Just a short drive on the 405 will tell you how much Porsche values the Southern California market. So it’s fitting the automaker chose the Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil the 2014 Cayman.
The rear-wheel-drive coupe is essentially a closed-roof version of the Boxster convertible that Porsche put on sale earlier this year. It will be available in two forms, the base Cayman and the faster Cayman S.
The base model has the Boxtser’s 2.7-liter, direct-injected flat six-cylinder engine. But it’s been tweaked in the Cayman to make 275 horsepower and 213 pound-feet of torque. Its top speed is 165 mph.
The spicier Cayman S shares an engine with the Boxster S and the base Porsche 911 Carrera. It’s a direct-injected 3.4-liter flat six, and in this setting it makes 325 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. This model tops out at 175 mph.
Both Caymans come standard with a six-speed manual transmission; the hyper-quick PDK seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual will be optional.
The Cayman will do 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds with the manual and 5.3 seconds with the PDK, according to Porsche. Those times drop to 4.7 seconds and 4.6 seconds, respectively, for the Cayman S.
An optional sport-chrono package is available. On models with the PDK, it will drop the acceleration times by another .1 second on the Cayman and .2 seconds on the Cayman S.
Curb weight drops by as much as 60 pounds versus the outgoing Cayman, owing to liberal use of aluminum.
As with the latest versions of the 911 and the Boxster, fuel efficiency concerns have forced a switch to an electro-mechanical steering system and the addition of a start-stop function. The options help produce 32 miles per gallon on the highway in the PDK-optioned car.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but based on the current Boxster’s asking price, budget at least $54,000 for the base Cayman (including destination) and $64,000 for the Cayman S. Save up even more if you want any of the aforementioned options; as we found when we tested the Boxster recently, the car can get pricey in a hurry.
The 2014 Cayman and Cayman S will go on sale in early spring 2013.