Successor to the Porsche 550 Spyder and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, this single-seat mid-engine coupe is used solely on racetracks and is thus predestined to run on racing tires. As a mid-engine two-seater car, the Cayman GT4 comes from the same stock as the 918 Spyder—and the current reigning world endurance champion, the 919 Hybrid. The configuration of its power train exemplifies the inventive spirit of the Porsche family. Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry created the first single-seat mid-engine cars in the form of the Auto Union Grand Prix racing car and the Type 360 Cisitalia.
Starting in 1953, the Porsche 550 Spyder then spread this design so successfully throughout the world that Cooper, Lotus, and Ferrari also started placing their engines right behind the driver. The Cayman GT4, which was introduced in 2015, can be considered a direct descendant of the Porsche 550—and probably the hottest successor to the legendary Spyder Coupé, whose superb aerodynamics convinced Porsche to enter it in the 24 Hours of Le Mans six decades ago. The Clubsport is based on the road-going version of the Cayman GT4, which in 2016 has 283 kW (385 hp; Cayman GT4: Combined fuel consumption: 10,3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 238 g/km) at 7,400 rpm, a curb weight of 1,340 kilos, and a six-speed manual transmission.
Production of the Cayman GT4 Clubsport follows the Porsche rhythm
The new Clubsport has the same lines as the GT4, a slightly modified rear spoiler, the same robust 3.8-liter engine generating 385 hp of displacement, a six-speed PDK transmission, and a top track speed of 295 km/h. It has slimmed down to a curb weight of exactly 1,300 kilos. And it features chassis components and brakes from the 911 GT3 Cup car plus an optimized mechanical locking differential. In other words, a package that would have pleased the company founder and his son. Production of the Cayman GT4 Clubsport follows the Porsche rhythm. The shell is sent to a separate production line, the components are mounted, and the car is finished in the motorsport department at the Weissach Development Center.
In this case, it means a lot is left out. The car has a single seat, with the battery placed in the footwell of the passenger side to enhance the weight distribution. There are no insulation materials, interior cladding, or luggage compartment, and the wiring is reduced. Actually, it’s a stripped car body in white, yellow, and gray. With a roll cage, racing bucket-seat, original instruments, and a racing steering wheel with carbon-fiber paddle shifters. Test-drives comparing manual and PDK transmissions showed the latter to be more competitive in spite of the added weight. As project director Matthias Scholz remarks, “Paddle shifters are used in racing cars these days so you can keep both hands on the wheel.”
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