The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS: A Lean, Mean Racetrack-Crushing Machine

The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS: A Lean, Mean Racetrack-Crushing Machine

The GT4 RS promises to be the most capable Cayman that Porsche has ever made. Should the 911 finally be worried?

  • The most hardcore, track-focused Cayman to date
  • Tons of aero tweaks and less weight
  • Nearly 500 horsepower from a naturally aspirated flat-six engine

In many ways, the Porsche 718 Cayman follows the same formula as the first model from way back in 2007 — take a Boxster, incorporate a more rigid coupe body structure, and you're off to the races. The Cayman is less expensive than a 911 but has its engine in the right place, generally making the Cayman platform a little more appropriate for high-performance applications. Historically, Porsche hasn't given the Cayman truly explosive power — after all, you don't want the little brother to upstage the more expensive sibling — but Porsche has loosened the reins a bit over the last few years. The new racetrack-ready 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is the ultimate expression of what a 911-besting, mid-engine sports car would look like.

What is the Cayman GT4 RS?

Everything about the GT4 RS is designed to make you go fast, and the most noticeable tweaks to the GT4 RS, at first blush, are to its aerodynamics. The front air intakes are larger and feature an aero blade on either side of the bumper to guide air along the sides of the car. Air vents above the front fenders evacuate high pressure air from the wheelwell and reduce the front-end lift that hot air causes.

The aero changes extend down the side of the car too. In every other Cayman there are small windows just behind the driver and passenger — not so in the GT4 RS. Those small windows have been replaced by air intakes that funnel air to the engine, and the side intakes just behind the doors have been enlarged to swallow as much air as possible. The GT4 RS also features an adjustable front diffuser leading to a new underbody floor panel and rear diffuser. And we haven't even talked about the rear wing yet.

The swan-neck design of the GT4 RS' new rear wing has been poached from the new 911 GT3. It looks like it's mounted upside down, with the struts curving over the top of the wing instead of resting underneath it. Porsche says the shape is more efficient and allows the rear wing to better catch air. The sum total of all these aero changes is up to 25% more downforce than the already pretty hardcore Cayman GT4. Phew.

Of course, the suspension has been fiddled with too. The RS gets a unique damper setup, and the spring rates and anti-roll bars have been reworked. The suspension is adjustable and the GT4 RS sits 1.2 inches closer to the ground than a standard Cayman. Plus, for the first time in the Cayman's history, it will be offered with center-lock wheels instead of the normal five-lug hub setup.

Going on a diet

In case all that wasn't enough, Porsche will also offer a Weissach package for the GT4 RS. With this package, a number of components — including the hood, air intakes and rear wing — are made of carbon fiber. You can even spec lightweight magnesium wheels (pictured here), just as long as you're willing to fork over the extra cash for them.

It might seem like adding all the extra aero bits would make this model heavier than the standard GT4, but Porsche has also included lightweight interior trim materials and glass materials to make the GT4 RS more lithe. Carbon fiber-backed bucket seats are available, too, for those willing to push the race theme to its limit. The sum total of all this work, according to Porsche, means the Cayman GT4 RS sheds 49 pounds off the regular GT4. It might not seem like much, but every gram counts when you want to go fast.

What's under the GT4 RS' hood?

The engine, a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six, is shared with the 911 GT3 and makes 493 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, gains of 79 hp and 14 lb-ft compared to the standard GT4. It revs all the way to a stratospheric 9,000 rpm. The only gearbox on offer is Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic but with shorter gearing for this specific car. Enthusiasts might bemoan the lack of a manual, but this near-race car needs to go as quickly as possible, and three-pedal transmissions are the new slushboxes.

Porsche says the extra power and the PDK will launch the GT4 RS from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds — half a second quicker than the already blazing GT4. Expect the Cayman GT4 RS and 911 GT3 to run neck and neck down a drag strip.

How's the GT4 RS' interior?

Modifications to the interior of the Cayman are more subtle than changes to the GT4 RS' exterior. Simply put, the cabin will be familiar to anyone who's been in a Cayman before. The layout is identical, but there are lightweight materials sprinkled throughout. There are also little fabric straps instead of door handles and little nets replace the door pockets. Beyond that, it's normal Porsche fare, but we do expect this Cayman to be the loudest of the bunch inside thanks to the lightweight glass and big wheels and tires.

Edmunds says

The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT 4 RS is the ultimate expression of Porsche's mid-engine sports car formula.

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