Porsche debuted the third generation of its mid-engine Cayman sports coupe at the Beijing auto show on Monday, unveiling a model with virtually the same performance specs as its Boxster roadster sibling, including a new 2.0-liter, flat four-cylinder engine that has a turbocharger to achieve both better output and lower CO2 emissions.
For the first time, the hard-top will be priced below the roadster, reversing an industry oddity that harks back to the first Cayman S launched in the market in November 2005, when the model was positioned to fill the price gap between the Boxster and 911.
Typically soft-tops like the Boxster are more expensive than coupes despite their usual slower acceleration rate that comes in part from additional side crash reinforcements to the body needed to compensate for the loss of the B-column.
Whereas the outgoing Cayman had more impressive specs, both two-seaters now offer the same 296 horsepower and 380 newton meters of torque in their base version, according to Porsche. Compared with the previous coupe, internally known as the 981, the new Cayman offers an increase over the previous coupe of 25 more hp and 90 additional Nm, respectively.
Equipped with Porsche’s PDK double clutch and its optional Sport Chrono package, the Cayman can accelerate to 100kph (62mph) from a standstill in 4.7 seconds versus a previous 5.4 seconds, and hits a top speed of 275kph (171mph). Thanks to its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Boxer engine instead of the larger 2.7-liter, six-cylinder version that it had in the past, fuel consumption sinks as low as 5.7 liters of gasoline per 100km on the highway from about 6.3 liters previously.
“The taut proportions, prominent air intakes at the front and sides and low side profile underscore the boost in dynamics. The nose has a much sharper profile, which gives the front end a wider and more masculine appearance,” Porsche said in its statement. “Viewed from the side, the new sport coupe reveals its striking wings and side sills. The redesigned rear has a much wider look.”
The 718 Cayman starts at 51,623 euros in Germany – or nearly 4 percent less than the Boxster – while the 718 Cayman S costs at least 64,118 euros, each including VAT and country-specific features. The two can be ordered now ahead of their European market launch at the end of September. The Cayman then follows in the U.S. in late November and in China at the start of December.
The coupe and the roadster will be marketed as the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman. The 718 designation signals the move to smaller, turbocharged engines.