Is There Room For A More Potent GT4 RS Variant In The Porsche Cayman Lineup?
Yes, there’s plenty of room for itby Kirby Garlitos, on
When Porsche unveiled the Cayman GT4 back in 2015, it did so with little idea of the demand the track-focused Cayman would end up having. But as is the case with Porsche, fans of the brand came out and gave the Cayman GT4 a rousing welcome and that reception has apparently given Stuttgart enough confidence to consider a more powerful Cayman GT4 RS that could have, among other things, a 4.0-liter engine that can deliver in excess of 500 horsepower.
Granted, Porsche has yet to confirm this plan, but according to Auto Express, the German automaker is keeping a close eye on the possibility of building a Cayman GT4 RS in order to add more potency to a Cayman lineup whose popularity has soared in recent years thanks to a dedicated approach by Porsche in giving the model, together with the Boxster, a specific niche of its own that’s independent to that of the iconic 911 lineup.
Having a Cayman GT4 RS would give the Cayman line the equivalent of Porsche’s 911 GT3. The rumored use of a detuned version of a 4.0-liter flat-six engine is one of the most notable pieces of information we have at this point. The expected power output of 500 horsepower would also give the GT4 RS a significant shot of extra power compared to the 385-horsepower GT4. To bridge that performance gap even further, there are also rumors that Porsche will make the GT4 RS as light as possible, to the tune of at least 132 pounds dropped compared to the GT4.
Needless to say, a range-topping, 500-horsepower Cayman GT4 RS has the potential to be a model-shaker for Porsche. For now though, the German automaker has yet to make any formal announcements on such a car, opting instead to focus its attention on other models that are ready for launch, including the 911 GT3, which is expected to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Is this a smart move to bring the Cayman and 911 models closer together?
Part of the appeal of the Porsche Cayman centered on the fact that it was a legitimate entry-level sports car that didn’t impede on the massive territory occupied by the Porsche 911. Apparently, that model has served the Cayman well because it has turned into a popular model of its own, especially among those who are priced out of getting the 911.
But here’s the question though: does a 500-horsepower Cayman GT4 RS make sense if it’s only going to break into the territory of the Porsche 911?
I get it that the Cayman GT4 RS is going to be packaged as a track-focused car so there’s a unique niche there that can render my question irrelevant. If it does get that treatment, the RS could even be tailored specifically for track use with little to no interior amenities to speak of. There’s even talk of adding race car options like a half roll-cage and a fire extinguisher into the mix. Those qualities at least put a qualifier to the model and in some ways, it could even be packaged as a “more affordable” version of the 911 GT3. Both models are completely track-focused and Porsche could use the Cayman GT4 RS as a gateway or a preview of bigger things to come for those who want a track-ready Porsche without having to pay for the costs that come with the more expensive 911 GT3.
Those scenarios are all in play, but I still get the feeling that Porsche is succumbing to huge customer demand here. The Cayman GT4 RS may end up being built and it may end up being successful. That’s a likelihood I’m confident in. But to do so at the expense of blurring the lines between the range-topping Cayman and the standard 911s could end up being a tricky situation to navigate in the future. That or I may be just overthinking this, which is also possible.
Porsche Cayman GT4 - Specifications
|Horsepower||385 HP @ 7,400 RPM|
|Torque||310 LB-FT @ 4,750–6,000 RPM|
|0 to 60 mph||4.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||183 mph|
Read our full review on the current Porsche Cayman GT4 here.