The most extreme Cayman ever built is on its way for 2020!

The 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is an upcoming high-performance variant of the 982-generation Cayman that’s rumored to debut in 2020. Essentially a more aggressive and powerful version of the existing 718 Cayman GT4, the 2021 will be the first of its kind and the first modern 718 to feature the "RS" badge. This car has been in the rumor mill ever since the first Cayman GT4 was introduced in 2015, but it took Porsche around four years to turn it into reality. Better late than never, I guess.

The 2021 718 Cayman GT4 RS is more than just a rumor now. The car has already been spotted on public roads with some camouflage on its body, but also with a beefed-up exterior. It features bigger vents in the front, a big rear wing, and many small details that set it apart from the already familiar GT4. Just like the latter, the 2021 718 Cayman GT4 RS will feature the 911’s 4.0-liter flat-six under the hood, but in a more powerful setup. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.

Exterior

  • Larger front bumper vents
  • Bigger splitter
  • Larger side vents
  • Covered quarter windows
  • Massive rear wing
  • Redesigned diffuser
  • Lightweight wheels
  • The most aggressive Cayman yet
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Porsche will reshape the front bumper air vents and will add a larger splitter

The prototype spotted on public roads doesn’t feature a lot of camo, but like other Porsche test cars, everything is painted black, so it’s hard to spot the small details, while some features look as if they’re not ready to go into production. However, this prototype gives us a good idea of what to expect. And it’s a beefed-up Cayman GT4 with race-inspired add-ons.

Just like the 718 Cayman GT4 that Porsche unveiled for the 2020 model year, the GT4 RS is based on the 982-generation Cayman that the German firm introduced in 2016. The front fascia is actually identical to the regular GT4. The central intake and the side vents are just as big, and the RS even features the same three-hole vertical insert in front of the wheels. The splitter appears to be a bit bigger, but it’s barely noticeable. This doesn’t mean that the GT4 RS will look just like the GT4 in the front. It just means that Porsche maybe didn’t finish the design or add the extra aero bits.

My best guess is that Porsche will reshape the main air vents and will add a larger splitter. It could also feature a more prominent center section that incorporates the nose and the central intake, like seen on the race-spec GT4 Clubsport.

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The profile boasts more notable changes, starting with larger vents on the rear fenders. Interestingly enough, these are bigger than the ones seen on the race-spec GT4 Clubsport and confirm that there’s a more potent engine under the rear deck. The quarter window is also covered on this model, with race-inspired strakes carved into what appears to be a composite cover. The quarter window panel is covered with black tape, but the fit and finish is good enough so we’ll definitely see it on the production model. The wheels also seem unique to this model, featuring a twin-spoke design and a thin rim. These wheels should be notably lighter than the usual rollers, but they’re not made from carbon fiber. I wonder if Porsche will offer such an option though.

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This test car features a much bigger rear wing

Just like the front end, the rear of the test mule is identical to the regular Cayman GT4. However, this pre-production vehicle features an additional red light just above the "Porsche" lettering on the deck lid, as well as a much bigger wing. Not only wider, the wing also sits higher above the deck lid thanks to new-design posts. The latter are abnormally big for a road car (and even for a few race cars), so they might be redesigned for production. The way the wing itself slides into the posts suggests an active design, but Porsche will surely revise the vertical elements. It’s not just the weird design, but they’re not very aerodynamic due to the fact that they extend too much above the wing.

Everything else seems borrowed from the standard Cayman GT4, but the RS should also feature a new diffuser in production form. Expect a larger element with bigger wings and maybe even repositioned exhaust pipes. A couple of extra vents could also find their way into the rear bumper for cooling duty.

