With January barely up to operating temperature, our friends in Weissach have already pulled the covers off a new car. Opening its account in 2019 with typical flare, the GT Department has revealed the latest edition to its customer racing programme, the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
It’s only three years since the original Cayman GT4 Clubsport was launched, a hugely successful customer race car that also spawned a now legendary road-going derivative. The new car uses the acclaimed 718 platform, but introduces numerous unprecedented performance upgrades to provide a highly competitive racer right out of the box.
Powering the 718 GT4 Clubsport is a dry-sumped 3.8-litre flat-six engine producing 430 hp (313 kW) at 7,500rpm. Compared to its predecessor, this represents a 40 hp increase in output and makes this the first 718 of any description to be fitted with a six-cylinder engine.
Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox and mechanical rear diff. Up front, the lightweight spring-strut suspension has been borrowed from the 911 GT3 Cup car and an uprated racing brake system features 380 mm diameter steel discs all round.
Inside it is a typically spartan racing environment, with a welded roll cage, single Recaro racing bucket seat and six-point harness replacing all the creature comforts you would normally find in a road car. But this extreme weight saving sees the new GT4 Clubsport tip the scales at just 1,320 kg.
The instrumentation is provided by Cosworth and includes an integrated data logger. The cockpit also benefits from air conditioning and an FIA approved roof escape hatch. The Clubsport comes with all the bells and whistles of Porsche’s advanced PSM stability system too, with ABS, traction control and Electronic Stability Control, all of which can be simply and completely deactivated.
In developing the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the focus was put not only on further improved driveability and faster lap times but also on the sustainable use of raw materials. The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the first ever production race car to feature body parts made of natural-fibre composite material. The driver and passenger doors and the rear wing are made of an organic fibre mix, sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibres. Remarkably, these materials feature similar properties to carbon fibre in terms of weight and stiffness.
Another first for the GT4 Clubsport is that, depending on your market, it can be ordered in in two versions: the ‘Trackday’ model and the ‘Competition’ variant for national and international motor racing. The ‘Competition’ model features a raft of extra details geared towards racing. The shock absorbers are three-stage adjustable, the safety fuel tank has a capacity of 115 litres for long-distance events and thanks to a brake balance system, bias can be infinitely adjusted between the front and rear axle. An integrated air jack system also guarantees fast pit stops while the quick-release racing steering wheel adopted from the 911 GT3 R ensures a range of adjustment options for the individual needs of different drivers.
“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.”
The new car is available to order immediately and will be delivered to teams and drivers around the world from February.