Porsche Launches Cayman Built From Hemp
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This is the new Hemp Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. A follow-up to the Cayman GT4 race. Porsche has made the new track car faster than the previous model and also greener.
Some parts of the vehicle are made of flax and hemp. The factory took flax and hemp fibers and composed a similar material with the same properties as those found in carbon fiber. It is the first racing car ever made of cannabis.
The material is a cheap alternative to carbon fiber, which is also much better for the environment. One of the biggest environmental benefits is that it is biodegradable. They used this brilliant material in the newly designed doors and the rear spoiler. Porsche describes it as a “natural fiber composite material” made from an “organic fiber blend” that comes from agricultural products such as flax or hemp.
Flax and hemp are fantastic materials because they can achieve almost the same stiffness as carbon fiber. Natural fiber composites are nature-friendly solutions for creating lightweight parts. For example, the 718 Cayman GT4, with its hippie body panels and single seat, weighs just 1320 kg. In addition, the material is dramatically much cheaper to use and produce compared to carbon fiber.
The only disadvantages are that the material is not as strong as carbon fiber and it can swell if exposed to moisture. However, it is unlikely that the new Cayman GT4 will be left in the rain for some remarkable time as it is a race car intended for track racing and not a vehicle driven in public traffic.
“By establishing its European Scientific Council, the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp [CELC] has been able to lay the foundation for a long-term R&D strategy, helped along by the remarkable properties of flax (of which Europe is the world’s leading producer) and guided by an industrialization process in which open innovation plays a prominent role. The result has been a set of solutions that are adapted to new applications, as dictated by market imperatives. This new reality has provided the opportunity to demonstrate that flax and hemp fibers are not limited to the role of a substitute for fossil resources. They can capitalize on their combined environmental benefits and exclusive mechanical properties.”
The entry-level version features:
- 3.8-liter flat-six (paired to a 6-speed PDK)
- 425 hp (which is 40 more than the GT4 it replaces)
- Rear wheel power through a diff locker (so dirty power slides shouldn’t be an issue)
- 380 mm discs all around (those are 15% bigger than the road car’s)
- A six-point harness (to keep you in your seat under hard braking)
In addition, you can get:
- An 80-liter fuel cell
- A handheld fire extinguisher
- A rescue hatch in the roof
- and ABS ESC and TC can all be turned off if you’re so inclined
The Competition model comes with all of the above and these additional features:
- Adjustable shocks
- An extra 30 liters of fuel
- Adjustable brake bias
- An integrated air jack system
- A quick-release steering wheel
- Automatic fire extinguishing
- And more