The rally-prepped Porsche will be based on the track-focused Clubsport.
Porsche may or may not be the first manufacturer you think of when it comes to rallying. But it has its own history in off-road motorsports, and it's opening a new chapter with a version of the 718 Cayman.
As you may recall, the German sports-car manufacturer revealed a rally-prepped version of the previous Cayman GT4 last summer, toying with the idea of implementing the concept. Now it's moving ahead with those plans, but instead of basing it on the old model, it's building it around the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
The track version revealed earlier this month packs a 3.8-liter boxer six upgraded to 419 horsepower and 313 lb-ft of torque, channeled through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a stripped-out cockpit and industry-first natural-fiber composite bodywork, the racer weighs just 2,910 pounds.
Technical specifications and availability for the rally version are still to be announced, but the vehicle's being prepared to comply with the FIA's R-GT regulations for (relatively) cost-effective, production-based rally machines. That'll allow it to compete in events like the Monte Carlo and Corsica rallies, resuming a considerable lineage of Porsche rally machines.
Most notable of those was surely the Group B-spec 959 that won the Dakar Rally outright in 1986. But there've also been countless 911s prepared for off-road competition over the years – both by the factory and by privateers – winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times in a row from 1968 through 1970 (when it also won the pre-WRC international championship) and again in '78.
The new Cayman won't compete at those same levels, but it'll still be awesome to see a Porsche on the rally scene again, and we're looking forward to seeing the new machine in its final form.