Porsche made waves on the opening morning of the Los Angeles auto show Wednesday with the unveiling of its lightweight Cayman R.
The new two-seater is based on a pared-down and powered-up version of the Cayman S that harks back to one of Porsche's most celebrated models, the 911 R that launched in 1967. It is set to go on sale in North America in February.
The latest in an illustrious line of hard-core Porsche models is powered by a lightly re-tuned version of the horizontally opposed 3.4-liter six-cylinder that employs direct injection and is used in the Cayman S. Power has risen by 10 horsepower, to 330 hp at 7,200 rpm. Torque, meanwhile, remains at 273 lb-ft, developed at the same 4,750 rpm as the Cayman S.
In standard guise with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Cayman R is claimed to hit 62 mph (100kph) in five seconds -- two-tenths of a second faster than the time claimed for the Cayman S. But with an optional seven-speed, double-clutch gearbox and the Porsche Sport Chrono package that introduces aggressive throttle mapping, this time is lowered to 4.7 seconds. Top speed in both cases is increased by 3 mph, to 175 mph.
Weight saving moves
Among the weight-saving measures incorporated into the new range-topping Cayman model are aluminum doors -- items that are shared with the 911 Turbo and the 911 GT3 -- a front-mounted fuel tank, carbon-fiber-backed seats and lightweight interior trims already offered through Porsche Exclusive.
The Cayman R will also be sold without air conditioning or a sound system, although customers can specify them at extra cost. Altogether, Porsche's engineers have managed to pare 110 pounds from the curb weight of the Cayman S.
The added performance is made possible by a re-tuned MacPherson strut and multilink suspension that has been lowered by a significant 20 millimeters, giving it a lower center of gravity and an even more planted stance.
The Cayman R also comes standard with a limited-slip differential and lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels that help reduce unsprung masses by a claimed 11 pounds.
Distinguishing the Cayman R from existing Cayman models are black-framed headlamps, contrasting exterior mirror housings and a fixed rear wing. Buyers can also specify “Porsche” lettering down the sides and a new metallic paint scheme.