Currently reading: 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS mule reveals new details
Range-topping version of Cayman GT4 takes to the Nurburgring, showing off its motorsport-inspired design
News
4 mins read
28 August 2020

Porsche is again testing what appears to be a hardcore 'RS' version of its latest 718 Cayman GT4, with the latest mule spotted in minimal camouflage at the Nürburgring.

As we previously saw, the testing prototype sports notable bodywork additions. At the front, there are versions of the Naca bonnet air ducts similar to those on the 911 GT2 RS, while the rear quarter windows have been replaced by slatted cooling vents. A new addition are the blanking plates at the front, which suggest the hardcore Cayman will gain similar wing-mounted air outlets to its 911 GT3 RS sibling.

A large, bespoke rear wing – significantly larger than that of the standard GT4 - appears to be mounted higher and to use a new mounting design. Also changed over the standard GT4 are the wheels, which forego the traditional five-lug pattern in favour of a motorsport-inspired centre-lock mechanism that hints at the car's track potential. 

The man in charge of the 718 and 911, Frank-Steffen Walliser, told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show last year that he would “definitely” like to see a faster and even more focused RS version of the new 718 Cayman GT4 but that the decision hinges on prioritising development resources within Porsche. 

“Everybody’s asking for the RS,” Walliser told Autocar. “Can I imagine a GT4 RS? Sure I can. That’s not to say we will make a decision on it yet, as it is a challenge. Would I like such a car? Yes, definitely! Would I like more horses? Yes. But we need to put the resources where the market is; it would be a lot more expensive than the normal one.”

Porsche has never made a GT4 RS, previously suggesting such a model would be too close in price and performance to 911 GT models. But the new 4.0-litre flat six found in the latest GT4 forms part of an all-new engine family, and it's expected that Porsche will spin off further variants of that unit to justify the investment.

Advertisement

Read our review

Car review

Porsche reprises arguably the finest driver's car of its generation with an all-new engine but the same purist philosophy

Back to top

It's understood that the brand is looking to reintroduce the flat six to more mainstream Cayman and Boxster variants as part of a facelift. Although Walliser would only confirm that Porsche has “started the thinking process” on this, he acknowledged that the US market has been less welcoming of the current four-cylinder models than hoped. “American customers aren’t asking for four cylinders, they're asking for four litres,” he said.

Walliser also discussed the idea of electric 718 models (first reported by Autocar in 2019). He claimed that if the official go-ahead was given, he “wouldn't like to change the character of the car, and the price point; we need to have an entry-level car as 718 buyers often step up to a 911".

He continued: “Priority number one is to keep the character of the car - not making a big car, not making it heavy, but this is very tricky. And it’s a relatively small-volume car, so we maybe can't do a separate platform."

Porsche definitely won’t be joining the glut of newly launched electric hypercars with its own take on the formula, however - for the time being, at least.

Pouring water on the claims made by manufacturers such as Rimac and Lotus, Walliser said: “We've seen a lot of studies of electric hypercars. For me, the proof is when it’s on the street with a licence plate. Does an EV hypercar work? It’s like saying to me that a drag racer is a suitable sports car. For sure it’s perfect from 0-100, but to make it usable and do several laps of the Nürburgring wouldn't work with the technology at its current state.”

Back to top

Walliser did welcome the idea of using hybrid technology to extend the life of Porsche’s widely celebrated naturally aspirated GT engines. “A hybrid for sure with a normally aspirated engine works well together," he said. "The low-rev electric motor torque and high-revving normally aspirated engines fit perfectly. It could help to keep a normally aspirated engine to survive, and we're very motivated to do so.”

Read more

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 UK review​

Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster are ‘right cars’ to lead electric sports car drive​

The future of driving for fun, considered in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 

Join the debate

Comments
24
Add a comment…
Boris9119 29 August 2020

Not Your Usual Standard Peter?

Come, come Peter, that's a lazy statement by your standards? Its no more or less like a 911 than any previous Cayman / Boxster? Back to the article and believe me a GT4RS has been requested by Porsche GT customers ever since the 2016 GT4 appeared. When I took delivery in 2016 of my GT4 I placed a deposit for this very car, albeit my Porsche dealership said it would never be built! Don't expect it before the 992 gen GT3, but be sure that the GT3 performance claims will guide the GT4RS numbers. The GT4RS will not eclipse the GT3 numbers unless Porsche makes the GT4RS a limited numbers car and prices it above the GT3. My US Porsche dealer suggests to me it will likely be the former, but not the latter. Might sound crazy but I am actually going off the idea of owning one.

Peter Cavellini 28 August 2020

Isn’t that just.....

         Isn't that just a 911 by another name?, this doesn't look that far off looking like a 911.

voyager12 18 March 2020

May I make a suggestion, Porsche?

Leave away the turn-indicator on the front fenders. Makes for a cleaner design. Instead put the indicator in the mirrors.