In 2015, Porsche launched the Cayman GT4 and started a new chapter for its entry-level sports car. Overshadowed for many years by the 911, the Cayman finally received the high-performance update it deserved, giving Porsche enthusiasts a more affordable, mid-engined alternative to the mighty 911 GT3. As soon as the Cayman GT4 arrived, rumors surfaced about a more powerful GT4 RS version, but Porsche denied it. It turns out Porsche had bigger plans for the GT4, which was being prepared to go racing.

Dubbed the GT4 Clubsport, the Cayman-based race car was unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. The mid-engined coupe will be homologated for a number of racing series around the world. In the U.S., the GT4 Clubsport will be eligible for series’ such as the Pirelli World Challenge, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and club races run by the Porsche Club of America.

Needless to say, Porsche’s intentions with this track-prepped GT4 are more than obvious. With the 911 GT3 and its many race-spec iterations already dominating various competitions, the Germans want to up the ante in lower classes as well, where privateers have struggled to achieve success with modified versions of the Cayman S.

It remains to be seen whether the GT4 Clubsport will have what it takes to win races, but until it hits the track at full speed, let’s find out what sets it apart from its road-going sibling and what race-bred technologies it hides under the skin.

Updated 11/18/2015: The new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport made its world debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

  • 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    385
  • Displacement:
    3.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    165000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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As expected, the GT4 Clubsport is heavily based on the road-going Cayman GT4 and sports only minor changes on the outside. Ignore the livery and the race-spec wheels and you’re basically looking at the street-legal GT4. To spot the differences, you’ll need to look very closely.

One detail that's very easy to miss is the pair of pins that keep the front hood in place.

One detail that’s very easy to miss is the pair of pins that keep the front hood in place. That’s also the only item that sets the Clubsport’s front fascia apart from the GT4’s. Things are pretty much the same around back, where a pair of pins keeps the engine hood in place. There’s also a "Clubsport" logo underneath the usual "Porsche" lettering on the bumper, but everything else is standard Cayman GT4 business. Even the wing, the diffuser, and the exhaust pipes were carried over unchanged.

That’s not a bad thing though, as it speaks volumes about the Cayman GT4’s ability as a track machine. When a road-going vehicle needs no aerodynamic updates to become a full-fledged race car, it’s a strong sign that it was engineered with performance in mind.

As mentioned earlier, the GT4 Clubsport comes with a set of lightweight, race-spec wheels. The multi-spoke rims measure 18 inches at all four corners and are shod in grippy Michelin tires. Then there’s the gray and yellow livery, which will most likely remain a show feature, with privateers going for their own paint schemes.

Interior

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Interior
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Unlike the exterior, the interior is a massive departure from the road-going GT4. Porsche ditched the standard seats for a racing bucket with a six-point harness, and added the mandatory welded-in safety roll cage. The Germans also removed everything but the dashboard to save as much weight as possible, so don’t expect to find a center console, floor mats, door panels, or any of the convenience features offered with the road-legal Cayman GT4.

A bespoke instrument cluster replaced the standard unit, while the Cayman’s three-spoke steering wheel made way for a flat-bottom unit wrapped in Alcantara. Since the Clubsport employs a racing dual-clutch transmission, the GT4’s manual stick was replaced with a pair of paddle shifters.

Drivetrain

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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Porsche says the GT4 Clubsport takes its juice from a 3.8-liter flat-six that generates 385 horsepower. The output is identical to the road-going GT4’s, which could mean the race car received the exact same engine. As a brief reminder, the Cayman GT4 features a modified version of the unit found in the previous 911 Carrera S.

Porsche says the GT4 Clubsport takes its juice from a 3.8-liter flat-six that generates 385 horsepower.

While engine components and output might be the same, the transmission isn’t. In its pursuit to make the GT4 Clubsport as quick as possible at the race track, Porsche replaced the standard six-speed manual with a race-spec, six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox with a mechanical locking differential.

Given that the GT4 Clubsport tips the scales at 2,866 pounds, which accounts for an 88-pound reduction over the road-going Cayman GT4, it should also be a lot quicker. Zero to 60 mph sprints aren’t that important at the race track, but the GT4 Clubsport should be able to hit the benchmark in less than four seconds.

As for the chassis, the Clubsport gained the same lightweight suspension strut front axle and rear strut suspension with transverse arms as the 911 GT3 Cup. Stopping power is provided by a racing brake system consisting of 15-inch steel rotors at all four corners, six-piston calipers at the front, and four-piston calipers to the rear. The anti-lock brake system can be adjusted in twelve stages, while the Electronic Stability Programing has been updated for slick tires.

The standard version is equipped with a 90-liter (23.7-gallon) fuel tank, but Porsche also offers optional 70-liter (18.5-gallon) or 100-liter FT3 safety tanks.

