Journal: Porsche Will Produce The Cayman GT Clubsport Rally Car, If They Can Sell 100 Of Them

Porsche Will Produce The Cayman GT Clubsport Rally Car, If They Can Sell 100 Of Them

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
December 3, 2018

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.

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WillsmithJack ChesnuttHardley.T.Whipsnade IIISean Turner Recent comment authors
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The first occasion when I ran Pikes Peak was in 1994 out of a Porsche, and it was an extremely scary spot. There are tremendous drop-offs over the edge on a significant number Topleatherjackets
of the corners. There are areas of the street that appear to be indistinguishable, yet they’re unique, and the outcomes of missing the point are enormous. I had seen numerous movies on the race previously, yet driving it was totally unique.

Hardley.T.Whipsnade III
Hardley.T.Whipsnade III

Much as I hope this happens here’s three reasons why it probably won’t ; 1) Porsche’s historic reticence to get directly involved in rallying ( other than Paris Dakar Porsche has avoided becoming directly involved in rallying despite supporting several unofficial official teams along the way ) 2) As much of a kick as R-GT is for what ever reason it has yet to catch on with the general public or the press 3) Due to number two sponsors for the most part have been staying away with TV coverage being all but non-existent But do I truly hope this… Read more »

Jack Chesnutt
Jack Chesnutt

In the just last month Petrolicious has featured the following very capable road and track cars as off-road “gravel slingers”: Cayman Clubsport, BMW 635, Aston Martin DBX, and a Jaguar F-Type. There also seems to be a sudden fascination with re-creating (at the expense of solid air-cooled road going 911SCs and Carreras) Porsche 911SCRs. Sure, if you want to spend a lot of money to make a perfectly fine or even sublime road car into an off-road vehicle, please go right ahead. But, isn’t that what Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Toyota 4-wheel drive trucks and Jeeps are designed for? Yea,… Read more »

Sean Turner
Sean Turner

This harkens back to the ‘golden age’ of Rallying. Sure, you can take a Land Rover off road, but can you do it travelling at 100+ KPH on the edge of your seat driving? Not really, no. Land Rovers and the like are meant for HEAVY off road use, rutted tracks and the like. Remember, cars like the Lancia Delta S4, and the iconic Audi Quattro were designed from the onset to be extremely fast rally cars. If you look back at rallying from the 60’s and 70’s a lot of cars taking part, were road going, but modified by… Read more »

Hardley.T.Whipsnade III
Hardley.T.Whipsnade III

Its called rallying son . A little automotive sport thats been around since the inception of the automobile with rallying predating road racing by almost a decade . But you’re almost right on one thing . You don’t get much of anything when it comes to automotive sport and history

Jack Chesnutt
Jack Chesnutt

Sean, thanks for the remainder of the Audi Quattro – an inspired evolution of the pavement-bound Audis of the time. I guess the article on the Cayman had me thinking of what one would do if handed the keys to a GT-4 Clubsport? I don’t think I’d immediately put big shocks on it, add massive air filters, and surround it with steel bumpers for knocking over bushes and small trees. As for Mr Whipsnade (guitar strummer, martin stroker, etc) I am not your son. Please spare me your condescension. The first auto race in the US in 1895 was not… Read more »