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It was pretty much inevitable – Porsche was bound to bring us something fresh based on the new 718 Cayman utilizing the inspiration from their lineage of “RS” 911s. In a mid-engine platform, the 718 is a champion that many gloss over mostly due to what the Porsche 911 embodies. However, like myself, many have come to appreciate all of what the 718 is made of and with an all-new 718 Cayman GT4 RS there’s a new hype surrounding the Porsche brand in terms of affordability in a “high performance” variation of their lineup.
The new 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS is one of the few last hurrahs in the automotive industry that stuns enthusiasts with an internal combustion engine, one that is naturally aspirated and has the proper collective of parts to instill automotive bliss.
Powered by the same flat-6-cylinder engine in the new 911 GT3, the GT4 RS is happy to rev to 9,000 rpm to make 493 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. That power figure may be a little short of the new 911 GT3’s 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque but it’s not due to any detuning. Instead, the GT4 RS’ output is a little down from the need for longer exhaust pipes and intake packaging to fit the confines of the mid-engined setup of the 718 Cayman.
There’s also a lot of different materials used throughout the 418 Cayman GT4 RS not only making it unique but adding a performance-enhancing purpose to every single change. There are carbon fiber inlets where the Cayman’s rear quarter windows would otherwise go and inlets behind the doors to all feed the high-revving flat-6 fresh air to be mixed and compressed with premium fuel. There’s also a unique design to the dry-sump oil tank system. Apart from these few differences, the Cayman GT4 RS’ 4.0-liter engine is mostly what you get in the new GT3.
Where things live up to the modern-day conception of a Porsche RS vehicle is that there is no availability of a manual transmission. Instead, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS is left to lightning-fast shifts through a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, which is perfectly fine considering the potential track performance that you’ll get out of this “track-focused” Cayman. Moreover, the gearing of the transmission doesn’t suffer from tall gearing as some have complained about in the GT4 manual. Second gear in the new GT4 RS actually tops out at 65 mph, which brings home the new point. Zero to 60 mph takes place in 3.2 seconds with a top speed claimed at 196 mph.
As a Porsche RS vehicle, the GT4 RS has far more reworking apart from its engine and “looks.” There’s a reworking of the suspension system with stiffer springs, adaptive Bilstein dampers, spherical ball joints in place of all rubber bushings, and a great adjustment of camber and toe to allow hardcore track junkies to really dial in their preferred set up to match specific track environments.
There are plentiful weight savings as you could imagine in the GT4 RS, which starts with it weighing about 50 pounds less than a PDK-equipped GT4. The front fenders are fiberglass reinforced plastic, rear windows are lightweight glass, sound-deadening is reduced, even the carpet is a lightweight type along with the door panels having the pull straps instead of handles.
There’s plentiful carbon fiber used for the hood, mirrors, intakes, and swan necks holding the caron fiber wing in place. A Weissach Pack opens up the availability of forged magnesium wheels in place of the alloy forged variety. In all, the new GT4 RS tips the scale at 3,227 pounds and lops off about 40 pounds if you opt for the Weissach Package.
The aero adds extra downforce but not to add any unwanted drag. The track is wider up front, but the rear track remains the same as the GT4. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires are available in place of the standard Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber wrapping the 20-inch wheels that are the same size as the GT4.
Braking is handled by the same standard steel brakes from the new 911 GT3 with an availability of a Carbon-Ceramic setup.
To top it all off as a serious machine not to be completely overshadowed by its 911 brethren, the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS captures a Nürburgring time of 7:04, which is just 9 seconds slower than the new 911 GT3. That’s WILD!!! Especially at an MSRP of $143,050! However, as you read this, we’re pretty sure the new GT4 RS is sold out for now. Considering what we see here will probably be the last generation for such an internal combustion engine vehicle moving to a variation of the Mission R race car concept EV soon, it may behoove you to ask and plead with your local Porsche dealership for one of these things.
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