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Sleek Architecture, Outstanding Fuel Efficiency - 2009 Porsche Cayman coupe



Introduced at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show last fall, Porsche unveiled the second generation of the rear-wheel drive Cayman coupe. Still firmly based on the wildly successful second generation Boxster that was also presented at Los Angeles, the Cayman coupes highlight the new generation of boxer engines developed with new technical features from the ground up. These new engines not only generate more power, but are also much more fuel efficient than their predecessors.

Updated exterior cues for the Cayman include new, individually designed front and rear panels with even larger halogen headlights plus integrated direction indicators and new LED rear lights.

Power for the Cayman coupe is produced by a 2.9L six-cylinder powerplant that delivers 20 hp more than last year's model. The Cayman S is powered by a 3.4L six-cylinder prime mover that generates 25 hp more than last year. The standard gearbox for both engines is a six-speed dual flywheel manual transmission. For the first time, both Cayman models are available with the Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) or double-clutch gearbox derived from motorsport.

Replacing the former Tiptronic S transmission, PDK comes with seven gears and is made up of two transmission units each connected to the drivetrain through their own clutch. One transmission unit comes with gears 1, 3, 5 and 7 as well as reverse gear, the other comes with gears 2, 4, and 6. Gears are shifted very fast, with supreme smoothness and without the slightest interruption of traction. This entire process takes place automatically in selector lever position D, while the driver is also able to shift gears manually via paddles on the steering wheel or with the selector lever in the middle.

Although control hardware for the Cayman remains the same in its basic concept for 2009, it has been adjusted in its set-up to the extra power of the engine and offers a significantly higher standard of all-round comfort despite the even greater dynamic performance of the car. As an option, both the Cayman and Cayman S can be fitted with the Porsche Active Suspension Management system (PASM). The big advantage of PASM is that it combines two suspensions in one: a sporting and comfortable suspension for everyday use and a sporting set-up for fast driving.

Inside the passenger cabin, sophisticated materials, a very pleasant ambience and an equally pleasant surface touch confirm the premium position of Porsche's sporting two-seater within the interior. The center console now comes in elegant black and the standard finish is enhanced by the newly standard CDR-30 CD radio with its easy-to-read five-inch screen and MP3-compatible CD player.

The optional Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system serving as the central control unit for all audio, communication and navigation functions now offers an even higher standard of performance, being more versatile and easier to use.

Dimensions & specifications

Wheelbase: 95.1; overall length: 171.1; width: 70.9; height: 51.3 - measurements in inches

Engine: 2.9L six-cylinder – 265 hp at 7,200 rpm and 221 lbs-ft of torque at 4,400-6,000 rpm; 3.4L six-cylinder – 320 hp at 7,200 rpm and 273 lbs-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm

Transmission: six-speed manual, seven-speed PDK automatic

EPA Fuel Economy: 2.9L six-cylinder – 19 city/27 hwy. (manual), 20 city/29 hwy. (PDK); 3.4L six-cylinder – 19 city/26 hwy. (manual), 20 city/29 hwy. (PDK).

Cargo capacity: 14.5 cubic feet

Safety features

Dual front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags, four-wheel disc brakes, active brake differential, front fog lights, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitors, remote keyless entry, rollover protection, alarm system, side-impact door beam protection, traction control, anti-slip regulation, and Porsche stability management.

Optional safety features include Bluetooth hands-free phone system, navigation system, Bi-Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps, dynamic cornering lights, fire extinguisher, park assist system and limited slip rear differential.

Warranty

Basic: 4-year/50,000 mile Bumper-to-bumper

Corrosion: 10-year/unlimited

Roadside Assistance: 4-year/50,000 mile 24-hour

Pricing

The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2009 Porsche Cayman coupe starts from $50,300 for the base model and $60,200 for the Cayman S. Destination charges add $860.

About the Author

Ken Chester, Jr.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.


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