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Porsche Cayman S - all the detail

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September 18, 2005

Porsche Cayman S - all the detail

Porsche Cayman S - all the detail

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September 19, 2005 As we’ve known for six months now, the Cayman is the name of Porsche’s new Sports Coupé based on the Boxster model series. Ranking between the Boxster S and the 911 Carrera, this mid-engined two-seater sports car is powered by a 3.4-litre 295 bhp horizontally-opposed six-cylinder acce-lerating the Cayman S to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and providing a top speed of 275 km/h or 183 mph. The car was publicly shown for the first time at Frankfurt Motor Show and will no doubt be one of the luxury design company’s most popular models in the coming years. Benefiting from its supreme body stiffness and superb balance of weight with the power unit upfront of the rear axle, the Cayman S is a genuine driving machine able to lap the Nord-schleife, the Northern Circuit of Nürburgring, in just 8:20 minutes – faster than the Boxster S and only a bit slower than the 911 Carrera.

New Design with that Well-Known Porsche Look

The Cayman S stands out as a genuine Porsche at very first sight, boasting classic design features reminiscent in part of the Porsche 550 Coupé introduced back in 1953 and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupé, a legend to this day. At the same time the new Sports Coupé stands out significantly in its design and proportions from both the Boxster and the 911.

The front end of the car with its separate foglamps is just as characteristic as the side-line with air scoops upfront of the rear axle, the strongly curved roof, and the rear section slowly tapering down to the bumper. The rear end, in turn, is dominated by the large tailgate per-fectly accentuated and rounded off by the sweeping lines of the rear wings and the dual tail--pipe extending out right in the middle.

Six-Cylinder with VarioCam Plus Valve Management

The six-cylinder horizontally-opposed power unit featured in the Cayman S is based on the 3.2-litre carried over from the Boxster S. The cylinder heads, together with VarioCam Plus camshaft and valve lift adjustment, come in their entirety from the 911 Carrera, VarioCam Plus thus making its debut for the first time outside of the 911 model series. This elaborate valve management not only ensures supreme output of 295 bhp (217 kW) at 6250 rpm and powerful torque of 340 Newton-metres (251 lb-ft) between 4400 rpm and 6000 rpm, but also provides superior fuel economy of just 10.6 litres/100km equal to 26.6 mpg Imp.

Sports Chrono for Even Better Performance

The Porsche Sports Chrono Package is tailored to the driver wishing to use the potential of the Cayman S in every respect. Offering even more powerful engine control maps and ma-nagement strategies, the Sports Chrono Package pushes the car’s extreme limits to the ut-most. The visual symbol bearing clear testimony to the Sports Chrono Package is the ana-logue/digital stopwatch on the instrument panel allowing an absolutely precise comparison of driving dynamics down to the last hundredth of a second. On a race track like the Nordschleife, Northern Circuit of Nürburgring, the supreme perform-ance ensured by the Sports Chorno Package means even quicker lap times, the Cayman S equipped with Sports Chrono lapping Nürburgring an impressive three seconds faster than the same car in “regular” trim.

Sporting Suspension for Supreme Agility

Compared with the Boxster, the chassis and suspension of the new Cayman S comes with even firmer and more sporting springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. This particular set-up, combined with the neutrality of the mid-engined concept, the extremely stiff body and per-formance-oriented 18-inch tyres, ensures supreme agility on the road in virtually every situ-ation. And a high standard of active safety is virtually built in from the start, Porsche Stabi-lity Management (PSM) starring as a regular feature in the Cayman S.

A Very Special Option on the Suspension: the Active Damper System

A further highlight comes as an optional extra: Porsche Active Suspension Management or PASM for short. This enables the driver, at the touch of a button, to choose either a sporting but comfortable or an ultra-sporting and dynamic damper setting, improving either the car’s already high standard of long-distance comfort or the supreme quality of driving dynamics.

Reliable Brakes Free of Fading – and with Ceramic Brake Discs as an Option

Cross-drilled, inner-vented brake discs measuring 318 millimetres (12.5”) in diameter at the front and 299 millimetres (11.8”) at the rear ensure exemplary stopping power in the Cayman S. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) available as an option come with even larger brake discs measuring 350 millimetres or 13.8” in diameter and are made of a special ceramic material for even lighter weight. The big advantages in this case are an ultra-high and consistent frictional coefficient as well as wear reduced to an absolute mini-mum in everyday motoring.

