The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport is a no-nonsense, competition version of the normal GT4 RS, and it’s epic!by Dim Angelov, on LISTEN 06:41
Porsche is on a row, as it announces special editions of its 911 and 718 models. At this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show they, once again, introduced a track-only version of the Cayman, called the GT4 RS Clubsport. The mid-engine race car from Weisscach is based on the Porsche 718 GT4 RS, which also debuts on this year’s auto exhibition, in Los Angeles.
This is the third iteration of the Porsche 718 that is race-bred, following the 2019, 987-based Cayman GT4 Clubsport and the 2016 Cayman GT4 Clubsport before it. As before, the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport is ready to hit the racetracks, from the factory.
Being based on the also new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, the GT4 RS Clubsport is motivated by the same 4.0-liter, normally-aspirated flat-six engine that makes 493 horsepower and 343 pound-feet (465 Nm). While it matches the power output of the 991 GT3 RS and 991.2 GT3, the engine is actually that of a 911 GT3 CUP racecar. This is also a significant bump in power from the previous GT4 Clubsport, which had 425 horsepower and 313 pound-feet (425 Nm) from a 3.8-liter, normally-aspirated flat-six.
The GT4 RS Clubsport is 18 percent more powerful than the previous model. Its 4.0-liter flat-six also revs higher, making its peak power at 8,300 RPM - 800 RPM higher than the previous GT4 Clubsport. Peak torque is achieved at 6,000 RPM and the redline is 9,000 RPM.
The 2022 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport also utilizes a seven-speed PDK gearbox, instead of the previous model’s six-speed PDK unit and features shorter gear ratios. Porsche claims that, depending on the track and series, the new GT4 RS Clubsport can achieve lap times, over two percent quicker than the previous Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The vehicle is also fully homologated and ready for use in SRO racing series, without any additional modifications.
Michael Dreiser – Manager of Sales and Distribution at Porsche Motorsport – said that the GT4 RS Clubsport has been developed, by combining the company’s previous racing experience with customers’ wishes. This was done in order to improve the car’s drivability and deliver a competitive product for future GT4 class competitions.
Numerous chassis improvements are also present on the GT4 RS Clubsport. Porsche’s latest GT4 features completely revised dampening technology, in order to maximize responsiveness and body control. The suspension features two-way adjustable shocks with three different spring rates available and sword-type anti-roll bars on both axles. The suspension setup allows for height, camber, and toe adjustments.
A motorsport version of the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) is also available and includes an updated stability control system, as well as switches for ABS and Traction Control (TC). Stopping power has been entrusted to 380mm steel brake discs.
The Porsche GT4 RS Clubsport aerodynamics are designed to work with the enhanced chassis, for optimal control over the car. Specially-designed NACA ducts aid in cooling while the front dive planes and extended front spoiler increase front downforce, negating the risk of front-end lift.
One of the more distinctive exterior elements is the 911 GT3 R-inspired vents on the front wheel arches. The car also features air curtains that reduce turbulence around the front of the car and the underbody is fully enclosed. All this optimizes the airflow towards the rear diffuser. The tall rear wing features swan necks, just like on the latest Porsche 911 GT3 and has been given a 20mm long Gurney flap as well as two-stage adjustability.
Fully Equipped For Racing
Under the purposeful body, the GT4 RS Clubsport is just as race-focused. It features fore and aft-adjustable Recaro seats with six-point racing harnesses, compliant with the 2023 safety requirements, and a welded-in roll-cage. It also features safety nets, safety foam on the driver’s side, fire extinguishers, and a built-in air jack system.
At the back, there is an FT3 fuel-cell with a 115-liter (30.38 gallons) capacity. Two exhaust systems are available for the GT4 RS Clubsport, in order to be able to compete on racetracks with stricter noise limits. Porsche has made sure to prepare the new GT4 for the later addition of homologated headlights or openings for fast refueling, which would enable quick conversion to nighttime driving.
Competitive and Sustainable
The 2019 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which was based on the 981 generation 718, was the first production car to feature body parts made of renewable natural-fiber composite materials. This is even truer for the GT4 RS Clubsport, as it features even more extensive use of such materials.
Parts such as the doors, wings, hood, ground effects at the front, and even the steering wheels are made of flax-based material. Porsche believes this is a viable alternative to carbon fiber and its use in motorsports will evaluate its applicability for road cars.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport may have a mouthful of a name, but it is the culmination of Porsche’s racing expertise and engineering, with regards to the GT4 racing class. Moreover, it’s going to be used as a testbed for the next-generation composite materials and road-car tech, which is what the German company has done for over 70 years.