Porsche Releases New 718 Cayman GT4 Featuring Hemp Components

Written by Pablo Martin | 22 Oct 2019
📷 Digital Trends

Porsche have announced their Cayman GT4 Clubsport successor after three years: the new 718 Cayman Clubsport. As it may have come as no surprise for racing car aficionados, this new Porsche model is faster than the previous, but also greener and more eco-friendly. Components of the vehicle, such as doors and rear spoilers, are made of flax and hemp fibres.

These fibres, which Porsche has described as an “organic fibre mix”, are arranged in such a way to replicate a similar pattern to the one in carbon fibre. Although these products are organic and biodegradable, this composite has comparable strength and weight properties to carbon fibre. According to Top Speed , here is a list of the most important advantages of natural fibre over carbon or glass fibre:

  • Low density (1.5 vs. 2.54 for glass fibre)
  • Higher specific stiffness than for glass fibre
  • Better vibration damping than for carbon or glass fibre
  • Better thermal insulation than for carbon fibre
  • Better acoustic insulation than for carbon or glass fibre
  • Impact response
  • Fatigue behaviour
  • Biodegradability
  • Radiowave transparency
  • Hybridisation
  • Recyclability

The 718 Cayman GT4 lighter parts are the eco-friendly solutions that these natural fibres provide, creating a considerable positive impact in production, cultivation and cost. However, it has been highlighted that the flax and hemp fibre may need further development to tackle its main disadvantage opposed to carbon or glass fibre: it may swell after exceeded exposure to water and moisture. Oppositely, it has been argued that this is not really an issue for the new Porsche titan, since it is a track-only car, meaning it has not been licensed to drive in the street.

Porsche have confirmed that there are future plans for a legal street version of the GT4, although it will not comprise the monstrous 3.8L, 6 cylinder engine like the Clubsport. Could this be the big breakthrough for hemp fibre within the racing and motorsport industry? How long will it be until natural fibre is used more commonly for street car components?