Six Airbags for Supreme All-Round Protection

The Cayman S naturally offers the supreme standard of passive safety so typical and cha-racteristic of every Porsche. Full-size frontal airbags for the driver and front passenger, just as one example, ensure superior safety in a head-on collision, while a thorax and a head airbag provide the same kind of protection in a collision from the side. The brand name for this unique safety system is POSIP (Porsche Side Impact Protection) further supplemented by side impact protectors in the doors.

410 Litres (14.35 cu ft) Luggage Capacity in Two Luggage Compartments

Offering a total of 410 litres or 14.35 cu ft luggage capacity, the Cayman S has everything it takes for all your leisure time enjoyment. Whether it’s your diving equipment or a snow-board – virtually everything fits into the car, with up to 260 litres or 9.1 cu ft of luggage space beneath the large tailgate.

Added to this large luggage compartment at the rear, there is the front luggage compartment offering another 150 litres or 5.25 cu ft, not to mention several large and, in part, lockable storage compartments for all kinds of smaller odds and ends.

Unique Design in that Typical Porsche Style

In its design, the Cayman S clearly boasts all the styling elements of a Porsche re-interpreted in a very different look. The new face of the car, for example, is characterised by the asym-metric headlights moved far out to the outside and is further accentuated by large air intakes at the side accommodating the foglamps and position lights integrated in slender trim bars.

The Cayman S comes as standard with clear glass H7 main headlights in projection techno-logy, with bi-xenon headlights available as an option.

The lines of the car from the side accentuate the particular position of the mid-mounted en-gine as well as the compact body of this exceptional Sports Coupé.

The side view is dominated by flared wheel arches extending far out and rising higher up to accommodate the car’s wheels, as well as the strong curvature of the roof tapering down to the low and dynamic rear end. The side air scoops clearly bear testimony to the Boxster, but nevertheless add a new and unique touch through the vertical slats stretching elegantly from top to bottom.

A further new and unique feature is the special design of the newly developed 18-inch wheels reminiscent in their look of the Carrera GT. And over and above these standard wheels, the customer has the choice of four 19-inch wheels varying in their rim design.

The rear lights and the exhaust tailpipes in the middle of the car also reveal the link between the Cayman S and the Boxster. Each of these features highlights the new design language, with a clear focus on muscle, excitement and tension. This special look is further accentua-ted by the sweeping rear wings literally “flowing” above the tail lights and the horizontal trim bars merging into the specially designed dual tailpipes to the left and right.

Lots of Room at the Rear

A truly unique feature of the Cayman S is the extra-large 116 x 90 centimetre (45.7 x 35.4”) tailgate integrated into the rear end of the car. Stretching in a muscular, sweeping flow into the roofline, the tailgate offers generous access to the luggage compartment at the rear.

This extra-large luggage compartment is subdivided into two levels separated visually from one another by a stainless-steel trim strip. Luggage capacity at the rear is 185 litres or 6.48 cu ft up to the bottom of the window, with an even more significant 260 litres or 9.10 cu ft when using all the space available up to roof level.

Capacity of the second luggage compartment at the front is 150 litres or 5.25 cu ft, as in the Boxster. In all, this gives the driver up to 410 litres or 14.35 cu ft of luggage space, the Cayman S thus offering not only supreme sportiness and performance, but also a new standard of all-round function and practical value.

Superior Aerodynamics: Drag Coefficient 0.29

Featuring a drag coefficient of 0.29, the Cayman S ranks way ahead of the competition also in terms of aerodynamics. The know-how making this superiority possible comes out clearly in every detail, various improvements reducing lift forces on all four wheels by 14 kilos or 31 lb on each wheel in comparison with the Boxster at a speed of 270 km/h or 167 mph.

At the rear this strong downforce is mainly a result of the new split wing moving up appro-xi-mately 80 millimetres or 3.15” as soon as the car exceeds a speed of 120 km/h or 75 mph. Contrary to a spoiler of the type to be found in the Boxster, a split wing of this kind keeps air resistance to a minimum while generating powerful downforce through the specific angle of the wing. And, finally, these aerodynamic benefits are rounded off by the underfloor cover extending almost completely from front to rear and side to side.

