The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Has A Four-Liter GT3 Motor To Better Nip At The 911’s Heels
This is the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, a 493-horsepower mid-engine track toy powered by the 911 GT3’s naturally aspirated 4.0L flat-six. It’s also an intriguing answer to the question that’s been asked since the very first Cayman came onto the scene in 2005: What if Porsche allowed its mid-engine sports car to compete with the mighty 911? The 911 still wins, but just barely, while the jury is likely to remain perpetually out on the matter of which is more fun to drive.
The GT4 RS obviously outperforms its non-RS starting point (493hp vs 414hp; 331lb-ft of torque vs 317lb-ft; 9000rpm redline vs 8000rpm; 0-60mph in 3.2s vs 3.7s; and 25% more downforce in maximum settings), but what’s really exciting is how it narrows the gap between itself and its big brother.
The forthcoming 911 GT3 RS will undoubtedly beat both cars on paper and on track, but the fact that this new über Cayman is only about five seconds slower around the Nürburgring Nordschleife (the 718 GT4 RS clocked a 7:04.5 lap to the 911 GT3’s 6:59.2) than the current kind of the 911s is an impressive feat. Here’s how it managed it.
For the first time ever, Porsche put a virtually unaltered 911 GT3 motor into the Cayman, but it’s not 100% identical; the dry sump system was revised to better fit the mid-engine chassis, and of course the intake and exhaust paths had to be similarly modified—Porsche says the longer exhaust system is responsible for the Cayman motor’s minor drop in power (to 493hp from the GT3’s 502hp, and 331lb-ft of torque from the GT3’s 346lb-ft). As is standard for modern Porsche RS cars, the only gearbox available is a seven-speed PDK, but compared to the Cayman GT4, the RS makes use of a shorter final drive ratio while also managing a higher top speed (196mph vs the PDK-equipped GT4’s peak at 187mph).
The chassis hasn’t been forgotten, with the RS’s suspension being linked to the car with spherical ball joints in place of traditional rubber bushings, in addition to receiving stiffer springs, tuned antiroll bars, a new set of dampers from Bilstein, and for the track day heroes among us, a wider range of camber and toe adjustability. Brake rotors come standard in steel, but can be upgraded to carbon ceramics. The wheels are 20” forged aluminum pieces with centerlock hubs (a Cayman first), and can be upgraded to lighter magnesium as part of the Weissach Package, which is the spec to check for the lightest and quickest GT4 RS.
In standard guise, the GT4 RS is about 50lbs lighter than a PDK-equipped GT4, thanks to reduced sound deadening, thinner carpets, and simpler door pulls inside, and the use of a lighter glass rear window and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the front fenders and frunk outside. The RS’s aero package features a larger, adjustable wing mounted on aluminum swan-neck supports, an adjustable front splitter and diffuser, NACA ducts on the frunk, upper front fender vents, a smoother underbody, a more aggressive rear diffuser, and new side blades. The most prominent visual signifier of the RS though is the intake. Replacing the rear side windows are beautifully molded air intakes which feed into an airbox positioned just behind the seats where the standard Cayman would have its parcel shelf. The side intakes behind the doors have also been reshaped to better cool the four-liter motor.
To take all of this further, customers can select the Weissach Package when speccing their cars to lower the weight down to 3,227lbs (1,464kg), achieved by using carbon fiber for the frunk, mirrors, intakes, rear wing, and swan-neck mounts. The package also adds titanium exhaust tips and the aforementioned magnesium wheels (pictured in these press release photos). As you can guess, none of this will come cheap, but it’s still less than what you’d shell out for a 911 GT3. The starting MSRP for the 2022 model year Cayman GT4 RS is $141,700 before delivery. The online configurator shows that the most expensive specs will exceed the $200,000 mark.