2013 Porsche Cayman: Third gen's the charm
The all-new third-generation Cayman is unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
2013 Porsche Cayman S
Porsche continues the rollout of its latest generation of cars at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. Perhaps the most eagerly awaited debut from the famed German automaker is the all-new Cayman, a car often derided as merely a Boxster hardtop.
While the Cayman does takes some new styling cues from that gorgeous convertible, it has a flair and sense of performance all its own.
2013 Porsche Cayman
What is it? The 2013 Cayman is the third generation of what many now consider the most balanced and dynamic of Porsche's platforms.
What's hot? Sitting lower than the previous Cayman, and with a wheelbase that is both longer and wider, the 2013 Cayman and Cayman S are poised to improve on an already impressive sports-car experience. The pairing of the Cayman's solid roof and cues from the new Boxster produce a dramatic look, like waves cresting and crashing. The Cayman is a beautiful car.
What's not? Critics have long lamented that the Cayman is underpowered compared with other sports cars in its class. For 2013, the base Cayman jumps from 265 to 275 horsepower, while the Cayman S gets a 5-horsepower bump to 325. With both Caymans weighing in at less than 3,000 pounds — and considering that the Cayman S produces 272 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm — those critics might stick to quibbling over the Porsche's options list, which as always is an express lane to poverty.
How much and when? The 2013 Cayman starts at $52,600 and the 2013 Cayman S starts at $63,800. Both will hit dealerships in the spring.
MSN Autos' verdict: Some say the Cayman could be better than the venerable 911. Some say the Cayman already is. As pricey as it is, the Cayman is a singular sports coupe that may not be for every luxury buyer. But if you appreciate precision, grip, balance and the joy of driving, and if the Cayman or Cayman S are in your price range, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't test drive them.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.