Porsche has put a flat six back in the 718 Cayman.
But the six-pot GT4 Clubsport is one that you won't see on the road anytime soon.
When the 718 Boxster and Cayman rolled out a couple of years ago, the biggest change was underneath. No more flat-six. In its place, a pair of turbo fours. Well, the option of two different turbo fours, not some sort of twin-engine monster. With this latest entry-level turn-key racer from Stuttgart, that change has been undone. The flat-six is back.
The GT4 Clubsport gets the same 3.8L flat-six as the last GT4 model. Porsche hasn't left it sitting idle, though. The motor has been reworked to put down 425 hp. Thanks to a new intake manifold and some other changes, that's up 40 hp over the old car. Power is sent from the mid-mounted engine to the rear wheels using a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Helping launch the car out of corners is a mechanical-locking rear differential.
Handling stopping duty for the track-ready car is an all-steel brake system with massive 380 mm front rotors. That's up 50 mm over a base 718 Cayman. The suspension up front is borrowed from the 911 GT3 Cup, which is no bad place from which to crib your suspension bits.
Since this is a racer, it comes fitted with safety gear from the factory. Like a welded-in safety cage. And a racing seat with a six-point harness to keep the driver in place. Despite the addition of all those metal tubes, the GT4 tips the scales at 1,320 kg. Down 45 kg from the road car.
Porsche is offering up two versions, depending on just how far down the track day rabbit hole you're looking to go. First is the basic Trackday model. It's aimed at "amateur drivers who want to take part in private track and clubsport events." So lapping for fun, not profit. It comes with fixed shocks and has ABS and stability control, though you can shut them off.
The Trackday version can have the air conditioning system fitted later and it can have a roof rescue hatch, hand-held extinguisher, and an 80L safety fuel cell. You can get it serviced at any Porsche Centre between race weekends.
The Competition model is for when you're ready to go wheel to wheel. It has adjustable shocks and a 115L endurance-ready fuel cell. Brake bias can be adjusted front and rear and there is an integrated air jack system to put the car up in a hurry. The Competition gets a quick-release wheel based on the 911 GT3 R's
, and has an automatic fire extinguisher system.
The cars get integrated data logging with lap timing, a Cosworth digital dash, and what Porsche calls "natural fibre" composite doors.
Porsche also says the car has more downforce and a cockpit that's better suited to the racing driver. Porsche Motorsport Boss Fritz Enzinger
says the company is confident it will sell more than the 421 examples they built of the last-generation car. The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport will be available for deliveries starting next month.