Porsche Uses Natural-Fiber Composites in Cayman Race Car

January 04, 2019 at 11:07 AM

Porsche AG says its new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the first production race car to use body panels made of natural-fiber composite materials.

The car’s doors and the rear wing are made of an organic fiber mix sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibers. Porsche says the organic blend is similar to carbon fiber in terms of weight and stiffness.

The construction helps keep the car’s weight to 2,900 lbs.

The 718 is a follow-up to the Cayman GT4 Clubsport that was launched three years ago. The new model will be offered in two versions—one each for amateur and professional race car drivers.

Power comes from a 3.8-liter inline-six engine tuned to produce 425 hp. The engine is mated with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a mechanical rear axle differential lock.

Other features include 380-mm steel brake discs. A lightweight spring strut front suspension is derived from the larger 911 GT3 race car.