2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Is a Mid-Engine GT3

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A full-face helmet does little to take the sting off the 9000-rpm shriek of a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six when it is mounted amidships simply behind your seat, as it’s within the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS. We begin to want we would additionally worn earplugs (however probably not, as a result of its wonderful sounds could be value listening to aids in retirement) as we feed within the energy exiting a gradual nook, then bang by the gears on our option to storming headlong right into a banked sweeper at Streets of Willow Springs raceway.

It’s a main instance of what a Porsche engineer instructed us in matter-of-fact phrases: “Whenever the GT4 RS engineering team came to a development crossroads, we made a point of always choosing the path of greatest performance.” Boy, does it present.

That begins with the engine itself. This shouldn’t be some massaged model of the enlarged and de-turbo-ed 911 engine that powers the Cayman GT4. Instead, the GT4 RS is fitted with the identical 911 GT3 Cup–derived engine that powers the vaunted 911 GT3, however spun round and mounted beneath the rear liftgate glass, a placement that just about places it contained in the passenger compartment. In the GT4 RS, this high-revving, naturally aspirated, dry-sump flat-six makes 493 horsepower at 8400 rpm and 331 pound-feet of torque at 6750 revs. It’s value noting that the identical mill places out 502 ponies and 346 pound-feet within the GT3, which makes one surprise if the distinction is actually the results of an exhaust packaging limitation associated to the midship engine placement or a case of preserving the on-paper superiority of the 911 GT3.

Likewise, the RS’s seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission gearing is extra aggressive than the Cayman GT4’s, as a substitute utilizing the tightly spaced cogs of the GT3’s gearbox, wherein seventh gear tops out at simply 0.84:1 as a substitute of a lazier 0.71:1. Beyond that, the Cayman GT4 RS is extra aggressive than the GT4 within the final-drive division, with quick 4.17:1 rear-end gearing as a substitute the common GT4’s taller 3.89:1 final-drive. The finish result’s a GT4 RS claimed prime pace that is rev-limited to 196 mph in seventh gear. Porsche additionally claims a 3.2-second 60-mph time and an 11.3-second quarter-mile, however Porsche normally sandbags such numbers. What we do know with certainty is that open-road cruising at 70 mph ends in a tense 3050-rpm thrum.

If that wasn’t sufficient, the engineering crew ditched the Cayman’s admittedly ineffective rear quarter-windows and substituted high-mounted engine air intakes. The ducting runs a number of scant inches behind your cranium, so if you boot the throttle, you may completely really feel the throbbing cry as environment will get inhaled towards the six particular person throttle butterflies of the ravenously gulping flat-six. This performance-maximizing consumption placement not solely enhances the aural expertise within the GT4 RS’s cabin, it additionally permits the whole lot of the previously subdivided bodyside scoops to be devoted to cooling this insane beast.

The driving place is barely hunched ahead owing to fixed-angle one-piece buckets—18-way adjustable seats can be found at no-cost—however this positively fits on-track and aggressive driving as a result of it places you up on the wheel in a method that generates extra leverage. You’ll want it, too, as a result of the 245/35ZR-20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R Track Connect entrance tires can generate immense grip with nary a whiff of understeer, and the steering geometry creates armloads of self-aligning torque that clearly communicates how arduous the tires are working in any given nook. It’s not handbook steering as a result of you may certainly twirl the wheel in a parking zone, however the quantity of really feel and suggestions you get is strictly what you want when pushing arduous up in opposition to the restrict. Is the hassle a bit a lot when lollygagging down the freeway? A bit, yeah. But it is utter magic when working by a collection of corners.

Compared to the GT4, the entrance and rear monitor width of the GT4 RS is broader by 0.2 and 0.3 inch, respectively. There are two adaptive-damping modes, however the default setting is right for each monitor and mountain-road use, particularly if the asphalt is something lower than billiard-table clean. The Normal setting is an absolute should for routine driving round city, as a result of not solely does the automotive have a tendency to repeat each undulation the paving machine laid down, modest cracks and step-down joints can really feel like miniature cliffs. The purpose for this isn’t fully right down to track-oriented spring and damper tuning, although, as a result of the RS suspension hyperlinks are fitted with ball joints at their ends as a substitute of tuned rubber bushings. The RS can nonetheless go for a livable each day driver, nonetheless, as a result of the optionally available $3040 front-axle elevate system makes it fully doable to surmount pace bumps, traverse intersection drainage dips (with care and forethought), and sort out fairly angled driveway cuts.

Still, you might be getting the impression that the GT4 RS lives its finest life as a monitor automotive, and it certainly has options which might be most frequently discovered on track-oriented machines. Center-lock wheels are obligatory, for one, and the entrance and rear anti-roll bars are adjustable by three settings every. The aerodynamics usually are not kidding, both. The GT-style rear wing is adjustable by three angles of assault (none of which ends up in good rearview-mirror visibility), and its swan-neck mounting assures that the crucial downforce-generating underside is totally free and away from bracketry. The automotive’s clean underbelly directs air by a middle diffuser as effectively. Up entrance, fender-top vents and radiused fender openings relieve underbody stress to scale back elevate, and there are adjustable fences low within the wheel wells to tweak the quantity of downforce generated by the GT4 RS-spec entrance splitter.

Hood-mounted NACA ducts funnel air right down to the GT3-esque entrance brakes, which function six-piston mounted calipers that squeeze 16.1-inch rotors whether or not you keep on with the usual iron discs or improve to the cross-drilled carbon-ceramic setup. The rear finish options four-pot calipers and both 15.0-inch iron discs or 15.4-inch carbon-ceramic ones. We spent all our monitor and canyon time with the carbon ceramics, they usually generated immense and unfailing stopping energy, with a clairvoyant delicacy that made their response straightforward to foretell. They additionally cut back unsprung weight a good bit. If you may afford this automotive within the first place, there isn’t any purpose to not spend $8000 on them.

Aside from the carbon-ceramic brakes, the cast magnesium wheels ($15,640) are value contemplating as a result of additionally they take a chew out of unsprung mass to the tune of practically six kilos per nook, claims Porsche. Their upcharge is definitely even greater, as a result of the Weissach bundle ($13,250) is a prerequisite for the magnesium wheels, however that brings with it a clear-coated carbon-fiber hood and different trim items, particular seat embroidery, and titanium exhaust ideas.

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS arrives this summer season and may begin at $144,050, which looks like a cut price because it undercuts the GT3 by practically $20,000. Sure, you may nudge that near $200,000 in the event you get frisky with the choices sheet, however that is par for the course in Porscheland. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, if in case you have the means, and desire a track-focused automotive you will not lock away in a glass storage, we extremely advocate selecting one up.


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Dan Edmunds

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