New Porsche Cayman two-seater is lighter and larger
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LOS ANGELES -- The renewal of Porsche's sportscar lineup continues with the unveiling today of a larger and lighter second-generation Cayman here at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The mid-engined coupe, which adopts a redesigned platform offering improved weight distribution as well as a series of weight-saving measures, is planned to go on sale in North America next spring.
The Cayman is a sister car to the Boxster. Both will come from Porsche's plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany, and, if demand warrants, the old Karmann factory in Osnabruck.
The new Cayman receives slightly different proportions to provide for a larger cabin. Length is up by 1.4 inches while height drops by 0.4 inch compared with its predecessor, at 172.4 inches and 51.0 inches respectively. Width increases but only incrementally at 70.9 inches.
The Cayman continues to share its styling with the Boxster. As with its roadster sibling, the new coupe adopts an edgier appearance than its predecessor with tauter surfacing and crisper feature lines, including a distinctive swage running through the doors and into larger cooling ducts ahead of the rear wheel arches.
As on all recent Porsche models, the exterior mirrors are mounted on the doors rather than within the glasshouse. The wheelhouses have also increased in size, allowing Porsche to fit the range-topping Cayman S with standard 19-inch wheels and offer 20-inch rims as optional equipment.
Inside, there is a higher quality interior. The two-seat layout remains but a longer cabin provides for greater levels of seat adjustment and improved stowage space. Porsche claims a nominal 5.3 cubic feet of luggage space in the nose section and 5.7 cubic feet at the rear in the space above the engine.
As with the Boxster, the new Cayman will be sold with the choice of two horizontally opposed six-cylinder engines: a new 2.7-liter unit at the entry level and a reworked version of the existing 3.4-liter powerplant in the initial range-topping model. Buyers will also be able to choose between two gearboxes: a standard six-speed manual and optional seven-speed dual-clutch unit, which includes a coasting function that idles the engine and disengages the clutch on a trailing throttle for added fuel savings.
The 2.7-liter unit replaces the older 2.9-liter engine, producing an additional 9 hp but 7 lb-ft less torque, with 271 hp and 214 lb-ft. It is sufficient to propel the base 2,888-pound Cayman from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and to a top speed of 165 mph, while delivering combined city/highway fuel economy of 28.7 mpg with the six-speed manual. The dual-clutch gearbox extends performance and reduces fuel economy, with official claims of 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, top speed of 164 mph, and 30.5 mpg .
The reworked 3.4-liter engine delivers 4 hp more but the same level of torque as the old unit, with 321 hp and 273 lb-ft. This is enough to endow the 2,910-pound Cayman S with an official 0-to-62-mph time of 5.0 seconds with the six-speed manual and 4.7 seconds with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Top speed is 176 mph with the manual and 175 mph with the dual clutch, while fuel economy is put at 26.7 mpg and 29.4 mpg.
As with the Boxster, the Cayman adopts an electro-mechanical steering system in two different states of tune and comes with the option of the Porsche Active Suspension Management system that offers differing damping, throttle and steering characteristics.
The Cayman wears 18-inch wheels -- 8 inches wide up front and 9 inches at the rear, shod with 235/45 and 265/45 tires. The 19-inch wheels of the Cayman S are 8 inches wide up front and 9.5 inches at the rear and come with lower profile 235/40 and 265/40 rubber.
The reduction in height is claimed to provide for a lower center of gravity, which Porsche claims is at the heart of improvements in the Cayman's overall dynamic ability. Further highlights include a torque vectoring function and electronic differential to aid traction.
You can reach Greg Kable at firstname.lastname@example.org.