2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Makes 493 HP, Will Sound Fantastic
The long wait for an RS version of the Porsche Cayman is finally officially over. It’s less than a month since the company dropped images of a disguise-clad GT4 RS prototype being tested in the Alps, but now the finished car has been unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show, and it’s a stunner.
The earlier release told us the RS’s Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time but was more reticent about the technical details. We knew the first RS Cayman would use a naturally aspirated flat-six engine, but now the company has confirmed this will be the same 4.0-liter unit that is fitted to the 911 GT3. That’s the one that revs to 9000 rpm and makes a peak of 493 horsepower. The output represents a 79-hp increase over the existing Cayman GT4 and 10 hp less than the engine makes in the GT3, a difference that Andreas Preuninger, head of the GT department, says is down to engineering rather than marketing: “The longer exhaust system means a loss due to back pressure.”
Unlike the regular GT4, there won’t be the option of a manual transmission. Preuninger says there isn’t one available that is able to both work with the Cayman’s mid-mounted engine and take its power and torque. The ratios of the standard seven-speed PDK twin-clutch transmission have been shortened to improve acceleration. Porsche is claiming a 3.2-second zero-to-60-mph time—half a second inside that for a PDK-equipped regular GT4—and a top speed of 196 mph, reached in seventh gear. (The GT4’s 187-mph max arrives in sixth.)
We can safely anticipate it will sound truly epic when extended, thanks to the bespoke exhaust system but also the high-level air intakes behind the doors, which have been carefully tuned to deliver induction sound. “The first cars we made were actually too loud. We wanted a quality noise,” Preuninger says, promising it should be “the most intense sound ever in a GT car.”
The other side of the power-to-weight ratio has also been sharpened with some diligent mass saving. Fenders are made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and incorporate cooling ducts similar to those seen on the previous-generation 991 911 GT3 RS and GT2 RS. Specifying the optional Weissach Pack will also see the front hood, door mirror caps, upper and lower side air intakes, and rear wing element turn carbon. Porsche claims a U.S. curb weight of 3227 pounds, 49 pounds less than a PDK-equipped GT4.
Chassis changes include a 1.2-inch reduction in ride height, ball-jointed suspension mountings, revised spring and anti-roll bar rates, and new Bilstein dampers, as well as 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with motorsport-style center locks. Cast-iron brake rotors will be standard, with Porsche’s PCCB carbon-ceramic discs an upgrade option
In addition to the underhung rear wing, other aerodynamic changes include an adjustable front diffuser and a new front spoiler with “flow around” blades. The hood also incorporates NACA ducts, while the louvered vents on the fenders help to reduce air pressure within the wheel wells. Overall, the RS will make up to 25 percent more downforce than the regular GT4, with Preuninger saying that translates to around 220 pounds at 120 mph.
Having created what will almost certainly be the ultimate combustion-powered Cayman (since the next generation of the sports-car will be pure electric), Porsche is predictably keen to charge for it. The GT4 RS will cost $141,700, with the first cars set to reach U.S. buyers in the summer of 2022. That’s a huge amount for a Cayman—more than double the price of the base model—yet, if it follows the example set by previous RS models, the biggest problem facing potential buyers may well be finding a dealer willing to take their money for one of the fought-for build slots.