Lightweight Porsche Cayman R revealed

Porsche will launch the lightweight Cayman R in February 2011 - the third model in the Cayman range alongside the Cayman and Cayman S. The newcomer is lighter, has 10bhp more power and features highly-tuned sports suspension, making it the real 'enthusiasts' Cayman while prices will start at £51,731 when it arrives at UK showrooms.

Weighing 55 kg less than the equivalent Cayman S, and boasting the most horsepower available in a mid-engined Porsche, the 330bhp Cayman R has been created for one reason according to Porsche - pure, 'distilled driving dynamics'. Its highly-tuned sports suspension and attention to weight saving have both been designed to offer a driving experience even more precise than that of the acclaimed Cayman S.

The new Cayman R features the efficient 3.4-litre, flat six-cylinder Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) boxer engine found in the Cayman S, but it has been tuned to produce an additional 10bhp. With a six-speed manual transmission, the Cayman R sprints from a standstill to 62 mph in 5.0 seconds, two-tenths of a second faster than the Cayman S. With the optional seven-speed dual-clutch PDK (Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) transmission and the Sport Chrono package, this is reduced to 4.7 seconds. Top speed with the manual transmission is up by 3mph to 175mph and 174mph with the PDK.

The main objective in the concept and execution of the Cayman R was to improve the already energetic two-seater through a systematic reduction in weight, thereby increasing performance, driving dynamics and agility. The greatest savings come from the use of lightweight components and stripping back equipment levels to those associated with driving performance. In addition to the removal of the air conditioning and stereo, the driver-focused Cayman R utilises a unique, slightly smaller 54-litre fuel tank and a sports suspension system that lowers the Cayman R by 20 mm, helping lower the centre of gravity.

The Cayman R also comes as standard with a limited slip differential to optimise cornering grip, and lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels (first seen on the Boxster Spyder) that reduce weight by 5kg. Lightweight aluminium door skins from the 911 Turbo and GT3, carbon fibre sports bucket seats and the distinctive interior door panels from the 911 GT3 RS also contribute to the weight reduction.

Porsche Cayman R (6)

From the outside, the distinctive Cayman Aerokit sports styling - with fixed rear spoiler in contrasting colour - sets the Cayman R apart, and black-framed halogen headlights, contrasting side mirrors and decorative side-stripes make it stand out. For customers seeking to stand out further from the crowd a new option of Peridot metallic paint is available (as seen in the photos).

The Porsche Cayman R goes on sale in the UK in February 2011, priced from £51,731 . Included in the purchase price is the invitation for customers to explore the dynamic attributes of their Cayman R and develop their own skills behind the wheel, courtesy of a Driving Experience Programme at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone.

Historically, special Porsche models with optimised sporting performance were identified by the moniker ‘R', for Racing. The most revered model of this type is the 911 R of 1967. This specialised, lightweight edition of the 911 coupe had a 210 hp flat six engine shared with the Carrera 6 sports racer and weighed just 830 kg. Just 19 examples were built. Most recently, the 911 GT3 ‘R' has been built for racing in sports car championships around the world.

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