Porsche’s most hardcore 718 model has been previewed ahead of its debut and it has also decided to flaunt its capabilities on the track. Slotting above the Cayman GT4, the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS will be the most track-focused model and the first member of the mid-engine sports car family to wear the RS badge.
Development driver Jörg Bergmeister took a lightly disguised prototype around the 12.94-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:09.300. On the shorter 12.8-mile loop that previously served as the benchmark, the 2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS clocked in 7:04.511, which is 23.6 seconds faster than the Cayman GT4. Modifications to the vehicles used to get the lap time were a racing seat and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, the latter of which will be available as an option.
During development, we gave the 718 Cayman GT4 RS everything that characterizes a genuine RS: lightweight construction, more downforce, more power, and, of course, an even higher level of responsiveness and feedback to driver inputs. The fantastic lap time of the Nordschleife is impressive proof of how clearly noticeable these improvements in driving dynamics are,” said Andreas Preuninger, director of the GT model line at Porsche. “Our customers can look forward to a pure driver’s car that makes a thrilling driving experience an absolute priority.”
Porsche appears to have used a prototype equipped with the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. In one of the photos with Bergmeister at the driver’s seat, you can see the paddle shifters on the steering wheel peeking out of his right hand. In the video included, you don’t see him reaching for the gear shifter either. Power should come from a high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six. In its current applications, the engine makes anywhere from 394 hp to 414 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque with the six-speed manual or 317 lb-ft with the PDK. The GT4 RS could kick up the output slightly but don’t expect it to get any higher unless Porsche raises the screaming 4.0-liter redline beyond the standard GT4’s 8,000 rpm.
The biggest addition you’ll find on the Cayman GT4 RS is the massive wing in the back. Like the 911 GT3 RS, its mid-engine little brother gets extensive suspension and aerodynamic upgrades to improve performance on the track. Cutting weight is also another key factor, meaning the Cayman GT4 RS won’t have traditional door levers inside and will likely get carbon-fiber bucket seats with manual adjustment as standard equipment. Don’t expect many modern creature comforts either. Since this will be the most track-focused 718 model in the lineup, the Cayman GT4 RS will likely be stripped of things like sound deadening, heated seats, and automatic climate control. However, the 7.0-inch touch screen will likely remain in the U.S. due to mandatory federal regulations for a rearview camera.
Expect the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS to go on sale next year, likely in small numbers. Like the 911 GT3 RS, this is a specialty model and yearly production could be limited to make sure it remains exclusive. The Cayman GT4 RS will likely be the least expensive way into a Porsche wearing an RS badge but it’ll still probably have a six-figure price tag since it’s also at the top of the 718 range.