2013 Porsche Cayman Coupe - FROM $
A new chassis and a more powerful base engine should draw the 2013 Porsche Cayman even closer to the 911 performance realm.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Porsche Cayman will be fully redesigned. Expected changes include a roomier interior, a more powerful base engine and more distinctive exterior styling.
"Free the Cayman." Since the Porsche Cayman's debut back in 2007, enthusiasts have been asking for just that, wishing Porsche would give its midengine coupe enough horsepower to challenge the 911 for familial supremacy. That's unlikely to happen -- ever -- but the 2013 Porsche Cayman is still a fine update to a car that some believe is only about 50 horsepower away from being equal or even greater than a 911.
The Cayman enters its second generation with a sleeker look, a new base engine and an updated interior. Early prototypes show a more cohesive roof design, with a steeper windshield rake, and side windows and a rear window stretched closer to the engine bay. It's possible Porsche will be making the Cayman look more distinctive from the Boxster this time around, although the underlying hardware will still no doubt be pretty much identical.
As in the redesigned Boxster, a new direct-injected 2.7-liter flat-6 will serve as the base engine for the Cayman. Although smaller than before, the engine runs at higher compression and now wrings out an expected 265 hp (10 more horses than before). The additional power comes at a slight expense of torque (down 7 to 207 pound-feet), but overall this should be an improved mill, with better acceleration and fuel economy.
The Cayman S retains its direct-injected 3.4-liter, but it will likely produce a bit more power, perhaps 330 hp as seen in the previous Cayman R. There's also speculation that Porsche is developing a turbocharged four-cylinder for the base Cayman offering, but we don't expect this until the 2014 or '15 model year.
Transmissions will include the standard six-speed manual and optional seven-speed dual-clutch "PDK" automatic. Start-stop technology and other engine management tweaks should also yield better fuel economy. Porsche claims gains up to 15 percent based on European cycle testing.
Aiding better fuel economy -- and likely faster 0-60 times -- are a lighter body and chassis. Like the Boxster, the 2013 Porsche Cayman will use aluminum in place of steel for key body panels and components, and should emerge anywhere from 60-100 pounds lighter. At the same time, the new Cayman has grown slightly. The wheelbase is an inch longer, and the wheels are pushed out an additional 2.5 inches.
A lighter frame should make the Cayman even quicker in the curves, although we'll have to see how the new electric steering system affects handling. If the new 911 (also the recipient of the new electric system) is any indicator, the new steering will feel transparent to all but the most seasoned Cayman owner.
Inside the cabin, the 2013 Cayman gains more room for both driver and passenger, and the seats are set lower. The design for the gauges, dash and center console, meanwhile, will be similar to what you see in the latest 911 and Panamera. We expect it to be a classier look and feel all around.
As usual with Porsche, optioning a Cayman is a quick route to poverty, especially when adding features like new dynamic transmission mounts and torque vectoring, which uses a mechanical locking differential to shift torque between the rear wheels. Eighteen-inch wheels should come standard, with 19-inchers optional, as are adaptive xenon headlamps and carbon-ceramic brakes.
We expect the new Cayman to roll out in spring 2013. Check back for a full review of the 2013 Porsche Cayman, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.