Back in 2005, Porsche was looking for something to slot in the middle of the 911 and the Boxster. It had to be pretty darn good, as the 911 is a legend among car fans and the Boxster was a hit for the automaker. What they came up with was the Cayman.
First launched in the 2006 model year, the Cayman is a coupe derived from Porsche’s second generation Boxster convertible, yet it looks like a 911 in the front. The name Cayman is an alternate spelling of caiman, a reptile in the same family as the alligator. Some thought the name came from the Cayman Islands, but that’s incorrect.
After the first generation Cayman was debuted and widely accepted, the second was introduced on February 21, 2009. The power was upped, the transmission was replaced, and the overall performance was vastly superior to the previous model. As an example, this baby 911 could hit 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.
UPDATE 12/08/2010: After the LA Auto Show came and went with the unveiling of the Porsche Cayman R, our hopes of seeing a Cayman Club Sport were just about dashed. However, in an interview with Autocar, chief of mid-engined cars, Hans-Jurgen Wohler confirms that the idea of producing a Cayman is still on the table giving us just the sliver of hope we need to hold on to the idea of a CS version for the Cayman.
Hit the jump to read about it.
Porsche’s design team might be good, but they don’t change a whole lot if they don’t have too. That’s the case with the Cayman CS. The hardcore version of the Cayman will look, well, like the Cayman, just with a few new badges and maybe some gills for air intake.
The styling of the Cayman is, of course, similar to the Boxster, as it shares many of its parts. Yet, it’s got some 911 bits as well, like its sloping fastback-style rear and flaring rear fenders. It’s as if the 911 and the Boxster had a love child together in the dark German factories.
The restyled coupe has new halogen headlights with integrated direction indicators, sort of like what you would find on the Carrera GT. The new LED taillights have been reshaped and they’re integrated well into the new rear end. Porsche also managed to reshape the front fascia and the rear skirt, but you would have to be a Porsche enthusiast to notice the difference.
Inside, the Cayman still gets that classic Porsche look and we can’t be sure if that will change for the CS. We do know that the current Cayman has a new touch-screen navigation system that reduces the button count from a busy 32 to 16. This new layout was better than what you had in the old version and we hope that it carries over to the CS.
Compared to a standard Cayman S, the CS version will be 162-184lbs lighter and will feature aluminum doors, fabric door pulls – like the Boxster Spyder -, lightweight hatch, optional lexan window, and 19" unique lightweight wheels.
The CS packet also includes: sport bucket seats, revalved steering assist, locking rear differential standard, updated brakes, restylized front fascia, Cayman Club Sport side graphics, rear diffuser, Ducktail-style larger rear spoiler, Club Sport Insignia badging in interior, and optional "Track Pack" which includes a partial roll cage, harness, and fittings plus a fire extinguisher.
Power will come from the legendary 3.4 liter, direct-injection flat 6-cylinder that will crank out 328 horsepower mark, nine horses more than the Cayman S. The 0 to 62 mph run will take just 4.6 seconds, shaving 0.3 seconds off of the standard S model’s time.
We’re not quite sure the exact specs on the Cayman CS, but we imagine that it will compete against the Mercedes-Benz SLK55, Audi TT RS, and the BMW Z4.
The SLK 55 was first introduced in 2005 and was updated for the 2009 model year and beyond. The car’s 5.5L V8 is unchanged with an output of 355 horsepower at 5750 rpm and 376 pound-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. That motor will take you to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. The AMG version gets a blacked-out lower lip, front-mounted air vents and smoked headlights, just to add that extra aggressive touch.
The BMW Z4 sDrive 35is is one that we wouldn’t recommend. It features an inline-six with 335 hp at 5900 rpm and 332 lb-ft from 1500 rpm. It also features something called overboost, which bumps up the torque rating to 369 lb-ft. BMW estimates a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.7 seconds. The motor isn’t the issue, as this car just doesn’t feel that good to drive.
The Audi TT RS is a pumped up version of the normal TT. It features a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 that makes its maximum torque of 332 pound-feet just about anywhere in the rpm range. This is one of the only models in this test group that features a good old-fashioned six-speed manual.
The Cayman CS is expected to debut at the auto show in Los Angeles this November. The CS will hit dealer showrooms in 2011 as a 2012 model.
Prices for the U.S. market will start at $66,330 (€51,015).