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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Cars.com Staff
January 2, 2009
Vehicle Overview Porsche's most-affordable car, the Cayman, and its roadster counterpart, the Boxster, have been upgraded for 2009 with more power, better mileage, revised suspensions and upgraded interiors. The Cayman competes with the Audi TT, BMW Z4, Chevrolet Corvette and Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class.
Exterior The styling has also been tweaked, with an emphasis on the lights — headlights, taillights and side marker lights. The Cayman has round fog lights and a larger grille opening. It now incorporates its turn signals into the halogen headlight clusters, and LED taillights are standard. An option package includes bi-xenon headlights, cornering lights and LED daytime running lights.
Interior The Cayman also received some interior upgrades, including an updated PCM Communication Management option that controls the audio, communication and navigation systems. The badly needed update brings a new touch-screen interface with a 6.5-inch screen. A USB jack for controlling iPods and playing music from flash drives is also available.
Optional heated seats now also include a ventilation function to cool occupants.
Under the Hood The base Cayman's horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine has grown from 2.7 to 2.9 liters and from 245 to 265 horsepower. The 3.4-liter in the Cayman S now generates 320 hp, up from 295 hp. Despite the higher output, Porsche says the Cayman's mileage has improved. When a car's power and efficiency both increase, it usually means one thing: direct injection, and that's the technology that's been added. It's aided by the new seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual, called Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or PDK, which improves efficiency over the conventional Tiptronic S it replaces. It offers an automatic mode as well as manual shifting using a lever or steering-wheel buttons — push forward to upshift, pull back to downshift. Porsche says the Cayman S sprints to 60 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds — faster than the Boxster thanks to more power and less weight.
The Cayman also got suspension refinement and larger brakes that required the base model's 17-inch front wheels to be a half-inch wider. A limited-slip differential is optional to supplement the brake-based traction control.
Safety In addition to frontal airbags, the two-seat Cayman has side-impact torso airbags in the seat backrests, and head-protection airbags deploy upward from the doors. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard.