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Porsche Cayman

Don’t let the numbers fool you.

We don’t yet have any official information on the new-for-2013 Cayman. However, we’re willing to bet the Boxster, which was redesigned last year, provides a pretty good indication of what’s in store here. That would mean more powerful and more efficient flat-six engines, a longer wheelbase, and a lower curb weight. The Cayman should also have a more refined interior — a good thing, since the current car can feel surprisingly spartan for its price. Having said that, we wouldn’t hesitate to plunk down $52,850 on the outgoing car. Yes, that’s more than what Porsche charges for the Boxster, and, yes, a Chevrolet Corvette or a Nissan 370Z will offer more horsepower per dollar. But the Cayman makes up for its spec-sheet shortcomings with unparalleled balance and reflexes. It helps that the roof traps the wail of the boxer engine right behind your ears. The Cayman is not one of those cars that will allow you to pretend you’re a great driver, though — it does exactly what you tell it to, for better or for worse. That’s particularly true if you opt for the hottest variant, the Cayman R. It features a hopped-up 3.4-liter flat six, a stiffer suspension, and — in the name of weight saving — a de-contented interior.

COMPETITORS

Audi TT

Chevrolet Corvette

Nissan 370Z

Lotus Evora

new for 2013

The 2013 Cayman is expected to debut late in 2012. Its powertrains are likely to mirror those of the new Boxster.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. Stability control can be disabled but will still intervene if you brake hard enough to activate ABS.

MPG

CITY 19–20

HWY 26–29

(est.)

PRO

Dynamically unimpeachable

Good trunk[s] space for a sports car

That sound

CON

Can burn novice drivers

Not the best horsepower-to-dollar ratio

Base Price Range: $52,850–$67,250

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Cayman, R, S, S Black Edition

BODY STYLE: Coupe, 2-passenger

ENGINES: 2.9L flat-6, 265 hp, 221 lb-ft

3.4L flat-6, 320/330 hp, 273 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A

CARGO SPACE: (trunk front/rear) 5.3/9.2 cu ft

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