• The Track-Only Porsche Cayman GT4 Proves That Metal and Plastic Can Be Replaced With Natural Fibers

This track-only special is about as natural as you can get

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The 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR is a race-spec version of the road-going Cayman GT4. It is essentially identical to the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race that Porsche introduced in early 2019, but it features a body kit made from natural-fiber composite materials.

Porsche first introduced natural-fiber composite materials on the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which features doors and the rear wing made from this mix, but the MR version comes with an entire body crafted from fibers sourced from renewable raw materials. Developed specifically for the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race that took place in late September 2020, the 202 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR won’t become a full-fledged production, but the materials developed for it will probably be used on production models in the future.

What makes the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR special?

The Track-Only Porsche Cayman GT4 Proves That Metal and Plastic Can Be Replaced With Natural Fibers
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The Clubsport MR looks just like the first Clubsport model from 2019, but the newer model is made almost entirely out of natural-fiber composites.

While the 2019 version came with only the two doors and the rear wing made from this composite, Porsche integrated renewable materials throughout the body. Specifically, the Clubsport MR’s front and rear bumper, front splitter, front and rear hoods, the mudguards, the rear diffuser, and the aero fins are all made from regenerative materials. The natural-fiber composite replaces the metal and plastic injection molds usually used on production cars.

Does it impact stiffness? According to Porsche, these fibers have properties similar to carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, so they meet the same high safety and quality standards. They’re also similar when it comes to weight and, more importantly, they are cheaper to make.

The Track-Only Porsche Cayman GT4 Proves That Metal and Plastic Can Be Replaced With Natural Fibers
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Most components are made from a natural-fiber composite material that features farmed flax fibers as a core material. The doors, on the other hand, feature balsa wood as a core.

For the rear wing, Porsche impregnated the layers with epoxy resin and then baked it in an autoclave. The new components were created using a vacuum infusion process and contain a proprietary technology that fulfils stiffness requirements. Materials of varying thicknesses and fiber orientations were used depending on their purposes and load scenarios.

Porsche says that the damping of vibrations improves fivefold with this composite, which means that in the case of an crash, the body panels split into larger and less sharp pieces.

How powerful is the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR?

The Track-Only Porsche Cayman GT4 Proves That Metal and Plastic Can Be Replaced With Natural Fibers
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The MR model draws juice from the same naturally aspirated, 3.8-liter flat-six engine as the regular Clubsport. The engine cranks out 419 horsepower and 313 pound-feet of torque and mates to a six-speed PDK gearbox. The Clubsport MR is a bit more powerful that the road-legal 718 Cayman GT4.

This model features a slightly larger, 4.0-liter flat-six, but it generates 414 horses and 309 pound-feet of twist.
Porsche Cayman GT4 specifications
Engine Naturally aspirated boxer 6
Displacement 4.0 liters
Horsepower 414 HP @ 7,600 RPM
Torque 309 LB-FT @ 5,000-6,800 RPM
0 to 60 mph 4.2 seconds
Top Speed 188 mph

Who’s racing the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR?

The Track-Only Porsche Cayman GT4 Proves That Metal and Plastic Can Be Replaced With Natural Fibers
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This car was fielded for the 2020 24 Hours of Nurburgring by Four Motors and Project 1 Motorsport. The result of a collaboration between Porsche, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Fraunhofer WKI, and Swiss company Bcomp, the Clubsport MR raced at the Nurburgring in a special class as a "bio-concept car." The vehicle does not have homologation to compete in the SRO racing series, which includes GT3 and GT4 cars. However, Porsche says that if the test outing, "it is likely that Manthey-Racing will offer the parts kit to customers."

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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