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No Pain, No Gain?

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On: Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 10:37AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

No Pain, No Gain?

Here’s a fun sounding deal for all of you Porscheophiles:  How would you like the chance to buy  a brand new Porsche for just over $66,000? Not too bad right? Well, here’s the thing:  It won’t have a radio or air conditioning; oh, and it will be noticeably noisier than what you might expect out of a high-end sports car. Still interested? Well, if not, then you are not the target market for the new Cayman R Porsche is rolling out this month.  

Although no official word has indicated what the R stands for, we have made a short guess list: R could be for race, or race-ready, or ridiculously fun, or really, it’s pretty hardcore, or road-course hero, which the Cayman R is certainly destined to be. Essentially the R is a Cayman that has gone on the perfect diet/exercise program that allowed it to walk that very fine line of being able to build muscle in all the right places and lose body fat at the same time to further emphasize its already extremely athletic nature. There are not a lot of differences between the two, but the few that there are make the R a much more feral animal compared to its domesticated sibling. 

The Cayman R has dropped an impressive 121 pounds off its already trim physique, which is like a bodybuilder who is already at 6% body fat dropping down to 3%; the next things to go will be vital organs. The R weighs in at a lean, mean 2849 pounds, which in this day and age of constantly upgraded safety regulations adding more and more pounds to automobiles, the Cayman R is a lean welterweight in an obese weight class. The weight comes off thanks, in part, to carbon-fiber interior panels and seatbacks, and the deletion of the aforementioned radio and air-conditioning units. But it’s not just weight loss with the Cayman R; power gets the same direct-injection 3.4-liter V6 as the Cayman S, but the R gets bumped up to 330 horsepower (up 10 from the Cayman S and 65 more than the base model) thanks to some slight more aggressive tuning. Torque also makes a jump up to 273 lb-ft (up from 221 in the standard model).

Visually, you can distinguish a Cayman R from the garden-variety models fairly easily. Side mirrors and vents are blacked out, the windows and headlights get essentially black eyeliner that surrounds them as slightly more understated visual cues. The big tell is the slightly over-the-top Porsche sticker/graphic on the side of the car above the rocker panels, which seems a little less elegant than normal Porsche etiquette and has the subtlety of that orangey fake tan bodybuilders apply before they go out on stage. Big 19-inch wheels (borrowed from the Boxster Spyder) and a suspension that is ever-so-slightly lower than the stock car’s (by 20mm to be exact) add just a bit more uniqueness to the Cayman R. Front and rear spoilers complete the package from the outside of the car. The final big difference you get with the R is a limited-slip differential, which, on track day, can make all the difference in the world.

The Cayman R packs the same transmission options as the stocker, either a standard six-speed manual or Porsche’s vaunted seven-speed PDK automated gearbox. All that hardcore training pays off when it comes to show time. With the manual trans, Porsche claims the Cayman R runs to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, while the PDK-infused machine will out run those do-it-yourselfers, accomplishing the same feat in 4.4 seconds. Comparatively, the stock Cayman S gets to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

Even the most regular of gym-goers can take a lesson from what Porsche has done with the Cayman R. They had a car that was perfectly balanced, powered without complaint, and was all in all a wonderfully lightweight performer and took it just a few steps farther in almost every performance category imaginable, even if it was ever-so-slightly. It seems someone at Porsche was just not content to leave well enough alone, and wanted to push for that extra rep or two when it came to the Cayman. So, for you slightly harder-core fans out there, the Cayman R is ready and raring to go at Porsche dealerships right now. It comes in at a base price of $66,300, about a $4,000 premium over the Cayman S. So is the dieted-down, more muscular Cayman R right for you? That depends on your perspective, and if you think that silly things like radios and air conditioning were nothing but excess pounds waiting to be lost all along.

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Johnny V | 9:49PM (Mon, Mar 7, 2011)

I want one


Michigander | 11:18AM (Tue, Mar 8, 2011)

I guess I am officially NOT hard-core... Air Conditioning is not optional in my car!!!

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