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LA show: Porsche unveils all-new Cayman

Sports day: Porsche's new Cayman came out of hiding at the Los Angeles motor show.

Orders books open for new Porsche Cayman, due in April and priced from $115,500

29 Nov 2012

PORSCHE has taken the covers off its second-generation Cayman at this week’s Los Angeles auto show as expected, revealing a longer, lighter and faster mid-engined entry-level coupe that is scheduled to hit Australian showrooms in late-April next year.

Although ahead of the show the Stuttgart marque would confirm only that it was presenting a new “compact sportscar” in LA, the Boxster-based coupe was indeed the star attraction on Porsche’s stand and marks a continuation of the company’s regeneration of its performance-car range.

This started with the seventh-generation 911 released in Australia in February this year, followed in June by the third-generation Boxster roadster – a model that showed the direction Porsche would also take with the related Cayman.

As it did with Boxster, Porsche Cars Australia has also kept a relatively tight rein on pricing, with the base 2.7-litre Cayman to start from $115,500 (plus on-road costs) – up just $400 on the previous model which ended production earlier this year.

The 3.4-litre Cayman S will kick off from $150,400, which is up $2900 on the previous model.

As with Boxster, the base Cayman displaces 200cc less than before but the 2.7-litre engine employs direct fuel injection to produce more power (but less torque) – now at 202kW at 7400rpm and 290Nm at 4500-6500rpm.

This is enough for the coupe to hit 100km/h from standstill in 5.7 seconds, and reach a top speed of 266km/h, with the standard six-speed manual gearbox.

NEDC combined-cycle fuel consumption is listed at 8.2 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions 192g/km.

The optional seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission shaves a tenth off the 0-100km/h sprint, with the Sport Chrono package lowering the benchmark further to 5.4 seconds, thanks to launch control.

25 center imageThe PDK version has a slightly lower top speed (264km/h) but markedly better economy and emissions of 7.7L/100km and 180g/km respectively.

The Cayman S sticks with a 3.4-litre flat-six engine, albeit reworked to deliver slightly more power and the same level of torque as the previous unit – 239kW at 7400rpm and 370Nm at 4500-5800rpm – which is enough to see the manual-equipped coupe reach 100km/h in 5.0 seconds, on its way to a 283km/h top speed.

PDK lowers the S-branded Cayman’s 0-100km/h sprint to 4.9 seconds (4.7 seconds with Sport Chrono), top speed is 281km/h and economy/emissions are 8.0L/100km and 188g/km – again, a significant improvement over the manual which manages 8.8L/100km and 206g/km.

The higher levels of engine and driving performance achieved across the board with the redesigned Cayman – including up to 15 per cent lower fuel consumption – owes much to the weight savings achieved with the new steel-aluminium body based on the new Boxster’s.

As a result, the coupe is now around 30kg lighter than before – tipping the scales at 1310kg in base form – despite the bigger dimensions, extra features, larger glass surfaces and larger wheels.

Pare that back to the vehicle’s ‘body in white’ and weight is down by around 47kg, while torsional rigidity is boosted by a claimed 40 per cent.

As with Boxster, the new Cayman becomes available with 911 technologies including ceramic brakes and Porsche Torque Vectoring (which brakes the inside rear wheel for greater cornering agility), while reworked MacPherson strut front and rear suspension, larger front brakes for Cayman S and fuel-saving electro-mechanical power steering also carry over from the roadster.

A new generation of the optional PASM active damping system also features on the new model, while the standard wheel size is 18-inch on Cayman and 19-inch on Cayman S, with 20-inch rims optional. Lower-resistance tyres have also been adopted as standard.

Resting on a wheelbase that is 60mm longer (at 2475mm), the new Cayman is 35mm longer (to 4380mm), a fraction wider (to 1801mm) and 10mm lower in overall height (to 1294mm). Front/rear track is 1526mm/1536mm.

As the figures suggest, the Cayman’s proportions have changed considerably with the larger cabin, longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs, while the lower height also serves to reduce its centre of gravity.

The company emphasises that the redesign still leaves us with “clearly a Porsche sport coupe” and that the “precise lines and razor-sharp sculpted edges” emphasise the new Cayman’s low, extended silhouette, with the windscreen shifted forward and the roofline extending further rearward.

Commonalities with the aggressive new 981-series Boxster are clear, but Porsche designers have also added some “identifying features” to the coupe include a circular design for the daytime running lights in the front air inlets and styling treatments at the rear end, including more curvaceous rear fenders and a higher and more sharply angled rear spoiler across a larger bootlid.

The latter provides better access to the rear boot space, while overall luggage capacity increases slightly – now 162 litres at the rear in the space above the engine, and 150 litres at the front end.

The extra room in the two-seater cabin enables extra seat adjustment for the driver and passenger, while Porsche also points to improvements in ergonomics, storage facilities and host of new features, such as a specially developed Burmester sound system and the availability of adaptive cruise control.

Porsche Cayman pricing*:
Cayman$115,500
Cayman S$150,400

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