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A new chassis and a more powerful base engine should draw the 2014 Porsche Cayman even closer to the 911 performance realm.
Superb handling; powerful engines; excellent transmissions, impressive fuel economy.
Pricey options; taller passengers may feel cramped; jury's still out on new electric steering.
Available Cayman Models
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The 2014 Porsche Cayman will be fully redesigned. Expect a roomier interior, a more powerful base engine and more distinctive exterior styling.
"Free the Cayman." Since the Porsche Cayman's debut back in 2007, enthusiasts have been asking for just that, wishing Porsche would give its midengine coupe enough horsepower to challenge the 911 for familial supremacy. That's unlikely to happen -- ever -- but the 2014 Porsche Cayman is still a fine update to a car that some believe is only about 50 horsepower away from being equal or even greater than a 911.
The Cayman enters its third generation with a sleeker look, a new base engine and an updated interior. Porsche has made the Cayman look more distinctive from the Boxster this time around, with a more cohesive roof design, a steeper windshield rake and side windows and a rear window stretched closer to the engine bay.
The underlying hardware between the two siblings, however, is still pretty much identical. Like the Boxster, the 2014 Porsche Cayman will use aluminum in place of steel for key body panels and components, and should emerge anywhere from 60-100 pounds lighter. At the same time, the new Cayman has grown slightly. The wheelbase is an inch longer, and the wheels are pushed out an additional 2.5 inches.
A new direct-injected 2.7-liter flat-6 serves as the Cayman's base engine. Although smaller than before, the engine runs at higher compression and now wrings out 275 hp (20 more horses than before). The additional power comes at a slight expense of torque, but overall this should be an improved mill, with better acceleration (Porsche claims zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds) and fuel economy.
The Cayman S retains its direct-injected 3.4-liter producing 325 hp, good for zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds when equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch "PDK" automatic transmission. There's also speculation that Porsche is developing a turbocharged four-cylinder for the base Cayman offering, but we don't expect this for the debut 2014 model year.
Inside the cabin, the 2014 Cayman gains more room for both driver and passenger, and the seats are set lower. The design for the gauges, dash and center console, meanwhile, are similar to what you see in the latest 911 and Panamera. It's a classier look and feel all around.
As usual with Porsche, optioning a Cayman is a quick route to poverty, especially when adding features like new dynamic transmission mounts and torque vectoring, which uses a mechanical locking differential to shift torque between the rear wheels. Eighteen-inch wheels should come standard, with 19-inchers optional, as are adaptive xenon headlamps and carbon-ceramic brakes.
The new Cayman will roll out in spring, starting at $52,600 for the base model and $63,800 for the Cayman S. Check back for a full review of the 2014 Porsche Cayman, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.
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