Porsche Will Produce The Cayman GT Clubsport Rally Car, If They Can Sell 100 Of Them
Images courtesy of Porsche
The first time we saw the modified-for-jumps-and-dirt Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport was this past summer, and the official word at the time regarding the car’s production was more or less “Let’s wait and see.” We went into more detail about the rally Cayman’s conception at Porsche factory driver—and current Pikes Peak record holder—Romain Dumas’ engineering company, but Porsche is taking an even greater interest in the project following the Cayman’s successful debut at Rallye Deutschland in August as a course car. The course car doesn’t compete with the rest of the field, but the spectator and driver interest in changing that equation was obvious—who can call themselves a fan of rallying while saying no to flat-six-powered powerslides born from the rear wheels?
The prototype Cayman was built in accordance with the FIA’s R-GT regulations, a class which sees enough lightly-modified production sports cars to fill up the race group, but not much of a factory presence. Porsche doesn’t have any plans to field a works team either, but in a recent interview with Top Gear the manufacturer’s head of motorsport, Frank-Steffen Walliser, stated that if they could sell 100 units to customer teams that they would seriously consider fulfilling demand at that level. “We are in conversations with the FIA about the R-GT category. I expect if we enter a category, others will follow. Like in GT3, which we started with Ferrari. There had been some GT4 racing cars around but it was never very popular. Then we entered the scene and you have 11 manufacturers in GT4.”
So it’s not just a case of whether or not a few of these Caymans will appear in R-GT class rallying events. Walliser is right, if Porsche puts some skin in the game it could very well convince other manufacturers to do the same. The R-GT-spec Cayman’s modifications have yet to be detailed in their entirety, but the major changes are more or less visible already. The class is focused on production cars, and as such the motor will likely be the same 380+ horsepower 3.6L as fitted in the production GT4 Clubsport. The interior is fitted with the gamut of safety items like the foam-filled doors and the jungle gym of a roll cage. The underside is also protected with proper skid plates to mitigate the inevitable abuse that comes with the territory of driving cars as fast as possible over dirt and gravel. We’d expect it to excel on the tarmac stages of course, the size and layout of the car lends itself toward more than just smooth surfaces—a wide track and an engine in the middle is a great base to build on.
Given how popular Porsche customer racing programs are on tarmac and asphalt, it’s not hard to imagine the playboy set of deep-pocketed motorsport enthusiasts contemplating the idea of taking the fun off road. Who knows, perhaps we’ll have a premiere RWD rally series in the wake of this project should it find its buyers. Here’s to hoping.