Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Cayman is a mid-engined 2-seat sports car produced by Porsche AG of Germany. First launched in the 2006 model year, the Cayman is the coupé version of the second generation Porsche Boxster convertible. Like the Boxster, the Cayman is assembled in Finland by Valmet Automotive.

The Porsche Cayman

The performance of the Cayman S approaches that of Porsche's flagship sports car, the 911 Carrera. Rally legend Walter Röhrl lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in a Cayman S equipped with optional 19" wheels, PCCB, and PASM in a time of 8 minutes, 11 seconds. The time for a standard Cayman S, as published by the manufacturer, was 8 minutes, 20 seconds. In contrast, Röhrl recorded 8 minutes, 15 seconds in a 911 Carrera. The similarity in performance between the two cars has led to speculation about whether the Cayman S will cannibalize sales of the Carrera, as the basic Carrera's recommended retail price in the United States is $12,400 higher than that of the Cayman S.

A Cayman prepared and run by privateers Jürgen and Uwe Alzen finished fourth overall (of 220 entrants) in the 2007 running of the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, ahead of two flagship Porsche 997 GT3 RSR's, a 997 GT3 Cup, and a 996 GT3 Cup. Another two privateer Caymans, entered by CSR and MSpeed, finished 22nd and 117th overall, respectively. Porsche disclaims support for the Cayman teams, while supporting some or all of the 997 teams.

A performance car feature which is not available from Porsche for the Cayman is limited slip differential (LSD). Some commentators have speculated that LSD is not offered, even as an option, because the Cayman S's performance would then be too close to the 911 Carrera. Several tuning companies offer Cayman buyers the ability to retrofit a LSD.

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