The new Porsche Cayman 2013

Like the Boxster, the new Cayman has a longer wheelbase, but is lighter than the outgoing model, and it’s also more powerful. There are two versions: The base Cayman with its 2.7-liter flat-six producing 275 hp—that’s 10 more than its predecessor—and 214 lb-ft of torque. Above that, Porsche presents the Cayman S, powered by a 3.4-liter flat-six that makes 325 hp and 273 lb-ft from. Both direct-injected engines have an aluminum block and aluminum cylinder heads; they sport four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. Porsche offers a six-speed manual transmission and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

With the Cayman, more powerful doesn’t mean less efficient; thanks to a brake-based energy-recovery system, sophisticated thermal management, and a start-stop system, consumption is reduced by up to 15 per cent.

But don’t be fooled by the greenie wrapper, the Cayman’s performance is supreme. The standard model needs just more than five seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop, while the Cayman S undercuts the five-second-marker easily. Top speed is 165 mph and 176 mph, respectively. The choice in transmission becomes a difficult one. With the seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), the Cayman is 66 pounds heavier than with the standard manual transmission. But acceleration with the PDK is superior, thanks to the ultra-quick shifts and the pre-loading of the transmission. On the other hand, top speed—admittedly, an academic figure in most markets—suffers in the auto. For those who do opt for the stick, a shift light now will be added.

The new Cayman, with its 2.4-inch longer wheelbase, is more stable on the road. The hydraulic power steering goes out in favor of electro-mechanical power steering. From our experience with the Boxster, it is a particularly well-engineered unit; you likely won’t miss the old steering. A number of costly options improve roadholding further: PASM active suspension; PTV brake-induced torque vectoring; and active transmission mounts, which stiffen up when driving tenacity picks up.

Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, while 19- and 20-inch wheels are available as an option. The Cayman S now features the front discs off the 911; carbon-ceramic brakes are optional. A sport-exhaust system that enhances the car’s sound by the push of a button will be available, as well. If you are looking for an entirely different kind of sound, you might consider the Burmester high-end audio system that was not available on the previous generation of Caymans. Burmester is Porsche’s supplier of choice, and they even supplied Bugatti for a while, before VW’s top brand switched to Dynaudio. More info here.

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