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Porsche is known for its ability to spin off a litter of variants from a single model, and according to a report in Automobile the 918 Spyder (pictured here) might not be spared the house trick. Having taken too many brains and too much money for too much time, company chiefs are said to be examining ways to get more for their development euro out of the supercar, and Plan A is apparently otherwise known as Plan 984. That would be a four-seater, rear-wheel drive supercar that uses a stretched mold of the 918's carbon fiber tub, keeping the V8 in the same mid-mounted place and costing around 350,000 euro.
That would be less than half the MSRP of its inspiration, but the details don't sketch out a car that's just half as good. Automobile speculates it would get something like 700 horsepower in order to best the coming 911 GT2, and about 440 pound-feet of torque. The 984 is quite a ways short of being confirmed; even though a full-size study is said to exist, it's like the 918 would need to become a bigger sales hit for the 984 to happen.
The 984's fortunes don't change those of the 960, the supercoupe Porsche is building to challenge Ferrari. Its potential specs haven't changed since the last report in January, power coming from a 5.0-liter, twin-turbo, eight-cylinder boxer engine with something like 650 hp pushing a curb weight of roughly 3,100 pounds. The means a suspected 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of 2.5 seconds.
It was just the other day that we first caught wind of Porsche's plans to build a GT4 version of the Cayman, and now we're already looking at spy shots of the vehicle in question undergoing testing at - where else? - the Nürburgring.
With more aggressive front-end aero, a GT3-style air vent ahead of the front hood, a large wing at the back, and spindly alloys packed with over-sized brakes at each corner, this Cayman is clearly more extreme than even the range-topping GTS. The rear diffuser and central exhaust tips look about the same as those you'd find at the back of the Cayman GTS, though.
What we can't see, of course, is what Porsche has slotted in under the rear glass, how it's upgraded the interior and how much weight it's stripped out of the thing to get it down to fighting weight, but you can bet it'll come with a substantial power bump and a stripped-out interior with racing buckets and little else to open the gap between it and the GTS... and close the gap to the 911 GT3 which it will join as the baby brother in Porsche's performance-focused lineup. Click above to view the double-batch of spy shots.
To say that Porsche is big in racing is like saying that Warren Buffett dabbles in mergers and acquisitions. But while it fields the 919 Hybrid at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the bulk of its racing activities are undertaken by private teams that buy customer racecars from the factory. Those in turn are largely based on the 911, but the latest intel from the motor racing world indicates that Zuffenhausen is planning a more accessible customer race car.
The new, more affordable competition car is to be based on the Cayman and built to GT4 specifications, slotting in below the 911-based GT3 Cup, GT3 R and RSR. Autosport reports that Porsche has already developed a prototype and will shortly commence testing. Details are scarce at the moment, but the Cayman GT4 would seem to compete against the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage N24, Nissan 370Z Nismo GT4 and Maserati GranTurismo MC. It will also likely help Porsche foster enthusiasm for a potential road version that's already been spotted undergoing testing. Previous GT4 racing conversions of the Cayman, like the one pictured above, were carried out by third-party racing constructors not recognized by the factory.
Porsche may not be the only one showing interest in the category, however. BMW is said to similarly be considering a GT4-spec version of its M235i Racing model to compete in the same class, taking the place of the defunct M3 GT4 as the Bavarian marque's entry-level customer racing car.