Porsche Returns To Rally Roots With Cayman GT4 Clubsport Rallye

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Porsche has silently revealed a new concept that could spawn a future road-going model. The Porche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Rallye will race in the Rallye Deutschland this season.

For those who might be surprised at Porsche’s seemingly sudden decision to build a rally car, the Stuttgart-based automaker has dabbled in rally racing before. Way back in the eighties when Group B racing was at its peak, Porsche began developing a new car that could race in one of the world’s most brutal forms of motorsports: the 959 coupe. The goal was to develop technology to apply to road-legal cars through learnings in the sport. When Group B moved to rallying, Porsche gave up the 959 project citing the lack of relevance to production cars and instead turned the 959 into a no-holds-barred performance car. The Porsche 959 was the fastest production car of its time.

In 1984, three 911s were upgraded to 959 specifications and the company fielded these in the infamous Paris-Dakar Rally. Through the knowledge gained in that season, Porsche had a complete 959 rally car ready for the 1985 race. The results were not positive with none of the three cars finishing the rally. In 1986 however, the 959 secured both the first and second places at the podium of Dakar, giving the company serious credibility when it came to rallying. Porsche didn’t enter the 959 in Group B rallies calculating that the cost of racing far outweighed the technical know-how gained in the season.

Fast forward to the present, the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Rallye has rather big shoes to fill. The 959 is kind of a celebrity in the world of rallying, so it was important that the spiritual successor be just as good. And from the looks of it, Porsche has hit the nail right on the head with the Cayman Rallye. The rally car is based on the Cayman GT4 Clubsport and features cosmetic modifications to suit rally racing. For starters, there is a big rack of auxiliary lights on the hood along with a roof scoop. There is a roll cage inside the car and what looks like all-terrain tyres shod on the rims. Additionally, the Cayman Rallye gets body cladding all around and under.

The Cayman GT4 is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six motor that produces 380 hp and 420 Nm. A PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) twin-clutch gearbox handles transmission duties. The Cayman GT4 Clubsport Rallye will likely race on the same specifications, possibly with all-wheel-drive. Porsche hasn’t revealed much about this car, except that it will race in the grueling ADAC Rallye Deutschland scheduled later this month with Romain Dumas behind the wheel. Yes, this is the same Romain Dumas who set a new record at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak racer. Porsche says the Cayman Rallye will race in Germany and other forthcoming rallies to gather feedback about the vehicle. The information collected will be used to ascertain “if a similar car, based on a future model, could be developed.”

We wish Porsche the very best of luck and hope to see the Cayman Rallye in road-going form in a couple of years!

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