Porsche has officially revealed its baby 911, the 291bhp Cayman S. The 3.4-litre flat six-powered coupé, developed under the codename 987 C7S, will make its first public appearance at September’s Frankfurt show. It reaches the UK on 26 November priced at £43,930, slotting into the Porsche line-up above the new Boxster. A standard, lower-powered Cayman that could cost as little as £35k, and a hard-core track-orientated version will follow.
Porsche has bucked the trend whereby coupés are usually lower-priced than their more complex convertible siblings. The strategy has required Porsche to give the Cayman S greater firepower than the 276bhp 3.2-litre Boxster S, simply to justify its positioning.
At the same time, Porsche has been careful not to let its latest model encroach too far on the territory ruled by the 321bhp 3.6-litre 911 Carrera – it’s notable that the Cayman’s power output falls short of the 300bhp mark, keeping it a respectable distance from its more-expensive stablemate. However, it is reckoned to be quicker round the Nürburgring circuit than its bigger brother.
In a move aimed at trimming development costs and streamlining production, the Cayman shares around 40 per cent of its components with the second-generation Boxster. The two cars have the same bonnet, headlamps, front wings, doors and tail lamps. However, close inspection reveals some interesting styling changes that, from certain angles at least, help give the Cayman its own distinctive visual character. The inspiration for many of the changes is said to have come from Porsche’s classic 904.
Up front, there is a modified bumper with larger air ducts below each headlamp, and the fog lamps are housed in round units rather than the rectangular items found on the Boxster. The windscreen shares the same angle as its open-top sibling’s, while the roof itself is heavily curved and similar to that found on earlier incarnations of the 911. Small fixed windows are incorporated behind the trailing edge of the doors, and the air ducts used to cool the mid-mounted engine receive vertical instead of horizontal strakes.