R is for Race.
The year is 1967, and Porsche is looking to build a racing version of the 911 to meet homologation requirements. Named the 911 R, it failed to meet the requirements and was forced to race in a higher vehicle class. Only 20 models were produced, each weighing only 1,830 pounds due to the use of plastics and lack of standard equipment, and came fitted with a potent 210 horsepower Carrera 6 engine. Fast forward 43 years to the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, and Porsche is again unveiling a model that bears the “R” distinction, the Cayman R.
The new Cayman R was developed with the same goal of providing a precise and rewarding driving experience as the Boxster Spyder. The Cayman and Cayman S models already posses a balanced mid-engined layout, one which Porsche has built upon with the new “R” model. Porsche has equipped the Cayman R with a mechanical-locking rear differential and lightweight spring-strut suspension that is 0.79 inches lower than the Cayman S. Engineers were also able to shed 121 pounds from the coupe, providing more dynamic handling and even greater performance. Contributing to the reduction in weight are new 19-inch Boxster Spyder wheels in a silver finish that weigh less than 88 pounds altogether. Additionally, customers can order a lightweight lithium-ion battery and the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system that both reduces weight and provides enhanced stopping power.
Although the Cayman R weighs just 2,855 pounds, features a lowered suspension, differential, and lightweight wheels that create a more dynamic driving experience, Porsche decided to take the Cayman R a step further by giving the mid-engined coupe more power. Just like the Cayman S, the Cayman R is powered by Porsche’s 3.4-liter flat-six. In the “R” model however, the 3.4-liter produces 330 horsepower, ten more than in the Cayman S, at a higher RPM. While torque output remains at 273 lb-ft. the Cayman R reaches 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds with the manual transmission and 4.6 with the PDK. If customers option for the Sport Chrono package, then acceleration drops to 4.4 seconds with PDK. Top speed for the manual is 175 mph, while the PDK is held to 174 mph.
The exterior of the Cayman R receives some subtle changes compared to the Cayman S. Besides the exclusive wheels and lowered suspension, the only major differences are the black framed headlights, black exterior mirrors, and fixed rear spoiler. The Cayman R does have distinct exterior paint options with either white or silver “PORSCHE” lettering on the side, setting the “R” apart from its Cayman and Cayman S siblings.
Inside, the Cayman R is minimalistic with numerous revisions made to reduce weight. The instrument shroud has been removed and black gauges face the driver. A number of different details are finished in red such as the shift pattern, door pulls, and seat belts. To add to the sporty character of the Cayman R, Porsche has fitted Sport Bucket seats with alcantara centers standard, shedding 26 pounds in the process. Porsche has also deleted the air conditioning system, cutting an additional 26 pounds from the total weight. Although the standard interior color is black, the center console and decorative trim strip are colored to match the exterior.
The Porsche Cayman R will go on sale in February of 2011. Pricing for U.S. customers will start at $66,300 for models with the manual transmission and $69,960 for those equipped with PDK. For comparison, the Cayman S starts at $61,500 for the manual and $64,920 for the PDK.
Porsche Cayman R
Displacement: 3.4 liters
Number of Cylinders: Flat-six
Maximum Horsepower: 330 at 7,400 RPM
Maximum Torque: 273 lb-ft. at 4,750 RPM
Compression Ratio: 12.5 : 1
Type: Six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK dual-clutch
Acceleration 0-60 mph (Manual): 4.7 seconds
Acceleration 0-60 mph (PDK): 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with Sport Plus)
Acceleration 0-99 mph (Manual): 10.7 seconds
Acceleration 0-99 mph (PDK): 10.5 seconds (10.5 seconds with Sport Plus)
Top Speed (Manual): 175
Top Speed (PDK): 174
Suspension, Wheels, and Brakes:
Suspension: Lightweight spring-strut with front and rear anti-roll bars, lowered 0.79 inches
Differential: Mechanical-locking rear
Wheels: 19-inch Boxster Spyder with silver painted finish
Brakes: Four-piston aluminum monoblock, optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes.
-Exclusive exterior paint
-“PORSCHE” side lettering in white or silver
-Black exterior mirrors
-Fixed rear spoiler
-Black gauges with aluminum border
-Removal of instrument shroud
-Red door pulls
-Red shift pattern on gear lever
-Red seat belts
-Sport Bucket seats with Alcantara centers
-Removal of air conditioning system
-Black interior color
-Center console and trim piece in exterior color
Porsche Cayman R Video
Would you choose the Boxster Spyder or Cayman R? Both offer similar performance figures and are available in the $60,000 range. Leave a comment and let us know!