Interior

  • Based on Cayman GT4
  • Alcantara upholstery
  • Carbon-fiber seats
  • "RS" badges
  • Porsche’s latest tech
  • Sportier steering wheel
  • Optional roll cage
  • Optional Clubsport package
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
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While the carbon seats are optional in the GT4, the GT4 RS could include them as standard equipment

Our paparazzi didn’t shoot the interior of the prototype, but it’s not much of a mystery. Just like the bigger 911, the GT4 RS will be a Cayman GT4 with extra features inside the cabin. The GT4 upgrade is already consistent compared to the standard Cayman. It adds a GT Sport steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara and fitted with a black marker at the 12 o’clock position, a shorter gear lever for a more direct feel when changing gears, also in Alcantara.

It also comes with a Sport Seats Plus package as standard, which includes sportier seats with raised side bolsters and seating surfaces covered in Alcantara. Porsche also offers full bucket seats or electrically adjustable 18-way Adaptive Sport seats as well.

The air conditioning and the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with Sound Package Plus are fitted as standard, while the infotainment system can be upgraded with navigation, Porsche Connect, and Apple CarPlay. You can also opt for body-colored seat belts, door pull loops, and contrast stitching.

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Interior
- image 769920
The Germans could also offer a Clubsport package, like they do with the 911 GT3 RS

Many of these features will carry over into the GT4 RS as well, but Porsche will add extras, while some options will become standard. Expect "RS" badges on the dashboard and the seats and, just like the 911 GT3 RS, it should come with a steering wheel from the 918 Spyder. While the carbon seats are optional in the GT4, the GT4 RS could include them as standard equipment. The adjustable sports seats, which are notably more comfortable than the carbon units, will be offered as no-cost options.

The Cayman GT4 RS will also feature lightweight door panels and the cloth door pull loops as standard.

You should also have access to a wide variety of elements wrapped in leather or Alcantara, a choice of aluminum and carbon-fiber trim, including door sills and floor mats.

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
- image 846707
While it may be far-fetched, Porsche could also introduce a Weissach package

The Germans could also offer a Clubsport package, like they do with the 911 GT3 RS. This should be inspired by the Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car and add features like a roll-over bar, a fire extinguisher, a battery disconnect switch, and six-point seat harnesses.

While it may be far-fetched, Porsche could also introduce a Weissach package for this extreme Cayman. Already available for the 911 GT3 RS, it includes goodies like carbon-fiber trim for the steering wheel and gearshift paddles, a "Weissach" logo on the cupholder cover, and "Weissach" embroidered headrests.

Drivetrain

  • 4.0-liter flat-six
  • Around 440 horsepower
  • 0 to 60 in four seconds
  • Top speed at 190 mph
  • Six-speed manual
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Race-spec suspension
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
- image 845901
The Cayman GT4 RS could arrive with around 440 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of twist

The standard Cayman GT4 arrived with a big surprise under the hood. Despite the normal Cayman ditching naturally aspirated flat-six units for turbocharged flat-four engines, the GT4 remains true to the naturally aspirated layout. What’s more, Porsche opted to stuff a larger 4.0-liter flat-six under the rear hood.

Loosely based on the 4.0-liter flat-six in the 911 GT3 RS, the engine in the Cayman GT4 cranks out a solid 414 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque.

That’s an extra 34 horsepower over the old Cayman GT4 and an additional 53 horses over the current Cayman GTS. Naturally, the RS badge will come with extra oomph, but don’t expect a massive improvement.

The 911 GT3 RS, for instance, boasts an extra 20 horsepower over the GT3. That’s 520 versus 500 horsepower, so we’re talking less than five percent. Rumors are talking about 450 horsepower, but I think it will be less than that. My bet is on around 440 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of twist, a rating that will put the GT4 RS 26 horses and 11 pound-feet above the Cayman GT4. While the improvement won’t be massive, it will be enough to make the GT4 RS the most powerful Cayman ever built. What’s more, the more aggressive aero package and the lighter curb weight will make it quicker too.

2021 Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS
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The Cayman GT4 RS could accelerate to 60 mph in 4.1 or even four seconds flat

Specifically, while the Cayman GT4 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, the GT4 RS will do it in 4.1 or even four seconds flat. That’s only a second slower than the notably more powerful and more expensive Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Top speed should be at least on par with the Cayman GT4. The latter is rated at a cool 188 mph and Porsche will probably increase it to around 190 mph.