Pricing

In the United States, the new Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car is available directly from Porsche Motorsport North America for $165,000. That’s twice as much compared to the street-legal Cayman GT4, priced from $84,600, but significantly more affordable than the 911 GT3 Cup, which fetches more than $250,000.

In Europe, the race-spec coupe can be ordered from Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, Germany, for €111,000 plus country-specific VAT.

Competition

Ford Mustang Boss 302S

2014 Ford Mustang Boss 302S Exterior
- image 514375
Ford Racing looks prepared to release the Mustang Boss 302S in the first quarter of 2016. Have a look at what we think it has in store for us at TopSpeed.com.

Since it will likely replace the race-prepped Cayman S models that privateers race in the GTS class of the Pirelli World Challenge series, the GT4 Clubsport will face competition from automakers like Ford, Chevrolet, Aston Martin, and Kia. Having clinched the first three positions in the drivers’ championship at the end of the 2015 season, the Ford Mustang Boss 302S is definitely the car to beat in 2016. Very little is known about the upcoming model, but it should get the sixth-gen Mustang’s body, along with a range of engine and chassis upgrades.

Read more about the Ford Mustang Boss 302S here.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28R High Resolution Exterior
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Launched shortly after the road-going Z/28 arrived in dealerships, the Z/28.R will begin its third Pirelli World Challenge campaign in 2016. GM’s race-prepped coupe clinched the championship in 2014 ahead of the Porsche Cayman S and Kia Optima, but lost the 2015 title to the Mustang Boss 302 S, finishing fourth in the rankings. Although Chevy already launched a sixth-gen Camaro, the fifth-gen-based Z/28.R is likely to be around for at least a few more years.

Find out more about the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R here.

Conclusion

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
- image 656208

As soon as Porsche launched the GT4, it became quite clear that the Cayman nameplate will soon expand to include a factory-built race car. Stuttgart did just that with the GT4 Clubsport, which will give privateers a better race car for Porsche club racing events around the world. Modified versions of the Cayman S have had some success in the U.S., scoring multiple wins in the Pirelli World Challenge and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, but most of them were achieved by enthusiasts with no help from the factory whatsoever. With the GT4 Clubsport getting full support from Stuttgart, the Cayman will finally get the attention it deserves alongside the 911 GT3 Cup.

  • Leave it
    • * Tough competition in North America
    • * Expensive compared to its competitors

Updated History

Updated 10/27/2015: A leaked document on the upcoming Cayman GT4 Clubsport reveals that the track-only sports car will be priced at $165,000. Porsche is also offering air jacks priced at $4,200, Recaro bucket seats priced $3,900 and a few other spare parts that can increase price by about $10k. The new GT4 Clubsport will reach U.S. customers in February 2016.

Press Release

Porsche has added a new sports car for recreational and club racing to its fleet: The Cayman GT4 Clubsport celebrated its world premiere today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 283 kW (385 hp) mid-engine racer for motorsport newcomers, which is not road homologated, is based on the successful street-legal Cayman GT4 sports car. Sales of the racing car start with the unveiling at the trade show.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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Just like its exceptionally race-worthy production sibling, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport is powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six engine, positioned directly behind the driver’s seat. The racing version exclusively features a modified six-speed Porsche double clutch transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel and a mechanical rear-axle locking differential specifically for racing. The lightweight strut front axle is taken from its big 911 GT3 Cup brother, which is campaigned in Porsche’s 20 one-make championships around the world. Working at the rear is an enhanced lightweight strut suspension with transverse arms adopted from the 911 GT3 Cup. The impressively dimensioned racing brake system features 380-millimetre steel brake discs all round. Fitted at the front are one-piece, six-piston aluminium fixed callipers, with a four-piston equivalent at the rear. The anti-lock brake system can be adjusted in twelve stages. The Electronic Stability Programme has been expanded for slicks. The power steering is operated electro-mechanically.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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Tipping the scales at just 1,300 kilograms, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, delivered ex-works with a welded-in safety cage, a racing bucket seat as well as a six-point har-ness, is truly lightweight. The basic version is equipped with a 90-litre standard tank, with an optional 70-litre or 100-litre FT3 safety tank available. Mounted at the front axle are 18-inch five-bolt forged rims with Michelin tyres (25/64-18), with 18-inch five-bolt forged rims at the rear with 27/68-18 tyre dimensions.

The new Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which is available from 111,000 euro plus coun-try-specific VAT, can be ordered immediately from Porsche Motorsport in Weissach. For 2016, homologation is planned for race series such as the VLN Long Distance Championship Nürburgring, the SRO GT4 series, the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, the Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and for club races run by the Porsche Club of America, as well as for other club-level meetings around the world.

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