a more race suited 'Competition' variant for, well, competition use.
The 'Trackday' spec gets an 80 litre FT3 fuel cell and retains ABS, ESC and TC systems which allow more forgiving limit handling characteristics (although all that can be switched off). It also manages to get away with its air-con intact. You also get a hand-held fire extinguisher. The 'Trackday' spec is priced at 134,000 Euros plus country specific VAT.
The 'Competition' spec gets a few extra goodies, such as shock absorbers that can be adjusted in three stages, a larger 115-litre fuel cell, a brake balance adjustment system and fancy integrated air-jack system to help your pit crew out. You also get the steering wheel from the 911 GT3R and an automatic fire extinguisher. 'Competition' spec comes at a cool 157,000 Euros plus country-specific VAT.
Both versions get a fully welded-in roll cage, six-point harness and a roof escape hatch (all to FIA specification) and can be serviced at all Porsche Centres.
The cars are available to order now and are expected for delivery in February 2019.
“The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport possesses significantly more racing genes than its successful predecessor,” says Porsche’s head of motorsport Fritz Enzinger.
“The power of the engine has increased considerably. At the same time, we were able to increase the downforce and the cockpit is now even better suited to drivers’ needs.
"I’m confident that we can build on the excellent sales figures of the predecessor, of which we have delivered 421 cars.”
What does this mean for the road going GT4 Cayman? A lot of good!
The main problem people have with the new Cayman is the flat-four turbo engine. It's not a bad engine, it just lacks the spirit of the old naturally aspirated flat-six it had before. Luckily since the last gen GT4 Clubsport used the same engine as the road-going GT4, we can be near certain that the upcoming GT4 will come with the known and loved six pot lump. Which is a very good thing indeed. With great looks, lightweight construction and sharp handling it's almost certainly destined to be another smash hit for which demand will outstretch the supply. Let's just hope they will let it keep the six-speed manual and the bargain price tag.
Why do people hate the flat-4 and are they justified?
With the flat-six engine, light-weight nature and sharp handling the last Cayman didn't exactly feel nor look like a poor man's 911. It was a car of its own that in certain circumstances could rival its bigger brother. Maybe that's why Porsche decide to castrate it and chop off two of its cylinders. Yes it's more efficient, making the EU and polar bears happy, but without that flat-six spirit, it truly seems like a poor man's Porsche again. Personally, I just can't imagine a GT4 with anything less than a flat-six, but then again maybe I am being overly dramatic? After all History is full of awesome four-cylinder Porsches: the 356, the 914 and the 550 Spyder, so maybe the 718 isn't that bad?
Let me know what you think of 4-cylinder Porsches down below!
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