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New Porsche Cayman is slimmer, faster

Porsche's latest Boxster has been racking up rave reviews across the globe and there's little doubt that the praise will continue to be heaped upon its new tin-top sibling, the Cayman.

The second generation of Porsche's Boxster-based compact coupé is up to 30kg lighter than its predecessor, yet its body is said to be 40 percent stiffer. This, combined with two more powerful mid-mounted flat-six engines, means enthusiasts have even more to look forward to.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

In the standard Cayman, the previous 2.9-litre motor has been replaced by a 2.7-litre, but the engine now revs higher (producing its maximum power at 7400rpm, from 7200rpm) but its peak figure increases from 195kW to 202kW.

The Cayman S gets a smaller power hike, its 3.4-litre engine now good for 239kW - up from 235kW.

SPRINTER’S PACK

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but both models can be ordered with Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox. PDK models can be made even quicker off the line if owners order the Sport Chrono Package, which has a launch control function.

On that subject, the standard manual transmission 2.9-litre will, according to Porsche, storm to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds; cut that to 5.6 seconds in PDK form and 5.4 seconds when Sport Chrono is fitted. The 3.4-litre will take 5.0, 4.9 and 4.7 seconds respectively.

Both engines are said to be 15 percent more economical than before.

However, these gains disappear when the driver engages the new 'Sport' button, which deactivates the idle-stop system, improves engine response and, in the case of PDK models, procures later up-shifts and earlier down-shifts.

ADAPTABLE SUSPENSION

This car is also very much about handling and stability and for this new model, engineers sought to build upon the cornering capability of its predecessor while also improving ride comfort.

Buyers can opt for a new generation PASM active damping system linked to a button that allows the driver to choose between 'Normal' and 'Sport' suspension modes.

The high-end feature entourage doesn't quite end there, with new optional items like adaptive cruise control, a traffic-creep function with low-speed auto-braking and a Burmester premium sound system among numerous gadgets and trim options.

Our contact at Porsche South Africa informs us that the order books for this new Cayman are now open, but that pricing has yet to be finalised and the first units are scheduled to arrive in April 2013.

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