2019 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport: Lighter, Faster and…More Sustainable?
Porsche's updated Cayman GT4 Clubsport uses sustainable carbon fiber alternatives, made partially from flax and hemp fibers.
Year, Make, Model: 2019 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Topline: Porsche revealed Thursday the updated version of its Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car, which is now lighter, faster, and more sustainable than its predecessor.
What's New: The 2019 Clubsport now comes in two strains for racing enthusiasts whose levels of dedication and skill may vary. Trackday models are catered toward the casual racer, the gentleman driver, while Competition models are as their name implies and offer maximum adjustability to suit the preferences of professional drivers.
Both versions exemplify Porsche's commitment to sustainable motorsport via their bodywork, which uses resin-bound organic fiber from agricultural byproducts like flax and hemp (a species of the cannabis family) to achieve carbon fiber-like rigidity and weight at a lesser cost. This natural fiber composite appears in both the Clubsport's doors and its rear wing.
Trackday models are the simpler of the two to operate, with fixed shock absorber settings and full electronic assist setups. Anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control are all standard but can be deactivated by prodigal sons who think themselves pros. Air conditioning is also standard equipment, and the entire package can be bought and serviced at any Porsche dealership, as long as the sales rep doesn't steal your money, of course. Porsche purists can expect to pay approximately 134,000 euros or roughly the equivalent to $152,700.
Competition cars are professional motorsport-grade pieces of equipment and feature all the relevant trimmings for such vehicles. A 30.4-gallon (115-liter) fuel tank gives this version longer legs than the Trackday car, which has a smaller 21.1-gallon (80-liter) cell. Shock absorbers can be set to any of three adjustment settings, and brake balance can be proportioned freely.
Integral air jacks and a quick-disconnect steering wheel derived from that of the 911 GT3 R accelerates pit stops, allowing quicker tire and driver swaps respectively. Automatic fire suppression ensures that in the worst case scenario of an engine fire, your $178,900 investment will be protected.
Speaking of which, the Clubsport's engine is a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated, dry-sump flat six capable of revving as high as 7,800 rpm. Along the way, it'll make 425 horsepower and 313 pound-feet of torque, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. A compression ratio of 12.5:1 means it'll turn its nose up at anything less than unleaded 98 octane, whose byproducts it will expel through an exhaust that features a catalytic converter.
Quotable: "The new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport possesses significantly more racing genes than its successful predecessor," stated Porsche motorsport head, 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."
What You Need to Know: Included among the hundreds of Clubsport drivers Porsche boasts is motocross star Travis Pastrana, who won in the Cayman GT4 Clubsport class at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Porsche could cater to still more Clubsport customers if enough express demand for their own versions of the rally-oriented Cayman GT4 Clubsport concept demonstrated in 2018.
Still, Porsche could face a challenge from another manufacturer targeting wealthy club racers—Revolution Race Cars, whose own club racer weighs less than 60 percent of what Porsche's does, and makes nearly as much power. One thing is certain, 2019 isn't a bad year to be rich and interested in racing.