LA Motor Show 2012: Porsche Cayman
It’s Los Angles Motor Show time, and we’ve already brought you the first big reveal – the Jaguar XFR-S. But luckily the next reveal wasn’t too far away and this is the one we’ve been really eager for – the new Porsche Cayman.
The previous Cayman suffered from pretty poor sales compared to the Boxster and 911, which was surprising given how incredible they were to drive. Add in the extra practicality of the hatchback rear and they were a very compelling package. Why that never translated into big sale is beyond us, but it’s something Porsche is hoping to remedy with this all-new 2013 model. Still very much a Boxster coupe, the new Cayman aims to remove that nametag by offering a more complete package than before.
On the styling front, the new model is certainly a looker – taking the already stunning lines of the new Boxster and sculpting a sleek coupe roofline onto it. The rear hatch and glass come back further than before, giving a more traditional coupe profile, though we’re glad they stopped it where they did – any further back and it could have drifted into Panamera territory. You still get the powerful rear haunches though, one of the best elements of the previous model’s styling. Up front there is a new bumper with larger intakes to distinguish it from the Boxster while at the rear there is the same integrated pop-up spoiler that blends into the rear lights. The rear spoiler extends to a steeper angle than the Boxster to account for the changed aerodynamics.
The power plants are the same units as in the Boxster, but tuned for a little more power to account for the slight increase in weight over the convertible. The 2.7 litre flat six gets 10 bhp more taking it to 275 bhp, along with 214 lb/ft of torque. This enables the base Cayman to sprint from 0 – 62 mph in 5.7 seconds onto a top speed of 165 mph. The 3.4 litre unit jumps to 325 bhp and 273 lb/ft, meaning a drop to 5.0 seconds for the 0 – 62 mph dash and a top speed of 175 mph.
The new Cayman is 35 mm longer than the predecessor, along with 10 mm lower which should help lower the centre of gravity and improve the handling even more. Given how well the new Boxster drives we can’t wait to see how the new Cayman steers, we’re expecting big things. An extra bonus is the fact that the new Cayman weighs around 40 kg lighter than the old model, thanks to extra use of aluminium in the body. On a practical level the new Cayman manages to have 150 litres of luggage space in the nose along with a further 162 litres in the space above the engine, under the hatchback. This means that the Cayman actually has more luggage space than the 911, if you discount the rear seats of the bigger car.
This all comes together to make us ponder – why would you need the 911? The Cayman S will provide more than adequate performance, if the old model is anything to go by will handle better than the 911 and is significantly cheaper. We think the Cayman is no longer the 911’s poorer brother, and if you really don’t need those rear seats could be the sports car to have in 2013.
The Cayman 2.7 starts at £39,694, which is £500 less than the current model, while the 3.4 S costs £48,783. Both models go on sale in early 2013.
Images and video courtesy of Porsche GmbH