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New Porsches debut alongside old favorites at 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed [w/video]

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Above: New Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 starts the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb.

Article by Laura Burstein
Photos courtesy Porsche unless noted

Porsche was prevalent at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a roster of new debuts, including the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder, plus a plethora of vintage showings on the estate’s famous hillclimb this past weekend.

Above, from left: The 718 Spyder parked in front of the 718 Cayman GT4 in Porsche's tent. Spyder makes its way up the hill.

On display at the brand’s sprawling outdoor stand were the new 718 Cayman GT4 and Spyder, which share the all-new 4.0-liter, naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. Based on the 9A2 Evo engine family used on the 911 Carrera, the high-revving powerhouse puts out 414 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque, enabling a 0-60 miles-per-hour time of 4.4 seconds for both models (a 0.1 second improvement versus the previous Spyder). With help from new ultra-high-performance tires, the new GT4 beat the outgoing car’s time on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife by more than ten seconds.

Powertrain engineers say they were thrilled to be allowed to create a new naturally aspirated engine, as they believe it’s better in terms of both responsiveness and sound. Their main challenge was to enable the engine for revs up to 8,000 rpm, which they achieved in part with a new valve train and a new crankshaft featuring a slightly larger main bearing diameter.

Another challenge was the packaging of the sports exhaust system. A new muffler creates space for the diffuser, and in the European market, an integrated particle filter sits between the catalysts and the muffler in order to meet EU emissions standards. Integration of the gearbox was relatively easy, as it carries over from the four-cylinder models. The increase in efficiency plus weight savings (including replacing the metal oil pan with a plastic one) gives both cars a power-to-weight ratio of 7.8 pounds per hp.

Above, from top: The engine and transmission of the new 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder. The bare chassis of the GT4 and Spyder.

Both cars also now share the same chassis, with suspension improvements and a 30-mm lower ride height. Aero has also been optimized; the GT4 generates 50 percent more downforce than the previous model thanks in part to a redesigned fixed rear wing and a single-chamber arch rear silencer, which makes room for the rear diffuser. For weekend racers outside the US, the GT4 can be fitted with the Clubsport package, which adds a rear steel roll bar, six-point harness, and a fire extinguisher. For the first time on a Spyder, the new car is able to generate downforce at the rear axle thanks to a functional rear diffuser, while a retractable spoiler automatically deploys at speeds of more than 74 mph. Porsche Panorama Editor-in-Chief Rob Sass is currently in Scotland driving both cars and will soon have a full report.

Above: The new 911 RSR makes its way up the hill.

Also making its debut at Goodwood was the new mid-engined 911 RSR race car, which the Porsche works team will run in the next season of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and the World Endurance Championship. Although it’s still based on the 991.2 GT3 RS, Pascal Zurlinden, Director of GT Porsche Factory Motorsports, says 95% of the parts are new.

Above: Pushing the new 911 RSR.

“We wanted to improve the drivability and make the car easier for every driver,” Zurlinden told us at the car’s debut. “There was a lot of work done with the FIA to improve safety; for example the legs of the drivers are now not touching any walls or anything.”

Above: The new 911 RSR as seen from behind.

The naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine now has a displacement of 4.2-liters, with a sequential six-speed constant mesh gearbox. Depending on air restrictor regulations, the power plant can make up to 515 hp. A new exhaust system design saves weight and relocates the tail pipes to the front of the rear wheels. The WEC car has an FIA-constrained curb weight of 2,745 pounds.

Above: Porsche's new Formula E race car.

Zurlinden also emphasizes that engineers focused on increasing endurance and consistency, making sure the car could withstand 30 hours of continuous racing. Although Zurlinden wouldn’t disclose exact figures, he conceded that the new 911 RSR is “much quicker than the old car.” The new model will remain factory-only for next season, and will be available for customer teams the following year.

Above, clockwise from left: 1972 Porsche 911 RSR prototype (Photo by Drew Gibson). 1973 911 RSR that won the Targa Florio (Photo by Drew Gibson). Closeup of the 1973 RSR (Photo courtesy Porsche).

In an homage to the past, a pair of 911 Carrera RSRs from the 1970s ran up the hill in Goodwood’s “125 Years of Road Racing” class, both sharing the 2.8-liter flat six of the era. The 1972 example was the very first RSR 2.8 to leave the factory and one of only two prototypes built. It was driven by Björn Waldegård in that year’s Tour de Corse rally, but he sadly crashed out. The 1973 model won that year’s Targa Florio.

Above: 909 Bergspyder, built for hill climbs, does what it does best at Goodwood.

Particularly breathtaking was the 1968 909 Bergspyder, built to take on Ferrari’s 212E in hillclimbing. Nicknamed the “Plastic Porsche,” it weighed a mere 849 pounds thanks to an all-aluminum chassis, titanium suspension, and lightweight but highly toxic Beryllium brake discs.

Above: The 917/30 driven by Mark Donohue at Talladega followed by the first 917 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood at the wheel.

Perhaps most impressive was seeing the entire class of original 917s, in celebration of that car’s 50th anniversary. They include eight examples of the 917K, using either the 4.5-liter or 5.0-liter flat 12. The 4.5-liter 1969 short-tail Chassis 023 is perhaps one of the most significant, winning the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood.

Above: Several variations of the 917 wow crowds on the hill. Photo by Drew Gibson

Others include the 1971 917/10, a prototype Can-Am car, and the 917/30, a 1,200 bhp racer with a 5.4-liter turbocharged flat 12 that set a new closed-course speed record in 1975, when Mark Donohue averaged 221.1 mph at the Talladega Speedway. The car never officially raced, however, as the Can Am rules were changed the following season.

Above: Porsche's forthcoming 2020 Taycan EV. The headlight enclosures still have a bit of camo around them.

Another of the many Porsche treats at the festival was the forthcoming 2020 Taycan electric sedan, which was nearly free of camouflage as it made its way silently up the hill. We'll have to wait a bit longer before seeing the final design of the automaker's cutting edge EV.

Above: Rear of the 2020 Taycan, which also have camo hiding the taillights.

More vintage Porsches will take to the track during the Goodwood Revival at the estate’s permanent road course, from September 13 to 15.

And be sure to scroll down to watch several videos of the Porsches that ran at Goodwood.









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