2008 L.A. Auto Show: 2009 Porsche Cayman
- Competes with: Audi TT, BMW Z4, Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
- Looks like: A 2008 Cayman with some tweaks to the headlights, taillights and side marker lights
- Drivetrain: 265-hp, 2.9-liter six-cylinder or 320-hp, 3.4-liter six-cylinder with six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual
- Hits dealerships: March 2009
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 styling has also been tweaked, with an emphasis on the lights — headlights, taillights and side marker lights.
There are also some subtle front-end changes to distinguish the coupe and roadster more. The Cayman has round fog lights and a larger grille opening. The Boxster has rectangular fog lights. Both cars now incorporate their 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.
The base Cayman's horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine has grown from 2.7 to 2.9 liters and from 245 to 265 hp. 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 a new seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, called Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (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 1/2-inch wider. These and the Cayman S' standard 18-inch wheels are new designs across the board. A limited-slip differential is optional to supplement the brake-based traction control.