The big question is, will Porsche keep the GT4 RS manual or pair the 4.0-liter flat-six engine to a PDK? Well, the Cayman GT4 features a six-speed manual only, so the RS could carry over with the same gearbox. That’s great news for purists, but it’s not the ideal setup if you’re looking for lightning-fast performance at the track. The PDK automatic would be the better option here, but it’s unlikely that Porsche will ditch the manual. If the Germans go with the manual, it should feature the Auto Blip function that automatically matches gearbox and engine speeds during a downshift. This feature can be activated or deactivated at the touch of a button.

2021 Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS Exterior Spyshots
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Will Porsche keep the GT4 RS manual or pair the 4.0-liter flat-six engine to a PDK?

Just like the GT4, the GT4 RS should feature a track-bred Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system with adaptive dampers that lowers the ride height by up to 1.2 inches compared to the standard model. It also allows manual adjustment of camber, toe, and anti-roll bar settings. It will also feature a mechanical limited-slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and recalibrated ABS, electronic stability (ESC), and traction (TC) control systems. Other features borrowed from the GT4 should include the 911 GT3-spec front axle and 911 GT3 braking system. However, Porsche may add the Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system as standard. Of course, all the features above will have revised settings to handle the RS’ extra oomph.

Should Porsche add a Weissach package for the Cayman GT4 RS, also expect anti-roll bars and end links made from carbon fiber, features that should save more than 10 pounds.

Prices

2021 Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS Exterior Spyshots
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Pricing for the upcoming Cayman GT4 RS is obviously still a mystery at this point, but we do know that the Cayman GT4 retails from $99,200. This means that the RS will fetch more than $100,000 before options. How much more? Well, the 911 GT3 RS was around 26-percent more expensive than the 911 GT3, so we can expect a similar increase. That said, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS will probably cost around $125,000. This sticker will make it the most expensive Cayman in history. Not only that, but the Cayman GT4 RS will cost at least $5,000 more than the Porsche 911 GTS.

Competition

Lotus Evora GT430

2017 Lotus Evora GT430
- image 726135

The Evora might be a bit long in the tooth since it’s 10 years old as of 2019, but it still has what it takes to give the Cayman GT4 RS a run for its money. Actually, the Evora GT430 was a bit too quick for the Cayman GT4, so the GT4 RS is a proper response for the British coupe. For 2019, Lotus updated the sports car with a new body and a more powerful engine. The supercharged, 3.5-liter V-6 cranks out 410 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. While it might not be as powerful as the Cayman GT4 RS, it will offer a bit more torque. But figures aside, the Evora GT430 accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, so it should be at least a tenth-second quicker than the Cayman GT4 RS. The GT430 tops out at 186 mph, only a tad below the German coupe. Unlike the GT4 RS, the Lotus comes with an optional automatic transmission. Pricing starts from around $90,000, so it’s notably more affordable than the 718 Cayman GT4 RS.

Read our full story on the 2019 Lotus Evora GT430.

Conclusion

2021 Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS Exterior Spyshots
- image 862507

Porsche might not have confirmed the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, but this mid-engined sports car is definitely heading into production. And this is big news, as the German firm is finally exploring the full potential of its mid-engined sports cars. And while it might sound ludicrous, the Cayman GT4 RS might be cooler than the 911 GT3, simply because the engine is mounted in the right place. It might not be as powerful as the 911 GT3 RS, but it could be quicker at the race track. Given that the Cayman GT4 laps the Nurburgring in less than 7:30 minutes, the GT4 RS could shave at least 15, if not 20 seconds off that benchmark. This means that it could be as fast as the 918 Spyder supercar. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.

  • Leave it
    • Not confirmed yet
    • Slower than top-tier Lotus Evora
    • Expensive
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert
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 More
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