Go ahead, Weissach - make our day
Less than two weeks ago, Porsche revealed a rather unique vehicle its motorsport department was working on, promising to take it onto the rally stage at the WRC round in Germany. Now that event's taken place, and the videos that have come out reveal a rally machine every bit as awesome as we expected.
The car's based on the outgoing Cayman GT4, which has already seen action on race tracks around the world under one of the more "accessible" classes of motor racing. But this one's been modified for rallying, taking Porsche off the closed track and onto inherently more challenging surfaces.
It's a proud (if seldom exercised) tradition at Porsche, upheld by past models like the 911 Safari and 959 S/C – sports cars designed for the road but flung far off the beaten path on rally stages and cross-country events like the Dakar.
The prospect of building such a modern machine and actually fielding it in competitive rallies is still being evaluated. If it does get the go-ahead, the finished product would likely be based on the forthcoming next-generation Cayman GT4 that's being developed on the basis of the new 718 model.
It'd have to be extensively modified for the purpose, but Zuffenhausen's mid-engined pocket rocket would serve as one heck of a platform to build on. Though today's World Rally Championship competitors are all front-engined, all-wheel drive machines (at least nominally) based on production hatchbacks, the history of rallying has not been without its mid-engined entries. The Cayman GT4 would stand, then, to follow in the deep tire tracks of tail-flicking classics as the Lancia Stratos and Ford RS200 – which in and of itself is more than enough to generate more than a little extra saliva among rally enthusiasts.