Porsche Just Needs 100 Orders To Make The Cayman Rally Car A Reality
Porsche can be convinced to make its latest rowdy rally concept the good ol' fashioned way: with cash.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport rally car concept is one of the best things Porsche has done in recent history. Porsche took its race-ready Cayman, beefed it up for the abuses of tarmac rallying and used it as a course-opening car at Rallye Deutschland to show off. Now Porsche says that you can own a rally-ready Cayman yourself—so long as you get 99 other friends to throw in an order for one with you.
Head of Porsche Motorsport Frank-Steffen Walliser told Top Gear that the company was so impressed by the response to their rally beast that they're more than happy to build one—if they get 100 orders:
We had drivers, teams, fans, everybody excited. Even the [World Rally Championship's] top five drivers all wanted to drive it. It’s pure rear-wheel drive and just the sound of the car as it comes through the woods, it’s really loud.
A demonstrator was purpose built and we got some experience, how to set up and where to put a spare wheel. What to do with tires, everything. There are already lots of old 911 GT3s competing in the RGT category, but their level of performance means they have to be toned down a little. The GT4 should land just at the right point. We need to sell 100 to get the green light.
It's true: this tail-happy concept car managed to steal the show away from the most advanced rally cars on earth when I went to Rallye Deutschland this year, thanks in part to the fact that driver Romain Dumas is an utter hoon. Walliser also told Top Gear that the smaller size of the Cayman also worked well on the narrow WRC stage roads.
But there's still some work that needs to be done before the car is ready to hit the stages. Since Porsche won't be running its own rally team any time soon, these Caymans will go to customer teams who'll need a place to race. Fortunately, rally has the R-GT category, which is geared towards privateers looking to run cool GT cars. The R-GT category has seen everything from Fiat 124 Abarths to 997-generation Porsche 911 GT3s in the past, easily making it one of the most fun categories to watch.
Walliser told Top Gear that he hopes that the availability of a ready-to-send Porsche will increase the popularity of the R-GT class:
We are in conversations with the FIA about the RGT category. I expect if we enter a category, others will follow. Like in GT3, which we started with Ferrari. There had been some GT4 racing cars around but it was never very popular. Then we entered the scene and you have 11 manufacturers in GT4.
The final Cayman GT4 Clubsport rally car will likely be based on the current 982-generation 718 Cayman as the current GT4 Clubsport (including the concept car from this summer) is still based on the previous 981. Dumas also noted to me at WRC this summer that he'd like the gear ratios to be better optimized for tighter rally stages, as the track-spec GT4 Clubsport PDK is geared more for higher top speeds than they see in rally racing.