Meet the Porsche 718 GT4 Clubsport, an uncompromised track-only version of the 718 Cayman that normal people like you or me can purchase. As such, it omits nearly all creature comforts one would associate with a premium street-legal sports car and replaces them with speed and addicting performance.
That’s the concept, at least, and it’s one that many automakers apart from Porsche have followed with regard to their own turn-key racer interpretations of their own cars. However, the Zuffenhausen outfit have gone a little further by also including a secondary focus to accompany the pursuit of performance and lap times: sustainable materials.
Surprising as it sounds, Porsche have incorporated some unusual substances in the assembly of the new Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Both variations of the car, Trackway and the more hardcore Competition, will make use of body parts constructed of natural fibres composites, specifically ones derived from by-products of agriculture such as flax and hemp.
Contrary to what that might sound like, they assure that these new materials have almost zero downsides over the use of other solutions such as carbon fibre, able to maintain near identical levels of strength and lightness, but are much less environmentally taxing to produce. One area where these natural-fibre composites are used is on the driver and passenger doors as well as the fixed rear wing, contributing to its 1,320kg kerb weight.
Intriguingly, Porsche is not using an enhanced version of their turbocharged flat-four motor to power the GT4, but instead summoning in the naturally aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six back into active duty. Over its predecessor, its 313kW powerplant represents a 30kW increase in power but also explains why the car sounds like a Porsche should.
If nothing else, the move to the more old school engine speaks volumes about the faith they have in the newly introduced flat-four motor in producing the kind of aural and visceral thrills their customers demand, especially at the high level expected of a track-day weapon such as this.
“The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport possesses significantly more racing genes than its successful predecessor,” says Porsche’s head of motorsport Fritz Enzinger. “The power of the engine has increased considerably.”
“At the same time, we were able to increase the downforce and the cockpit is now even better suited to drivers’ needs. I’m confident that we can build on the excellent sales figures of the predecessor, of which we have delivered 421 cars.”