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Porsche reveals Panamericana 718 Cayman GT4 RS specials. Image by Porsche.

Porsche reveals Panamericana 718 Cayman GT4 RS specials
Pair of cars from Porsche Exclusive celebrate the history of road race and TAG Heuer association.
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What's all this about?

You're looking at two very special versions of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which are part of something called the 'TAG Heuer x Porsche - Legends of Panamericana' Sonderwunsch. They've been shown off at the big Rennsport Reunion 7 (RR7) gig at Laguna Seca, over in California.

Hold up, rewind a bit - the 'what x what of the what-what-what Sonderwhat'?

OK, we perhaps should have explained that a bit better. First up, 70 years ago, a couple of customer teams entered the fearsome Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico. This was widely held to be one of the most dangerous motorsport events in the world; presumably why it only lasted five years, from 1950 to 1954.

However, as you can probably see, the word 'Carrera' is in there and you might now be able to see where this conversation is headed. So those two customer teams ran a pair of Porsche 550 Coupes. Then, ten years later - that's obviously 60 years ago, maths fans - Jack Heuer developed a wristwatch specifically for racing drivers... which he called the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph, named after the Mexican race. And so these two lush-looking 718s you can see here are a double anniversary celebration of these two events: 'Sonderwunsch' is German for 'special request', meaning these Porsches were built out of a specific in-house project.

OK, this is starting to make more sense now. But what's the deal with the cars?

Porsche, which has a long association with TAG Heuer, thanks to previous collaborations on watches and also various ventures into motorsports - not to mention the companies both using the 'Carrera' epitaph for various examples of their products - built these two cars in Stuttgart under the auspices of Exclusive Manufaktur, Style Porsche, the company's archive, Porsche Latin America and also in partnership with TAG Heuer itself.

The design of the two cars obviously apes the 550 Coupes from 1953's edition of the Panamericana, which is why they wear the numbers 154 and 152. Taking all the typefaces on the car from historic photos of the 550 Coupe cars which ran 70 years ago, the two Caymans are finished in Le Mans Silver metallic. Much of their exterior detailing is in the same finish, including any sections of the car made from carbon-fibre weave, while the TAG Heuer logo sits proudly in a darker grey on both the bonnet, and the side blades of the rear wing. There's a Pegasus motif on both cars, although it's on the front-left wing of No.152 and the left-rear wheelarch of No.154, supposedly in homage to the fact that a 550 Spyder Porsche entered into the Carrera Panamericana back in the day was one of the first racing cars to bear advertising sponsorship on its flanks. The winged horse was previously part of the Mobil Oil logo and will be made available to modern-day customers of the German car company through Porsche Tequipment.

Inside, Guards Red leather seats contrast with black door cards and a black dash. Indeed, most of the detailing in here is black, although the stitching is in the Mexican colours of green, white and red. The legend 'GT4 RS Panamericana Special' is milled into the door sills and is then printed onto the passenger-side cupholder panel. There's also a special headrest logo that mimics the race's lettering and racing-driver cap emblems, while the TAG Heuer graphic is seen on the central armrest. Car 154 also has a TAG Heuer stopwatch module in the centre console, although this is bespoke to this 718 alone - it won't be available to customers.

But are these cars going to be built in a limited run? Or even used at all?

Car No.154 is no show Pegasus, if you'll forgive us the clunky pun. Following its debut at RR7, it will compete in the first two stages of this year's Carrera Panamericana - don't worry, it's a lot safer these days than it was back in the Fifties - later in October. The driver will be actor and racing enthusiast Patrick Dempsey, who just so happens to be a brand ambassador for TAG Heuer and Porsche Design. Car No.152, meanwhile, will be auctioned off in early 2024 for good causes, so there's a chance you'll get to own one of them. Maybe.

Matt Robinson - 2 Oct 2023

2023 TAG Heuer x Porsche - Legends of Panamericana. Image by Porsche.2023 TAG Heuer x Porsche - Legends of Panamericana. Image by Porsche.2023 TAG Heuer x Porsche - Legends of Panamericana. Image by Porsche.     - Porsche road tests
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