By David Colman
Pros: Ultra sharp handling, Future collectibility
Cons: A/C pricey optional extra
Porsche has been building category killing cars for 62 years. Back in the 50s and early 60s, the 356 topped the sports car world. Since 1964, the 911 has been the sports car of choice for wealthy enthusiasts. But Porsche has always offered less expensive alternatives to the 911 such as the 912 in the 60s, 914 in the 70s, 944 and 968 in the 80s and 90s, Boxster since 1997, and Cayman since 2008. A coupe variant of the mid-engine Boxster, the Cayman came to market in 2 versions: a 3.4 liter base model, which produced 265hp, and the Cayman S, with a 3.8 liter motor good for 320hp. Now Porsche has introduced its latest category killer, the Cayman R, which makes 330hp, and thanks to an intensive weight reduction program, saves 121 lbs, compared to the Cayman S. In addition, Porsche lowered the chassis of the Cayman R by 0.79 inches compared to the ride height of the Cayman S.
These subtle “R” model changes have transformed the Cayman into the most responsive Porsche you can buy today. Its handling is simply telepathic. Point this chassis where you think you want to go, and the Cayman’s already been there. The exceptional road holding is due to the coupe’s enormous tire footprint. Instead of Cayman S alloy rims measuring 8×18” front and 9×18” rear, the Cayman R sports Porsche’s lightest-ever production road wheel measuring 8.5×19” front and 10×19” rear. These effervescent looking rims were first seen on the RS Spyder LeMans racer. Painted a stunning gloss black on our test car (for an extra $1,815), the forged rims plant Bridgestone’s stickiest RE 050A rubber on the road (235/35ZR19 front, 265/35ZR19 rear). The combination of reduced ride height and enhanced tire patch elevate handling of the Cayman R into celestial territory.