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Preview by Justin Pritchard, photos courtesy Porsche

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2014 Porsche Cayman

There’s a new Porsche Cayman hitting the road in the near future—and it’s making its rounds at the auto show circuit this winter ahead of its on-sale release. Packing higher performance and lower weight, the latest Cayman promises to deliver even more of the fuel-efficient driving thrills that made the outgoing model popular.

As with the recently updated 911 model range and award-winning Boxster, the styling of the new Cayman is evolutionary, not revolutionary. New bumpers and lights, deeper side venting inspired by 911 Turbo models and new wheels were pointed out by autoshow goers, though the model is still instantly a Cayman from a glance. Compact, agile and full of energy, the new Cayman also gets a new rear spoiler that’s integrated with the rear bumper and brake-lights, like the latest Boxster—though Porsche says this spoiler deploys higher, and at a steeper angle.

Under its skin, the new Cayman, which will launch as a 2014 model, boasts a longer wheelbase, wider track, a new chassis, and a new lightweight structure that axes up to 27 kg from the curb weight, depending on equipment levels.

2014 Porsche Cayman2014 Porsche Cayman2014 Porsche Cayman
2014 Porsche Cayman. Click images to enlarge

These equipment levels have expanded to include more luxury and technology than ever. For instance, Cayman will offer Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for the first time. ACC uses a front-mounted sensor to actively control the vehicle’s speed and following distance in traffic, making the cruise control adapt to changing conditions with no driver involvement.

Cayman will also be available with a Burmeister stereo system, following the lead of the Panamera, Cayenne and 911. With 12 speakers and 800 watts packed into this little two seater, it should be a hit with audiophiles, or anyone wishing to share their favorite music with an entire intersection.

A keyless entry system will also be available, enabling locking and unlocking of the doors and both trunks with a simple touch—so long as the driver has the remote keyfob on their person.

It’s all taken in from Cayman’s new cabin, which has been subjected to ergonomic improvements, given more modern display readouts, and styled in line with the more luxurious new cabins Porsche has fitted to the Panamera, Cayenne, and more recently, 911.

Like previous Cayman models, one of two flat-six engines will propel the two-seater, depending on shopper requests. Standard Cayman models get a 2.7L flat six with 275 horsepower. Though slightly downsized compared to the 2.9L unit in the last car, this new, smaller flat-six is more powerful, and will dispense with 0–100 km/h in a tick over 5 seconds. Higher-performing Cayman S models get a 3.4L flat six, making 325 horsepower. The 3.4L engine in the Cayman S uses an airflow management system that boosts torque at low rpm while increasing top-end power and providing a uniform torque curve. Expect 0–100 km/h in as little as 4.4 seconds.

Both engines utilize variable valve timing, a 12.5 to 1 compression ratio and work best when spinning fast. Redline for both powerplants is just shy of 8,000 revs. Drivers can experience the power output by rowing their own gears with a six-speed manual transmission, which features a dual-mass flywheel for enhanced smoothness and drivability.

2014 Porsche Cayman
2014 Porsche Cayman. Click image to enlarge

Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is, additionally, available on each engine—allowing for fully automatic shifting, or the firing off of instant, semi-automatic gear changes via steering wheel–mounted paddles.

Both powerplants feature numerous advanced implements designed to boost fuel efficiency, too. Direct injection, which sprays fuel directly into the combustion at extreme pressures, enables more energy to be extracted from every molecule of fuel, and lets engineers safely run a higher, more efficient compression ratio. An auto start/stop function is also on board, virtually eliminating fuel consumption associated with idling.

The Cayman’s alternator is intelligent, drawing less mechanical energy from the drive belt when the battery is fully charged, which helps save fuel, too. The alternator prioritizes battery charging most heavily during coasting and braking, effectively favoring the use of vehicle momentum, rather than gasoline, to generate electricity.

Further, intelligent control of the engine and transmission cooling systems gets them up to temperature (and their lubricants up to operating viscosity) more quickly, which improves efficiency as well. Finally, a ‘coasting’ feature built into the PDK gearbox decouples it from the engine in certain situations for further fuel savings. When drive power is required, coasting mode is disengaged instantly.

Other changes designed to increase driving pleasure and performance include an enhanced Porsche Active Suspension System (PASM), with more sensors for more finely tuned system control. A new electromechanical steering system is also on board. The braking system has also been given redesigned calipers, improved cooling and a new brake-pad design. Six-piston calipers come with the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake system, too.

Look for the new 2014 Cayman and Cayman S at Porsche dealers this spring.

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