In a move apparently designed to spoil Lotus’s party, Porsche has revealed a new hardcore Cayman R at the LA Auto Show. Its pitched directly at the recently introduced Lotus Evora S.
Boasting similar upgrades to last year’s Porsche Boxster Spyder, the Cayman R makes the class-leading Porsche coupé an even more enticing prospect for keen drivers.
Porsche Cayman R: harder, faster and lighter
Like the Boxster Spyder, the £51,731 Cayman R is a stripped out version of an existing car – in this case the Cayman S.
Basic creature comforts such as the radio and air conditioning are removed in the name of weight reduction. And, as ever, Porsche logic means you get charged more for the privilege.
That’s only half the story though, because in the place of these basic features Porsche has boosted the Cayman’s technical spec with a host of driver-focused upgrades that would more than make up the £6,683 price difference if you added them to a Cayman S.
Cayman R power up by 10bhp
These upgrades include a 10bhp power hike from 315bhp to 325bhp for the 3.4-litre six-cylinder petrol engine.
You also get lowered suspension, lightweight 19-inch wheels, aluminium doors, carbon fibre seats and a limited-slip differential for increased control at the limit. Retro side logos, black mirror housings and a fixed rear wing distinguish the R from regular Caymans on the outside.
The changes strip a significant 55kg from the kerb weight of the Cayman S, so the extra performance actually comes with a marginal improvement in the claimed fuel consumption – 28.8mpg becomes 29.1mpg.
Cars fitted with the optional PDK automated twin-clutch gearbox can crack 30mpg and are three-tenths faster from 0-62mph too, taking as little as 4.7 seconds to dispatch the benchmark sprint (when equipped with the optional ‘Sports Chrono Plus’ pack). Top speed also increases from 172mph to 175mph.
Porsche versus Lotus
Compared with the £57,550 Lotus Evora S, the Cayman R makes an appealing alternative, especially given the Lotus doesn’t offer the semi-auto option available on the Porsche.
On sale from February next year, the Cayman R’s price also includes a day’s tuition at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, where you can safely explore the car’s limits on skidpans and handling circuits under the guidance of expert instructors.
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