Porsche has introduced the new 718 Cayman GT4 as the first ever race car to be made out of hemp.
You might not think of hemp as something that can be used in race cars, but leave it to Porsche to find a way of turning an old hippie material used to make t-shirts and shoes into a low-cost alternative to carbon fiber.
The new 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport has arrived, and it’s most notable feature is doors and rear spoiler made out of hemp. Porsche calls it "natural-fiber composite material” which is made from an "organic fiber mix" sourced from agricultural byproducts such as flax or hemp fiber.
That’s not to say that you can get high from the Cayman’s doors. We’re sure that whatever process Porsche used to compress hemp down into something approaching a body panel would remove what little psychoactive chemicals remained in the hemp. But we are saying that should the door catch fire, the driver might get whiff of something other than engine grease.
Porsche says that the hemp doors are similar to carbon fiber in terms of weight and stiffness, but AutoGuide reports that the doors will also swell if they get wet.
However, as a track-only race car, it’s unlikely the new Cayman GT4 will be left in the rain for any appreciable amount of time.
Now that we’ve got the hemp out of our system, let’s talk about the car’s improvements. The 3.8-L flat-six engine now produces 425 hp, which is a 40 pony improvement from the previous generation. Power is routed through a 6-speed dual-clutch to the rear wheels with the front suspension stolen from the 911 GT3 Cup.
Overall weight is just 2910 lbs thanks to a stripped out interior, a single driver seat, and the aforementioned plant-based bodywork.
The Cayman GT4 comes in two versions: Trackday and Competition. Trackday is for amateur drivers that just want an expensive toy, while Competition is for professionals who plan to race this thing for real. As such, the Competition gets a bunch of upgrades, including adjustable shocks, a larger fuel tank, integrated air jack system, a quick release steering wheel, and an automatic fire extinguisher.
The Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trackday starts at 134,000 Euros, while the Competition starts at 157,000 Euros. Consult your local laws before you import one of these things since hemp has a strange legal status in America right now.