Porsche’s New Track-Only Cayman Uses Hemp To Reduce Weight–And Makes 425bhp!
There’s a new Porsche in town, and it’s faster, lighter and more radical than its predecessor. It uses flax and hemp fibres in its body panels, and the first one looks like it’s been attacked by a deranged Jackson Pollock wielding ten-year-old engine oil and yellow road-marking paint. It’s the track-only 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which replaces the previous Cayman GT4 Clubsport that was introduced three years ago (yes, time flies in Porsche-land). It’s also the first ever production race car to feature bodywork parts made of natural-fibre composite material, with the driver and passenger doors and the rear wing made of an organic fibre mix, containing mostly agricultural by-products such as flax and hemp fibres. It might sound like an April Fool’s joke but actually it’s said to be similar to carbon fiber in terms of weight and stiffness.
So it’s lightweight, at 1320kg including the welded-in safety cage, bucket seat and six-point harness, and it’s also 40bhp more powerful than its predecessor. The 3.8-litre flat-six engine produces 425bhp, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (we wish it was manual!) and mechanical rear differential lock. The front suspension comes from the 911 GT3 Cup and the brakes use huge 380mm diameter steel discs all round.
In many of Porsche’s world markets the Cayman GT4 Clubsport is offered in either “Trackday” or “Competition” spec, the latter for national and international motor racing, but only the Competition edition is offered in the UK. The Competition model has three-stage adjustable shock absorbers, long-range 115-liter safety fuel tank, a brake balance system, integrated air jacks and the same quick-release racing steering wheel as the 911 GT3 R. There’s also an automatic fire extinguisher system. It’s priced at £130,300 plus VAT in the UK. Just in case you’re thinking it would make an awesome, if extreme, street car, we’re sad to say it’s not homologated for road use. But orders are open, and deliveries begin in February.
Images courtesy of Porsche