Month: October, 2015
While the Porsche Cayman GT4 doesn’t have an RS version and probably isn’t going to be getting one anytime soon, it will be getting a racing variant very soon. It will be known as the Cayman GT4 Clubsport and is set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. While the upgrade likely isn’t going to appeal to anyone other than the hardcore racers, it’s still a cool option and should sell reasonably well for anyone looking to get the maximum performance out of the GT4.
The Clubsport was announced back in October and it’s coming packed with a 3.8 liter flat V6 that will output 385 horses. The added power of the vehicle should help it keep up on tracks and turn it into that exhilarating ride for drivers looking for every last bit of power they can get their hands on. The car is expected to come with a high-performance dual clutch automatic transmission to squeeze out every tenth of a second off those split times. The gearbox is reportedly coming from the GT3 so it’s a well-known performance-focused setup that should offer good results all around.
Since it’s designed for race tracks, the Clubsport comes standard with a safety cage and a six point harness, as well as a bucket seat. The vehicle will als o come with a mechanical locking differential and very effective 380mm steel brakes at each of the wheels for high stopping power. It comes with all the features to make sure you stay safe while out on the track.
If you’re a hardcore racer and want a track ready vehicle from Porsche the GT4 Clubsport would be an ideal option, but at it’s expected price of $165,000 it’s probably out of many driver’s price ranges. It comes all set and ready to go, but some drivers will simply opt to modify their own vehicle instead of getting a track-ready car from Porsche and enjoy the savings on their own. After all, a road GT4 is only about half the price of that.
The track version of the GT4 should look very similar to the standard GT4 minus all the performance and safety optimizations. It’s a great looking car, but if you aren’t going to be pushing the car hard on the race track you probably don’t have any reason to upgrade other than for bragging rights. Purists might actually prefer the road version of the GT4 since it can be had with the manual gearbox rather than the dual clutch version that simply doesn’t offer the same experience.
A recent shift by Porsche in the latest 911 GT3 shows that the automaker actually listens to its customers more than many other companies do. While the last generation of the 911 GT3 relied upon a more efficient dual-clutch automatic transmission, the next version comes with a manual instead. Sure the manual simply isn’t going to be as efficient as the automatic, but sometimes that isn’t the most important thing. Many drivers simply revel in the pure and more involved driving experience offered by manually throwing the car from one gear to another. While some drivers are interested in getting the fastest possible track speeds, others just want to enjoy the drive as much as possible. That’s what this move is all about.
The 911 R
In response to all the interest in keeping more natural feeling vehicles, Porsche is planning to release an all-new 911 variant. It’s now being called the 911 R, but it’s unclear if that name is going to stick or not. The car will have a manual transmission, no turbos and it is said to have more skinnier tires to offer a more precise driving feel without all the electronics to muddle things up. This variant should be a fan favorite, but it’s unclear how many units will actually sell of the vehicle. Even though fans that want manual transmissions seem to be among some of the most vocal, actual statistics show that drivers buy automatic transmission vehicles much more often than manual. Even with the manual option offered on the 911 GT3, it’s expected that more buyers will opt for an automatic than they will a manual.
Let the Buyers Choose
In order to try and keep all the buyers happy, Porsche is planning on letting the drive feel of the car to be up to the buyer as much as possible. That means in the future drivers will be able to choose between manual or automatic. It’s one of the few companies still making manual vehicles a priority and that could be one of the most telling things about Porsche as a company. The automaker is clearly interested in offering what the customers want, even if the feature isn’t going to make the company huge dollars.
The current GT3 is far from a very natural feeling vehicle, it’s equipped with a four-wheel steering system, plenty of electronics and an automatic transmission, but it appears that many more driver-focused vehicles will be released from Porsche soon.
Word on the street is that Porsche is planning on releasing a special edition version of the 911 known as the 911 R. The vehicle is designed to be a more driver-focused and track-ready version of the 911 GT3. The vehicle relies on the same engine as what’s in the GT3, but the vehicle comes with a manual gearbox instead of the seven speed dual clutch. That means that some drivers will be able to own an even more enjoyable version of the GT3, which should be exciting to everyone who got in on the deal, unfortunately there aren’t any models left, that’s right Porsche sold them all already.
Porsche Sold Out on the 600 Model Run
Porsche decided to only produce 600 models in a single production run for their loyal customers. They reached out to some of their top customers and demonstrated the vehicle at a private event, and they liked the vehicle so much that every single one of them is now spoken for. That means it doesn’t matter how much the car is going for. I’m sure it was sold for a higher premium than the 911 GT3, but anyone interested in getting the vehicle that wasn’t in on the deal will have to buy one second hand later on.
Changing the GT3
Porsche wasn’t willing to just add in a manual gearbox and call it a day. The automaker made additional changes to the vehicle to differentiate the 911R from the standard 911 GT3. It comes with a more streamlined look. Most of the aerodynamic features of the GT3 have been stripped away. That means no rear wing, the tires are smaller and it’s going to be lighter than the GT3 because of a bunch of modifications that Porsche made to the car overall.
Sources spoke with Road and Track about the vehicle and suggested that it would be released in the not-so-distant future. I wouldn’t be surprised if it released within the next month or two and the Los Angeles Motor Show coming up in November would be an ideal venue for the vehicle.
The idea behind the 911R is certainly an exciting one and I’m sure plenty of people will be eagerly watching Ebay for a used model to go on sale, or are awaiting the announcement that another line of the vehicles will go on sale in the future.