Porsche has unveiled its new Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which features a small amount of natural fibre bodywork. The move is in tune with Stuttgart’s aims to increase the use of sustainable, renewable materials following a 2015 Sustainability Report which showed Porsche had increased its use of fossil fuels and electrical power through the year.
Porsche says that 718 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the first ever production race car to feature body parts made of natural-fibre composite material. Both doors and the rear wing are made of an organic fibre mix, sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibres and feature similar properties to carbon fibre in terms of weight and stiffness.
Bcomp powerRib & AmpliTex natural fibre composites
Three panels on a car doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a start. The technology obviously exists to do more, as demonstrated by Swiss firm BComp, whose partnership with the Electric GT sustainable racing project was announced back in 2017.
Bcomp’s proprietary material is a high-performance, cost-efficient product that can replace or reinforce carbon fibre and other engineering materials. It is said to cut up to 40% weight with no change in performance. The natural fibre composite bodywork developed by Bcomp can also be embedded with LED lighting to act as an information screen while the cars go around the circuit.
Bcomp’s powerRib and ampliTex reinforcement fabrics have been used throughout the sports and leisure markets, in products such as skis, snowboards, surfboards, canoes and guitars. Bcomp has also collaborated with the European Space Agency ESA on the development of lightweight space applications.
Porsche Cayman GT4 Trackday model not available in the UK
The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport comes in two versions ex-works: the Trackday model and the Competition variant for national and international motor racing. The Trackday edition is not available in the UK.
Costing £130,000 (plus 20% UK VAT), the 718 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Competition model weighs 1,320 kilograms and is powered by a 3.8-litre flat six producing 425 bhp. This is 40 bhp more than the previous model, but it didn’t stop Porsche selling 421 examples of that one over the last three years.
The transmission is a six-speed PDK with mechanical rear diff lock. Suspension is from the GT3 Cup and the bias-adjustable brakes are steel discs all round measuring 380mm in diameter. Air jacks and a fire extinguisher system are fitted as standard. The car comes with a 115-litre fuel tank for endurance events and lengthy Nurburgring sessions.