Porsche has transformed the 718 Cayman into a race-ready GT4 RS with a naturally aspirated four-liter engine. The new top-of-the-range mid-engined design is as stylish as it is modern.
“The last car to be built will be a sports car,” predicted Ferry Porsche, son of car designer and brand founder Ferdinand Porsche. The end of the age of the car is not yet in sight – regardless of the problem of raw materials, supply constraints and changes in mobility, more than 140,000 new cars were registered in Switzerland from January to the end of August 2022, and the demand for environmental friendliness is increasing. models put the machine to work. But assuming the car faded from our street scene: the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS would be a fitting conclusion.
Indeed, the development over the old top Cayman GT4, which has been improved by 80 to 500 hp, is primarily a track tool – ie designed for the race track. The boxer’s 4.0-liter, naturally aspirated rather than naturally aspirated 6-cylinder was derived from the Le Mans class-winning 911 RSR, as was the freestanding rear wing and gooseneck linkage. The combat weight of 1415 kg is due, among other things, to lightweight materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic and reduced thermal insulation material. Every element and every part, from the aerodynamics to the chassis, brakes and dual-clutch transmission to the mechanical limited-slip differential, has been optimized for maximum performance. And if you do, because the optional Weissach package with body parts made of visible carbon, roll cage and titanium rear pipe and forged wheels made of magnesium are also part of it. The result: 2.83 kg/hp, 3.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, a Porsche-reported dream lap time on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife of 7:09,300 – and initially some helplessness about what to do with such a car inside. public road traffic will begin.
A fixed drive machine
Because the GT4 is neither practical (only two seats and little storage space) nor satisfying (13.2 l/100 km average consumption!), nor particularly comfortable (the chassis informs you of every piece of chewing gum that the 20-inch wheels roll . on asphalt). . If you respect the speed limit, you can get from A to B faster than with any small car that drives at a maximum speed of 120 instead of 315 km / h. And don’t forget to raise the front of the car at the push of a button, no matter how low the traffic threshold is, as low as a sports car bending down and expensive at a base price of CHF 176,900! But it’s not, but mainly because the GT4 RS as a road model avoids any meaning and instead celebrates what the car’s detractors are so fond of misjudging – namely that rough roads have become a place of aspiration and something to enjoy. an extended individuality, a daily escape vehicle and an adrenaline rush that is very appealing.
In any case, during the test week, it not only shows its strength on paper and on the race track. Friends and family members who “usually aren’t too crazy about cars, but…” definitely want to join us for a ride. The neighborhood kids should be able to draw on the fact that they were once behind the wheel of a GT4 RS (parked, of course). In Zurich’s Bellevue, the mobile phones and cameras of many car viewers suddenly appear from the crowd of passers-by (all representatives of the supposed Friday-for-Later generation, by the way). Not to mention the inescapable exhilaration as the revving engine swells to over 8000rpm as this perfectly tuned driving machine carves its way through corners with incredible precision and firm road grip. A feast for the senses? No, the concert sounds like bratwurst, wooden chairs and respectful applause. How the engine screams, roars and slides, how the intake air is directed at ear level towards the engine through the inlets behind the side windows, where small panels are usually placed, one should rather talk about the phenomenon. All the hype that has happened about this model on the Internet: it is completely justified – even if it is a little doubtful in this day and age.
One of the last of its kind
The fact that there is something counterintuitive about doing without consumption-reducing measures such as turbocharging and downsizing or even electrification cannot be disputed. Even at Porsche, naturally-aspirated sports cars, including the recently released 911 GT3 RS, are now part of a niche program. On the other hand, the GT4 RS can also be seen as a modern rebellion against the electrification mania – or at least as a beautiful swan song for an old design art that should not be in this form for much longer. In addition to other Porsche models, the next generation of the 718 series should be electric from 2025, and even the iconic 911 has an electric future ahead of it. This can (and should) be welcomed or regretted. Or accept it as necessary so that the last car built will one day be a sports car – hopefully just a nice one.