Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Helps Develop Battery-Electric Sports Car

Sure, Porsche makes pretty cool sports cars and the occasional SUV. The automaker is now working on something even more remarkable, with two vehicles already in its lineup. Those are the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and the Mission R. Thanks to this project, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is the best of both worlds, hopefully culminating in a brand-new battery-electric sports car.

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is testing Mission R tech

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is testing Mission R tech
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance on the track | Porsche

In a press release this week, Porsche announced that Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 performance was getting help from a special friend. That friend happens to be the Porsche Mission R. At the 2021 IAA Mobility in Munich, Porsche outlined the vision of a fully-electric GT race car. It seems the Mission R technology will help realize that vision with the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 performance.

The 718 Cayman GT4 performance is serving as a test vehicle. The all-wheel drive sports car uses the chassis from the GT4 Clubsport model. Porsche used the battery and electric motor technology from the IAA Mobility study. In qualification mode, the maximum output was 986 hp (735 kW/1,000 PS). In the case of a simulated race, such as the Carrera Cup race, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance was able to keep a steady 603 hp (450 kW/612 PS).

“With the Mission R, we’ve shown how Porsche envisages sustainable customer motor racing in the future. The 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance now demonstrates that this vision works impressively on the racetrack.”

Matthias Scholz | Porsche GT racing vehicle project manager

Porsche says the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is equal to that of the 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup. Scholz went on to say, “We’re very excited about the response because a one-make cup with electric racing cars would be an important addition to our existing customer racing programme.”

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance power peaks at 1,073 hp

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Porsche has plans to be carbon neutral by 2030. The Cayman GT4 performance and Mission R use a fully-electric drivetrain based on a “permanently excited synchronous machine (PESM) on the front and rear axles.” These work together to make the cars all-wheel drive and offer peak power of 1,073 hp (800 kW/1,088 PS).

The automaker has also been working hard on ways to cool the electric motors and battery pack, so the power isn’t impacted. Porsche is using direct oil cooling to achieve this. “With experts in the fields of aerodynamics and thermodynamics as well as high-voltage and bodywork specialists, the development team created an architecture to tap the full potential of the battery cells for the first time, since there is no thermal derating. In this way, the power output in racing mode remains constant for half an hour,” Björn Förster, GT4 ePerformance project manager, said.

Using 900-volt technology, the battery State of Charge (SoC) allows the battery to charge at full capacity quite fast. From 5% SoC to 80% SoC in 15 minutes.

Keep an eye out at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this June

Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the GT4 performance is 5.5 inches wider. While it might take significant styling cues from other cars in the lineup, Porsche designed 6,000 parts from scratch for the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance.

Porsche plans to run the Cayman GT4 ePerformance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England in June. Keep an eye out if anyone is planning to attend. The automaker plans to test the electric sports car at a few more events before hitting the streets of America in 2023.

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