Thursday, 29 November 2012 12:24 PM
We could be facetious and say that there’s little point ‘unveiling’ a new Porsche Cayman when the new Boxster is already on sale. The Cayman, after all, is a Boxster with a hard roof on it. But, I’m a fan of the tin-topped Boxster, err Cayman, err this one here, so let’s take a look at Porsche’s almost-budget new mid-engined sportscar, unwrapped right now at the Los Angeles motor show.
The new Cayman is up to 30kg lighter than the last model, depending on the specific version and extras, and offers up to 15 per cent greater fuel efficiency, but with power and torque also on the up. It gets a longer wheelbase from an all-new chassis, too.
Again, we could scoff that the new Cayman looks a little too similar to its forerunner, but you’re either a lover of the minimal-is-more Porsche design style, or you’re not. However, the new car is lightly distinguished from the old one by slightly bigger proportions, that extended wheelbase with shorter overhangs, and 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels. The devil is always in the detail with new Porsches, but it’d surely be hard not to find a soft spot for the chunky, modern-looking new Cayman.
And then there’s the driving of it to love. The Cayman gets two engine choices; a 2.7-litre and 3.4-litre flat-six boxer, both making more power than the last Cayman engines, and with greater efficiency.
The 2.7-litre engine makes 275bhp, sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. In manual trim, this motor manages 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, with PDK automatic trimming that to 5.6 seconds, and 5.4 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed for this car is 165mph; PDK 164mph, while fuel consumption is quoted at 34.4mpg; CO2 at 192g/km, with PDK at 36.7mpg and CO2 at 180g/km.
For Cayman S, the 3.4-litre engine makes 325bhp; hitting 62mph in 5 seconds; seven-speed PDK in 4.9 seconds, and 4.7 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed here is 176mph; PDK 174mph, with fuel consumption at 32.1mpg and CO2 at 206g/km; PDK at 35.3mpg and CO2 at 188g/km.
Making best use of the chunky new power outputs is an all-new body that’s based on the body of the Boxster. It’s a lighter-weight design with mixed aluminium-steel construction that has reduced weight by around 47kg. The car's static torsional rigidity has been boosted by 40 per cent, allowing the suspension a more ‘predictable’ platform to work from.
However, a larger glass surface area and larger wheels offset some of the new weight savings, but, overall the new Cayman is lighter than the previous model; a standard Cayman S weighs 30kg less than before. Around 44 per cent of the new Cayman is made of aluminium; the front section, floor and rear section, the doors and the front and rear boot lids.
The new Porsche Cayman makes its first public appearance this week at the 2012 LA Auto Show ahead of arriving in UK Porsche Centres in March 2013. The Cayman is priced from £39,694 and the Cayman S from £48,783.
Standard equipment on the Cayman includes air conditioning, CD audio with seven-inch touch-screen control interface, universal audio interface offering MP3 connectivity, automatic headlight activation, auto stop-start function, electronic parking brake, 'Sport' button, 18-inch alloy wheels, top tinted windscreen, floor mats and a three year warranty. In addition to the more powerful, larger capacity engine, the Cayman S adds 19-inch alloy wheels, partial leather interior, and Bi-Xenon headlights.
By Daniel Anslow