Porsche has unveiled the new 718 Cayman GT4 RS at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and it’s every bit as exciting as you expect it to be. The “RS” moniker has long been reserved for the 911, but it is now being applied on the Cayman for the first time, and the results are certainly impressive.
As the company announced last month, the new RS model is 23.6 seconds faster than the previous, range-topping 718 Cayman GT4 on the shorter, 20.6-km lap of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, setting a time of 7:04.511 minutes.
To achieve this level of performance, Porsche gave the 718 Cayman GT4 RS the same 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six petrol engine found in the latest 911 GT3. Capable of revving up to 9,000 rpm, the mill is tuned to deliver 500 PS (493 hp) and 450 Nm of torque, which is slightly less than the 911 GT3 that makes 510 PS (503 hp) and 470 Nm.
According to Road & Track, the slightly lower figures are due to the longer exhaust pipes needed to package the engine into the mid-engine car, resulting in losses due to back pressure. Even so, the GT4 RS has an extra 80 PS (79 hp) and 20-30 Nm over the GT4, allowing it to hit a top speed of 315 km/h and accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds.
By comparison, a GT4 with a PDK will max out at 302 km/h and requires 3.9 seconds to complete the century sprint. On the mention of transmissions, there’s no manual option available for the GT4 RS, with only a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK being available that has shorter ratios to improve acceleration.
Beyond the powertrain, the GT4 RS also gets a number of chassis tweaks, including a 30 mm lower ride height, ball-jointed suspension mountings, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars as well as adaptive Bilstein dampers. Porsche also provided more adjustability when it comes to camber and toe adjustments, so owners can set up the car as they see fit.
The car also comes with 20-inch forged aluminium centre-locking wheels, with cast-iron brake discs behind them, although the latter can be upgraded to Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) carbon-ceramic discs as an option.
It doesn’t take much to notice that the GT4 RS looks significantly different from a GT4, with most of the changes aimed at improving aerodynamics. Porsche says its new creation generates approximately 25% more downforce than the GT4 thanks to the GT3-like swan neck rear wing, larger front splitter and an adjustable front diffuser.
The bonnet also incorporates NACA ducts for better brake cooling, accompanied by louvres on the wider front fenders to reduce air pressure within the wheel wells. Further back, the GT4 RS gains air inlets on what used to be rear quarter windows, which Porsche says “improve both the intake airflow and, at the same time, create a thrilling intake noise right next to the occupants’ ears.” The other air intakes in front of the rear wheels are retained and are used for engine cooling.
Weight savings are also part of the RS transformation, with carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) being used for components such as the bonnet and front wings, while the rear window is made of lightweight glass.
Meanwhile, the interior, which retains the same layout as the GT4, gets lighter carpets, a lot less insulation material, lightweight door panels with cloth opening loops and nets on the storage compartment. All these helps to make the GT4 RS weigh 35 kg less than a PDK-equipped GT4, tipping the scales at 1,415 kg.
Porsche will also offer an optional Weissach package, which gives the car’s front luggage-compartment lid, process air intakes, cooling air intakes, airbox cover, exterior mirror upper trims and rear wing a carbon-weave finish.
The package also throws in titanium tailpipes that resemble those on the exclusive Porsche 935, a titanium roll cage, forged magnesium wheels, a Race-Tex-upholstered upper dashboard section and a large Porsche logo integrated into the rear window. If that isn’t enough, customers who buy a GT4 RS can also purchase a unique Porsche Design Chronograph 718 Cayman GT4 RS timepiece.
Deliveries of the GT4 RS will begin in December and the two-seater carries a base price of 141,338 euros including VAT (RM667,762) in Germany. This makes it the most expensive, road-going version of the Cayman available, as the GT4 starts at 101,235 euros (RM478,140), while a regular base Cayman goes for 58,038 euros (RM274,144).
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