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Boxster and Cayman get power boost

2008-11-19 14:13
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Porsche
Model Boxster/Cayman
Engine 2.9l, 3.4l, flat-six
Porsche Cayman


Porsche Boxster: Interior
Porsche Cayman: Driving
Porsche Cayman: Countryside driving

Porsche’s revised mid-engined twins – Boxster and Cayman – have been shown at the Los Angeles auto show featuring more power and greater efficiency.

The choice tonic for men in a midlife crisis, both Boxster and its hardtop cousin, Cayman, have seen entry level- and 3.4l flat-six engines thoroughly revised.

Softer styling

Porsche’s legendary Carrera GT supercar has lent styling cues in the form of the new halogen front headlights which feature integrated direction indicators. The styling fad of the moment – LED lights – are embedded in the rear light clusters, whilst a diffuser and wind deflector plate respectively distinguish the Boxster and Cayman from each other viewed from the rear.

Foglamps are now standard too (wow), and being rectangular shaped on the Boxster and round on the Cayman they serve as a further distinguishing styling cue for the most detail obsessed Porsche owners. Both cars feature redesigned front air intakes too.

Smarter engines

New entry point to both ranges is a 2.9l version of the venerable flat six (previously a 2.7l) producing 188kW in the Boxster application and 195kW in the Cayman. The ‘S’ badged performance versions feature a direct-injection version of the 3.4l flat-six worth 228kW in Boxster, and 235kW in Cayman guise.

A key design imperative of the revised engine line-up has been blending optimal performance requirement from traditional Porsche customer demands with regulatory efficiency goals. To this end the PDK gearbox driven ‘S’ models cut a 4.9 second 0-100km/h sprint time (with launch control engaged) whilst returning 9.2l/100km in fairytale driving conditions.

Porsche has made great fanfare of the new 2.9l models being the first Stuttgart flat-six products to edge under the 9l/100km consumption threshold – albeit just, with a 8.9l/100km number.

The Johnny-come-lately PDK double-clutch gearbox now migrates down from the 911 range to the mid-engined models.

Better brakes

General driving dynamics are enhanced by a chassis set-up rendered more responsive to steering input thanks to a new steering transmission valve control map, reducing effort without sacrificing feel. Unsurprisingly a limited-slip differential is still not on offer - even as an option - in an attempt to prevent cannibalisation of entry level Carrera sales.

Always renowned for its racetrack inspired decelerative dynamics, the new Boxster and Cayman both features stability systems which have been upgraded with brake assist and pre-load braking dynamics. When there’s an abrupt throttle lift the brakes are primed for action for the driver has even physically touched the brake pedal.

Comfort and convenience features include the revised optional Porsche communication management system, encompassing a hard drive navigation system, iPod interoperability, a larger 6.5-inch screen (up from 5.8-inches),

For drivers in warmer climates, a cooling function is now optional on the front seats.

Local Porschephiles can expect the revised Boxster and Cayman to arrive towards the end of the first quarter next year, with pricing heavily depend on Rand volatility.


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