Porsche has taken the wraps off the third generation Cayman on the L. a. Auto Show; its longer wheelbase, all-new chassis and lower weight further optimising the established dynamic credentials of the mid-engined sports coupe.
Since its debut in 2005, the Cayman has earned a distinctive reputation as a driver’s car. For the newest model, the 2-seater was newly-developed from the bottom up and – after the 911 Carrera and Boxster roadster – is the third sports car model series from Porsche to add innovative lightweight body design.
Consequently, the recent Cayman is as much as 30 kg lighter than the prior model, counting on the explicit version and kit, and gives as much as 15 per cent greater fuel efficiency- despite its increased engine output and driving performance.
The new Cayman is more distinctive than ever. Its proportions are new, and yet it’s far clearly a Porsche sports coupe; a long wheelbase with shorter overhangs and 18- or 19-inch diameter wheels with larger rolling circumference are identifying visual characteristics of the car’s more enhanced driving performance. Its styling is marked by precise lines and razor-sharp sculpted edges. They emphasise the car’s low, extended silhouette with the windscreen shifted forward and the roof line that reaches far back.
Porsche offers two flat six ‘boxer’ engines inside the Cayman, a 2.7-litre and three.4-litre, which both combine ample torque with high power within the upper engine rev range. One consequence of this high-revving concept is that although the two.7-litre has a zero.2-litre reduction in engine displacement compared with the former 2.9-litre unit, it still develops a better power output.
With its specific power of 101.6 hp/litre, the two.7-litre engine is the 1st Cayman to wreck the magic 100 hp per litre displacement barrier for sports car engines. Both engines now produce their maximum nominal power at 7,400 rpm; it was 7,200 rpm previously. Not just were peak powers increased by 10 hp to 275 hp (202 kW) within the Cayman and by five hp to 325 hp (239 kW) within the S-model; their two power curves also lie above those of the former engines, because of this overall the six-cylinder engines produce more power at identical engine revs.
The new engines draw their air from both the left and right air scoops. Within the 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine of the Cayman S, a switching resonance flap improves cylinder fill, providing high torque at low revs in addition to a uniform torque curve. Both engines feature variable valve timing and raise (VarioCam Plus) at the intake side for optimal timing liable changes.
The new Cayman employs a six-speed manual transmission as standard; its gear ratios are optimally chosen for the engine’s unique characteristics. The double clutch PDK also is available as an option. It offers seven gears and shifting with none interruption in propulsive power, and it enables faster sprints and higher fuel economy.
The Cayman also now offers a Sport button as standard that lets the motive force select from sport-oriented tuning and that that’s optimised for fuel efficiency. In Sport mode, the electronic engine management system makes the engine respond even quicker, with more direct dynamic response of the engine. In vehicles with PDK, automatic mode leads to later upshifts and earlier downshifts. Moreover, the beginning/stop function and coasting function are deactivated.
The PDK is exactly tuned to the vehicle dynamics of the recent Cayman. For instance, in manual mode it enables controlled drifts with the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) deactivated – assuming a suitably protected roadway. Detection of the yaw angle and steering input angle initiates prevention of upshifting and permits a particular dynamic driving style.
Electro-mechanical power steering replaces the former hydraulic system of the Cayman. Its high performance lets drivers experience the agility of the Cayman much more intensively. The motive force receives direct feedback via the steering wheel, and negative or unnecessary “noise” is filtered out.
The new Cayman models ride on wheels and tyres which are now one inch larger in diameter than at the previous model. Standard now are 18-inch wheels (Cayman) and 19-inch (Cayman S), which provide the sports coupe increased lateral stability and handling properties. Optional wheels include 20-inch Carrera S design, 20-inch Carrera Classic with bi-colour styling and the brand new 20-inch Sport Techno rims from the Exclusive programme.
The standard tyres are optimised for low rolling resistance, with a typically high level of Porsche performance when it comes to handling and braking distance, and they’re also low in weight. A seven per cent reduction in rolling resistance compared with the former models contributes towards reducing fuel consumption.
Standard equipment at the Cayman includes aircon, 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 3 year warranty. As well as the more powerful, larger capacity engine, the Cayman S adds 19-inch alloy wheels, partial leather interior, and Bi-Xenon headlights.
The new Porsche Cayman will arrive in UK Porsche Centres in March 2013. The Cayman is priced from £39,694, and the Cayman S priced from £48,783.
Last updated: Friday, 30th Nov 2012, 12:10