We welcome a new addition – and a familiar face – to the crankandpiston Journals: a 2012 Porsche Cayman R.[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||April 2013|
|Kilometres this month:||N/A|
|Costs this month:||$35|
|L/100km this month:||N/A|
So what do you replace a 21-year old Mercedes Benz 500E with? A very good question, and one that took me a while to answer. The new car needed to be relatively rare, brimming with character, still be under manufacturer warranty, and be a proper performance machine. I had a deposit down on a 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe at Gargash but on the same week I drove past the Porsche approved garage in Dubai and noticed a little Cayman R sitting out the back. I immediately knew what it was after reading a great twin test on this very site between a Peridot Green Cayman R and a BMW 1 series M Coupe. I bought the car on the spot without even a test drive, since I knew it would be snapped up immediately.
Please put your hands together then and welcome my new 2012 Porsche Cayman R.
In basic terms, the R is Porsche’s most underfed and overbred Cayman. More GTS than hardcore, the R is 55kg lighter and 10bhp more powerful than a Cayman S, thereby improving the power to weight ratio. The new 1295kg weight is achieved thanks to aluminium doors from the GT3/Turbo saving 15kg, fixed back lightweight bucket seats saving 12kg, and very lightweight 19-inch wheels shedding 5kg. As standard there’s no radio, which saves a further 3kg, although mine has the full works Bose system in it. RS door pull straps, no cup holders, no door pockets and a 10-litre smaller fuel tank save the final 7kg. Said package is wrapped in Basalt black and black leather, with Gordon Gecko style red seat belts and RS fabric door handles.
The extra power is thanks to a large diameter exhaust manifold and an ECU remap, while the front and rear spoilers reduce aerodynamic lift by 15 percent on the front and 40 percent on the rear. Finally, the suspension has been lowered by 20mm, with firmer springs and more negative camber, which is clearly visible when you look at the car’s stance. With those wheels and 1960s Porsche graphics on the doors, I think it looks fantastic.
Performance wise it’s not ballistic (my old 500E felt more muscular due to the low down torque) but it’s still a very quick car. As it’s so light, we’re talking Toyota 86 levels of nimbleness. Stunning granular levels of feedback allow you to explore 95 percent of the chassis the majority of the time.
As I said maybe the badge is wrong – maybe it should be a ‘GTS’ like the wide-arch 997 variant, or perhaps more appropriately, the return of the ‘Club Sport’ line. Either way I really don’t care. I absolutely adore it.
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