If you’re expecting the Porsche Cayman R to represent a transformation relative to the Cayman S, look away. The most revealing stat about the R is not its extra power, or lower weight, but the difference in price. The cost of changing the badge of your Cayman from ‘S’ to ‘R’ is less than a set of ceramic brakes.
Of course it’s not as simple as that. For while that extra outlay adds another 10bhp and loses 54kg, so must you pay extra for the air-conditioning and radio that are standard in the S.
Even so, when you tot up all the changes, including aluminium doors, a limited slip differential, new front and rear aero package, sports seats and the lightest wheels fitted to any Porsche, it's clear that the Cayman R represents proper value.
Interesting too that this is the first Cayman with a superior power-to-weight ratio than a Porsche 911. The R has a 10bhp/tonne advantage over a Carrera (and a better torque-to-weight advantage) so its apparently slower 0-62mph time is either due to the 911’s traction advantage or a bit of strategic positioning. In the real world the Cayman R is clearly the quicker car.
To drive it feels as you’d imagine - slightly but significantly sharper than the S, itself a supersonically able and engaging performer. To be honest you feel the weight saving and performance gain less than the suspension mods: it’s 22mm lower with firmer springs and dampers and comes with 40 percent more downforce on the rear axle and 15 percent up front.