Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cayman Comes with Real Bite

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cayman Comes with Real Bite

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Hayward

FOCUSED, poised, blisteringly quick, even reasonably comfortable - that's the latest scorching sportster from Porsche and we should expect nothing less.

To me, the Cayman R makes nonsense of buying a 911, but then, the standard Cayman is so good that it too gives the 911 more than a run for its money.

Porsche has added an extra 10bhp to the Cayman S engine for the R, but that's not where its secret lies.

This car tries to do what I and a few lads from the village realised many years ago - lighten up!

If you can reduce weight in any car, given the same amount of power, there's less to lug about and it must be quicker.

So Porsche's engineers have stripped the Cayman R down to much more like bare essentials.

It's 55kg lighter than the S because standard equipment no longer includes air conditioning, or a stereo system, or cup holders.

Even the interior door handles have been replaced with fabric pulls - which are actually the only bad thing about the car because they don't work too well.

You can add all the missing items from the extra list of course but that would defeat the object, now wouldn't it.

Think about those 55kg. That's an extra small person, or 55 bags of sugar taken out of the car.

So its lighter and its got more power, but its also 20mm lower than its sibling and the chassis has been modified to give even better handling and road-holding.

The resulting lightweight suspension has anti-roll bars front and rear and dampers tuned so that they still give decent comfort.

This all means that there is virtually no roll no matter how hard to push it through the corners.

The new model was launched at the home of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone, where tucked away behind the stands at the far side of the track, the Porsche Experience has its own fabulous handling circuit and low grip circle.

This is where all new Porsche owners should go to find out just how good their cars are, with instruction from current and former racing drivers who really know their onions.

I drove both six-speed manual and seven-speed twin clutch PDK automatic versions on two different tracks and out on the open road. …

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