Highlighting the automaker's impressive display of hardware, the all-new 2014 Porsche Cayman and its even hotter sibling, the Porsche Cayman S, made their world debut appearances in Los Angeles. These third-generation hard-shell variations on the Boxster/Boxster S theme share the same mid-engine design and super-strong/aluminum-intensive platform architecture as their highly regarded open-air kin, but boast greater visual differentiation that emboldens their appearance as well as contributes to even better overall aerodynamic qualities. Longer, lower, lighter, faster and with more power and improved fuel efficiency than its predecessor, the recast Cayman has become even more of a world-class GT machine.
Even at a glance, the 2014 Porsche Cayman displays an edgier look, from larger front and side air intakes to an assertively sweeping roofline to a new decklid spoiler that's taller and more steeply raked than the one found on the Boxster. Those aggressive character cues that help reduce front/rear lift at speed are complemented by shorter overhangs, wider track dimensions and a 2.4-inch increase in wheelbase that further enhance the car's dynamic stability at any pace. Wheel/tire packages have been one-upped on both models, with the base Cayman now fitted with 18-inch alloys wrapped in staggered-width 45-series low-rolling resistance performance tires while the Cayman S gets 19-inch alternatives that mount 40-series rubber and offers hard-core enthusiasts a 20-inch step-up option.
Despite a slightly expanded scale, the Cayman's lighter-weight aluminum/steel central structure is nearly 100 pounds lighter than the Gen II's core but possesses 40 percent greater torsional rigidity. Like the Boxster, it makes prominent use of aluminum along with other light alloys throughout, a design decision that helps pare 44 pounds from the Cayman's curb weight and trims 66 from the Cayman S.
Both of these new Porsches are powered by a naturally-aspirated direct-injected version of the automaker's classic flat-6 "Boxer" engine. The 2.7-liter in the Cayman makes 275 horses - up 10 from the vehicle it replaces -- while the 3.4-liter in the Cayman S develops 325, also a 10-pony bump. Both feature start/stop systems and electrical recuperation circuitry and either can be fitted with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. Those gearbox choices take the Cayman from 0-60 mph in 5.4 and 5.3 seconds, respectively and the Cayman S to that benchmark speed in 4.6 and 4.4 ticks.
Like the Boxster line, the new Cayman clan features a sport-tuned suspension, electromechanical power steering and superb standard disc brakes while offering Porsche Active Suspension Management active damping system, Porsche Torque Vectoring system, the Sport Chrono package and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes as options.
The Cayman's cabin design also shares much with the Boxster and the latest 911, boasting improved ergonomics, enhanced features and more comfortable, supportive seats. On the luxury front, the Cayman will introduce a new 12-speaker/800-watt Burmester premium audio package while the Porsche Entry & Drive keyless locking/starting system and Adaptive Cruise Control also will make their first appearance on the options roster.
On sale in the spring, the 2014 Porsche Cayman will start at $53,550 and the Porsche Cayman S will open at $64,750.