• The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is Here and the German Competition Should be Scared

The new version looks almost identical to the old one, even down to the presentation livery

Porsche’s new Cayman GT4 Clubsport comes with the same 3.8-liter boxer engine that’s capable of 425 horsepower thanks to a new intake manifold and a six-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. All of which, by the way, is hidden underneath an aluminum body that’s strikingly similar to the 2015 model, save for a bigger rear wing and a more aggressive splitter up front. Two versions will be available: a track day one and another that’s suited for full-blown competition.

The GT4 category in circuit racing has been burgeoning in the past few years. A decade ago, puny BMW Z4s, Nissan 350Zs or other sports cars with a virtually showroom-stock appearance to them romped away in this category. Now, however, things are vastly different. Huge automakers have put their money where their mouths were and invested in highly-advanced racing cars to race in this revamped category that, while still a step below GT3, is very serious indeed but still friendly enough to cater for gentleman drivers.

Porsche’s new GT4 racer will face stout competition from usual rivals like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi

Three years ago, when Porsche debuted the original Cayman Clubsport GT4, people remarked how similar it looked to the road-going, and much-loved, Cayman GT4.

The new car is still very similar to a 718 Cayman you'd happen to bump into on the road although the aerodynamic package has evolved visibly.

The air vents in the front bumper are bigger while the lip of the splitter extends further than before.

In the back, the diffuser is still minimalistic, with dual round exhausts sticking out, but the big change is the appearance of a much bigger wing that’s held in position by swang neck arms. The 2015 model had a much lower wing that sat neatly above the stock wing that’s incorporated in the rear fascia. This new model retains the stock wing too although it will have much more downforce at the back that’ll be balanced out by the bigger splitter.

The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is Here and the German Competition Should be Scared Exterior
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The bodywork of the car is made out of steel and aluminum although the doors and the rear wing are made from an organic fiber mix that, according to Porsche, "sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibers and feature similar properties to carbon fiber in terms of weight and stiffness."

This means that the new car weighs in at just 2,910 pounds, barely 44 pounds more than the old one.

Underneath the skin, the Clubsport GT4 soldiers on with the 6-cylinder 3.8-liter boxer engine as before, unlike the road car that sports a turbocharged 4-pot. This engine used to make 380 horsepower, just like on the 2015 road-going Cayman GT4, but the new race car benefits from a new intake manifold which helps the power jump up to 425 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 313.46 pound-feet of torque at 6,600 rpm. This aluminum block unit has a compression ratio of 12.5:1 and, as expected, comes with four-valve technology with adjustable camshaft phasing and variable valve timing.

The 425 horsepower that is now available reach the back wheels through a dual-clutch 6-speed PDK transmission with a mechanical locking differential. Suspension wise, the new Cayman racer boasts MacPherson struts all around with 3-way adjustable shock absorbers with rebound on the ’Competition’ version and the mandatory anti-roll bars. The shock absorbers are fixed, however, on the ’Track Day’ model.

The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is Here and the German Competition Should be Scared Exterior
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Stopping power is via six-piston ventilated 14.96-inch disc brakes with “Anti Knock Back” piston springs up front and four-piston disc brakes of the same size at the rear with the same type of piston springs.

The discs are made out of steel while the calipers are aluminum. They sit behind 18-inch one-piece light-alloy forged wheels.

Inside, the Cayman Clubsport GT4 is appropriately bare although the top of the dashboard with the two air vents on the center console has been retained from the production version. Otherwise, there’s only one seat, a full-on fire-repealing system and a compact racing wheel that tells you everything you need to know. Most of the buttons and knobs you’ll need to use are on the wheel as well, although some others have been placed on the center console.

As I mentioned, Porsche will offer the 718 Cayman Clubsport GT4 in two versions: ’Competition’ and ’Track Day’. The former is meant to be homologated by the FIA to be eligible in a number of series around the world like the Pirelli GT4 America championships, the plethora of European GT4 series, the IMSA-sanctioned Michelin Pilot Challenge and the Blancpain GT4 Asia among many, many others.

The ’Competition’ version comes with a 115-liter fuel tank, some 35 more than the FT3 fuel tank on the ’Track Day’ model. It also has a brake bias system so that the driver can adjust the bias between the front and rear axle. Air jacks are included too and it all costs just $179,114 plus VAT.

The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is Here and the German Competition Should be Scared Exterior
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In ’Track Day’ guise, the Cayman has air conditioning, while the ABS and traction control systems can be turned off. There’s also a safety hatch cut into the roof through which the driver can be extracted in case of an accident. It’s a safety feature that is standard to all FIA-homologated Porsche racing cars that have also trickled down to the track day specials like this one.

The price for a 'Track Day' 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport? A less steep $152,850, VAT not included.

So, if you’re an aspiring racer you may wonder if the Cayman is a good deal? With shipping kicking-off only in February, you’ll miss the IMSA Pilot Challenge season-opener at Daytona that’s scheduled for January 25th, but you can easily tackle the full Sprint or SprintX seasons - under the GT4 America banner - where the first round will take place in March. With this being a Porsche, you’ll never be out of parts and, judging by the fact that 421 chassis of the old model were sold, it’s a popular choice among racers.

But how does it stack up in terms of price compared to the opposition you’ll meet out on track? Let’s first look at the Porsche’s German rivals, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. All three offer a GT4 model currently, and the R8-based one is the most expensive with a list price of $245,396. The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT GT4 is cheaper at $226,962, but the BMW M4 GT4 is a bargain in comparison with a sticker price of just $190,000. The Audi proved effective in the GT4 America series last season (when it was still known as the Pirelli World Challenge Series) winning three titles with GMG’s James Sofronas. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-running Team TGM took the title in the IMSA series that also hosts GT4 machinery.

The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is Here and the German Competition Should be Scared Exterior
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So, the Porsche's rivals have been quite effective last season while the Porsche has laid dormant after dominating in the European GT4 series in its debut season, back in 2015. So, what other (cheaper) options are there?

The cheapest of the lot is the Ginetta G55 GT4 with an MSRP of $152,742. One of these claimed the title in the Am division of the SprintX championship with Drew Staveley driving for Ian Lacy Racing.

Then, there is also the weird KTM X-Bow GT4 at $173,536 and the McLaren 570S GT4 at $203.795. Finally, if you wish to run something American, there’s the Multimatic-built Mustang GT4 and there’s also a GT4-spec Camaro. Both of these cars have proved rather under-performing in Europe although they’ve been pacing the American tracks for a couple of years already. The Camaro is shockingly expensive at $259,000 but the 5.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 Mustang is much nicer to the wallet at just $188,293. It’s also over 440 pounds heavier than the Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport GT4 but you shouldn’t worry too much about that as every GT4 championship around the globe employs some sort of a BoP (Balance of Performance) system to broadly even out the cars and give everyone a chance at the win.

The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is Here and the German Competition Should be Scared Exterior
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At the end of the day, Porsche offers a reliable car with a tried and tested engine for a price that falls right around the middle of the pack without offering middle-of-the-pack performance. It could be a good buy if the Audi and Camaro seem too expensive for you or the Ginetta and KTM a bit too weird and finicky.

Further reading

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS Exterior Wallpaper quality
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317 pound-feet of torque

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Spyshots Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS.

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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