Porsche’s smoking sexy new race car is the world’s first with bodywork constructed out of hemp.
The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport includes composite doors which use an organic fiber mixture based largely from hemp and flax that take the position of standard carbon fiber to fortify a plastic resin.
Porsche says the substance is comparable in weight and stiffness to some conventional carbon fiber composites and the organic components used are agricultural by-products, which makes it more environmentally friendly. Porsche is not the first automaker with this kind of idea, however. Back in 1941 Henry Ford built a model using a body made entirely from plastic that reportedly used cellulose from hemp, soybeans and wheat in its structure, although the precise formula was lost to history.
Together with the weight-reduction supplied by the doors, the stripped-out Clubsport features a 425 hp 3.8-liter flat-six engine, 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, racing seats, roll cage, fuel cell, racing brakes and suspension, plus additional equipment for monitor use. Two versions have been offered: a 150,000 Trackday model plus a Contest version aimed at top-level racing which costs $175,000.
Porsche has not indicated any plans to use the brand new material on a street legal production car, but its enhanced sustainability would further improve the green image of its upcoming lineup of electric vehicles.