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2013 Porsche Cayman Overview
Cooling its heels as it awaits an updated, third-generation version in 2014, the Porsche Cayman midengine sports coupe continues to deliver a winning combination of performance, handling and interior luxury, with ideal balance over the road and a striking exterior design. Reviewers say the Cayman nearly matches the iconic 911 in its aggressive acceleration and precise handling, due in part to its light weight and unique chassis design, which places the two available flat-6, boxer-style horizontally opposed engines between the front and rear axles, about a foot behind the driver. In fact, a number of reviewers say the Cayman remains one of the best sports cars available today, especially at its relatively reasonable price point. Although the cabin feels tight, with limited cargo and storage space, it retains its high build quality and classic sports car feel.
Based on the Porsche Boxster roadster, the 2-seat Cayman continues to come in Base and S trims, each with a different powerplant. A 2.9-liter 6-cylinder engine, which powers the Cayman Base trim, generates 265 hp at 7,200 rpm and 221 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Porche pairs the base 6-cylinder with either a 6-speed manual transmission, which comes standard, or an optional 7-speed dual-clutch PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. Officially Porsche lists the Cayman Base's 0-60 time at 5.5 seconds with the manual shifter and 5.4 seconds with the automatic, although some testers have reported faster times, as low as 5.1 seconds with the automatic. Top speed checks in at 164 mph. The EPA estimates fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg city/27 highway with the manual transmission and 20/29 with the automatic.
The Cayman S gets a 3.4-liter, direct-injection 6-cylinder that delivers 320 hp at 7,200 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm. It also mates to either the manual transmission or the optional automatic, and manages similiar fuel economy numbers of 19/26 and 20/29, respectively. Officially the extra horsepower propels the Cayman S from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 172 mpg, when equipped with the manual shifter. However, some testers report 0-60 times as low as 4.7 seconds.
Both engines are constructed from alloy materials to keep the weight down and sit low in the chassis, just inches above the ground, ensuring a low center of gravity and optimal overall balance. Owners seeking a quicker ride can opt for an available Sport Chrono Package, which drops the 0-60 time for the Cayman S to 4.6 seconds. The package adds a driver-selectable Sport mode, which adjusts throttle response and tunes engine dynamics for a more spirited ride. It also includes a dashboard-mounted stopwatch with analog and digital displays. Testers say the Cayman's electronic accelerator pedal provides a responsive feel, enabling the driver to precisely manage performance.
The Cayman's lightweight chassis and stiff, sport-oriented suspension deliver a smooth, exhilarating ride, with minimal body roll and precise steering, while the Cayman's wide track helps ensure a road-hugging feel. The available Sport Chrono Package tunes the suspension for a sportier ride, and similarly makes tuning adjustments when the driver engages the Sport mode. Suspension options include the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system, which adds a number of safety features, such as precharging the braking and brake assist systems. Porsche also offers an available mechanically locking rear differential for an even more energetic ride. Firm brakes with aluminum monobloc brake calipers in both the front and rear provide plenty of stopping power. Porsche also offers optional Ceramic Composite Brakes, which are 50% lighter than standard brakes, according to the automaker.
The Cayman's eye-catching exterior design matches its impressive performance. When the Cayman debuted in 2006, the automaker borrowed design elements from classic Porsches of the 1960s, particularly the 904 Carrera GTS Coupe, as well as the Le Mans Coupe of the 1950s. Both classic Porsches displayed long, low hoods, wide grilles and distinctive bug-eyed headlights. The current Cayman has a similar low-slung stance and dropped-down nose, with swooping side lines, muscular rear wheel wells and a wedge-shaped roofline. As a result of its sporty shape, the Cayman appears ready to slice seamlessly through the air. A front spoiler helps to reduce lift, while contoured side skirts direct air into the side intakes. Bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights all come standard, while owners can add optional dynamic cornering lights. A stainless-steel exhaust pipe on the Base and dual pipes on the S trim help give the Cayman its distinctive look and sound.
Other exterior features include rear foglights and a retractable rear spoiler. The Cayman Base rides on 17-inch wheels with a star-shaped design, while the Cayman S gets 18-inch S II wheels, both with performance tires. Porsche offers optional 19-inch wheels for both trims.
Inside the Cayman's airy cabin, low-slung sport seats provide good support as well as comfort over long distances. The Cayman Base gets black circular dials in the instrument cluster, while the Cayman S receives aluminum-colored dials. The 3-spoke sport steering wheel, wrapped in smooth-finish leather, includes integrated controls for cruise, audio, Bluetooth and an optional navigation system. The automaker also offers optional aluminum-look, carbon fiber and Makassar wood steering wheels, as well as a heated steering wheel, for owners who wish to customize the cabin.
Manual-adjustable seats come standard, while power-adjustable seats with driver memory are available as an option. Upgraded leather sport seats with higher side bolsters and additional lateral support are also available, as are Adaptive Sport Seats. Owners can also add heated and ventilated seats. Other standard features include air conditioning, remote keyless access and a 4-speaker audio system with a CD player and 5-inch monochrome display. Optional features include a Bose Surround Sound audio system and a 6-CD/DVD changer. In addition, Porsche offers a wide range of optional features and add-on packages, including ParkAssist and a Porsche Communication Management system with a 6.5-inch color display, navigation and voice activation.
The Cayman features two cargo spaces. A front cargo space under the front hood offers 5.3 cubic feet of storage space, while a rear cargo space offers 9.2 cubic feet of space. Porsche also offers an available Roof Transport system for owners who need to carry additional gear.
Safety features for the Cayman include Porsche's Stability Management system, which incorporates traction control, Automatic Brake Differential (ABD) and Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) functions. Porsche also equips the Cayman with 4-wheel antilock brakes and brake assist, as well as dual 2-stage front airbags and 2 airbags on each side, including thorax airbags located in the seat backrests.
by R. Feeman
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Looking for a Used Cayman in your area?CarGurus has 612 nationwide Cayman listings starting at $22,997.