Prototypes of what looks like an RS version of latest Cayman GT4 come after firm's head of sports cars revealed personal desire to launch one
11 September 2019

Porsche appears to be testing a faster and more focused 'RS' version of the new 718 Cayman GT4 - barely a day after the firm's head of sports cars revealed his personal desire for one. 

Prototypes of the GT4 have hit the roads outside the Nürburgring with notable bodywork additions. At the front, we can see versions of the 'NACA' bonnet air ducts similar to Porsche's GT2 RS, while at the side the rear quarter glass has been replaced by slatted cooling vents. 

The most significant alteration is at the back, where we can see a spoiler mounted considerably higher on bespoke mounts. It's not clear if the distinctive mounts will make production in that form, as they're more likely used to test multiple wing shapes and types. 

Porsche's man in charge of the 718 and 911Dr Frank Steffen-Walliser, told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show 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 the maker.

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“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 is expected that Porsche will spin off further variants of that unit to justify the investment.

It is understood that the brand is looking to re-introduce 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 did acknowledge 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 are asking for four litres”, he said.

Walliser also discussed the idea of all-electric 718 models (first reported by Autocar in April). He claimed that if the official go-ahead was given he “would not 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.

“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 cannot 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 have 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 Nurburgring would not work with the technology at its current state”.

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. 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 are very motivated to do so”. 

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Comments
14

11 September 2019

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heather benjamin

11 September 2019

Yes! Hybrid plus naturally aspirated engines. Finally, an idea whose time has arrived.

11 September 2019

Maybe Porsche are listening, from not wanting 6 NA engines due to mpg etc it looks like one model variation at a time they might be returning!!! Yea

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 September 2019
xxxx wrote:

Maybe Porsche are listening, from not wanting 6 NA engines due to mpg etc it looks like one model variation at a time they might be returning!!! Yea

 

Pressure, no...due to mpg, absolutely not. All car manufacturers have plan b, c, d, etc and given the future is uncertain, it was always probable that they had 6 cyl engine option ready and waiting. Buyers like to believe they have the influence to alter car makers minds and the makers are happy for that illusion to prevail.

 

Any buyer who can afford to buy into car ownership at this level, is not going to have sleepless nights worrying about 28mpg, vs 20 mpg.

 

Credit to you though for having the backup plan of using the word "Maybe"...you know, just in case your post was nonsense...

11 September 2019

One valid point Takeitslowly. Your correct about mpg. When you purchase a new Porsche you care not one jot about MPG, it will never alter your purchase decision whether a Cayman GT4 gets 18mpg or 38mpg. As for the rest, you have some homework to do. Porsche is as well known for 'listening' to it's customers as it is regrettably for hideously expensive options. The manual transmission that returned to the GT3 being a recent example.

12 September 2019
Boris9119 wrote:

One valid point Takeitslowly. Your correct about mpg. When you purchase a new Porsche you care not one jot about MPG, it will never alter your purchase decision whether a Cayman GT4 gets 18mpg or 38mpg. As for the rest, you have some homework to do. Porsche is as well known for 'listening' to it's customers as it is regrettably for hideously expensive options. The manual transmission that returned to the GT3 being a recent example.

 

Given the contradiction in your piece, there is no progress made here. Porsche cannot claim to be "listening" if there is a long running issue of charging over inflated prices for options, or not making certain options standard at each particular price level and doing nothing to address these buyer queries. Go to the naughty step and pay attention in future or this will go on your report card for your guardian to check and sign off...that work on a set of educational references for you?.

11 September 2019

Who knew 'Fast' had so many niches to fill..

11 September 2019

Do it Porsche

11 September 2019

 Surely this Cayman encroaches on the 911?, there price and performance must be close, what if this Cayman steals sales from the 911?....

Peter Cavellini.

11 September 2019

Interesting question Peter, when the 718 Cayman  GT4 and Boxster (Spyder) were recently announced I got a call from my dealership asking me to spec a car. I declined as I see little change over my 1st gen GT4 except about $35k more! I did however ask that the deposit they had enjoyed these past 3yrs be held against a GT4RS that I felt was coming. They scoffed at the idea of a GT4RS for the reasons you cite, but agreed to keep my money (why not, they make bank on it). The GT4RS will appear, and absolutely it will not likely out perform the next gen GT3, more likely match it. And as suggested by Porsche spokespersons at Frankfurt, it will be expensive, likely on a par with the GT3 in terms of price. The matter of a Cayman GT4RS out performing a 'base' Carrera is no longer a problem in todays world. I accept it would have been 10yrs ago, but not now. Not when Porsche's electric sedans can do the same? And for those that 'bitch' about not getting an allocation for GT cars when they get announced, notice my deposit (5k) has been with the dealership for over 3yrs during which time I have purchased a Macan S for ere indoors and both vehicles have been serviced with the dealership. And still I have been unable to get a GT3 allocation for the last two generations! You have to pay your dues.

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