Fast-Revving Six-Cylinder Featuring Porsche VarioCam Plus

The power unit in the Cayman S is Porsche’s first six-cylinder outside of the 911 model series to boast VarioCam Plus technology. Based on the 3.2-litre engine of the Boxster S, the power unit featured in the Cayman S comes with the same cylinder heads as in the 911 Carrera, the Cayman S thus combining powerful muscle and acceleration with superior top-end per-formance and low fuel consumption: In the EU composite test, Porsche’s new Sports Coupé consumes only 10.6 litres of premium plus/100 km, equal to 26.6 mpg Imp.

And it almost goes without saying that the new Cayman S outperforms both the EU4 Euro-pean emission standard and the LEVII standard in the USA.

Power transmission in the Cayman S is provided by a six-speed manual gearbox ensuring a precise and ultra-short gearshift. Tiptronic S automatic transmission comes as an option, the five-speed automatic transmission unit in this two-seater Sports Coupé boasting new hydraulic and electronic management with all the benefits of the variable gearshift programs carried over from the Carrera.

Chassis and Suspension: Sporting and Firm

The chassis and suspension of the Cayman S is based on the same overall concept as the suspension of the Boxster S, but is far more sporting and dynamic in its overall set-up. This specific configuration in conjunction with the very strong, torsionally and flexurally-resistant bodyshell gives the Cayman S a new standard of driving behaviour and sports handling ne-ver seen before – sporting performance with superior safety reserves, but without neglec-ting driving comfort in any way.

These handling qualities in general as well as the car’s lateral acceleration in particular are further enhanced by the mid-engined concept with its ideal balance of weight front-to-rear. Indeed, this superiority is cleared confirmed by the Cayman S fast lap times, with the car lapping the Northern Circuit of Nürburgring in just 8:20 minutes.

As an option the Cayman S is available with Porsche’s electronically controlled Active Sus-pension Management (PASM) lowering the entire car by 10 millimetres or almost 0.4” and enabling the driver to choose two different suspension set-ups at the touch of a button: The PASM Normal set-up activates a sporting but comfortable configuration, the PASM Sport set-up makes the suspension extra-sporting and dynamic.

High-Performance Brakes Finished in Red

In its basic features and components, the brake system is the same as in the 911 Carrera and Boxster S, thus offering brake power and resistance to fading of the highest calibre. At the front brake power is generated by four-piston monobloc fixed callipers acting on inner-vented brake discs measuring 318 millimetres or 12.52” in diameter. At the rear the Cay-man S likewise comes with brake discs measuring 299 millimetres or 11.77” in diameter and also featuring four-piston monobloc fixed callipers. All four callipers are finished in red as a particular sign of distinction.

As an option the Cayman S is available with Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes or PCCB for short. This brake system excels above all by its four extra-light ceramic brake discs en-suring a high and consistent frictional coefficient without the slightest delay and keeping wear to an absolute minimum under regular driving conditions.

Porsche’s Sports Chrono Package for Even More Dynamic Performance

The Sports Chrono Package is yet another unique and exclusive Porsche option also avail-able on the Cayman S. Giving various functions of the car a particularly sporting and dyna-mic set-up, the Sports Chrono Package modifies both the car’s engine management and Porsche Stability Management (PSM), as well as the shift behaviour and the gearshift speed of Tiptronic S and the particular characteristics of Porsche’s active PASM suspension, where fitted.

As a result, the Cayman S responds even more dynamically and directly to the gas pedal, offering the driver even greater freedom when driving to the limit thanks to the car’s more sporting and dynamic set-up.

Using the Sports Chrono Program, the Cayman S Sports Coupé laps the Northern Circuit of Nürburgring another three seconds faster than usual.

Passive Safety with that Supreme Porsche Standard

Offering supreme structural stiffness all round the passenger cell, the Cayman S has every-thing it takes to ensure passive safety of the highest standard. Apart from three-point inertia--reel seat belts complete with belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters, two-stage full-size airbags on the driver’s and passenger’s side come as standard. A further standard feature is the POSIP Porsche Side Impact Protection System comprising, inter alia, a thorax and a head airbag on each side of the car, again in the interest of extra all-round safety.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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