Porsche usually identifies its sportiest cars with the initial 'R', for racing, as in the rare 210 horsepower 911 R of 1967 and the current 911 GT3 'R' track star. So local fans were rapt when the German marque unveiled its Cayman R at Pacific Place.
The Porsche Cayman has an affinity with Hong Kong because it was designed by locally born Pinky Chan and for the past four years has proved easy to handle and occasionally exhilarating in our traffic. The Cayman range is already impressive with the 265-horsepower Cayman (HK$865,000) and the 320hp Cayman S (HK$1.03 million). The new Cayman R (from HK$1.111 million) simply promises 'pure, distilled driving dynamics' with a body that is 55kg lighter than the 1,350kg Cayman S, and a sports suspension for extra stability at speed. Porsche's technicians have also tweaked an extra 10hp out of the Cayman S's 3.4-litre, flat six-cylinder direct fuel injection boxer engine for sprints to 100km/h in five seconds with the six-gear manual shift, or 4.9 seconds with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch PDK (Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) transmission. That's about one-fifth of a second faster in the sprint than the Cayman S and four-fifths of a second faster than the basic model. The PDK transmission versions consume 9.3l/100km of petrol on combined runs and spew 218 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, 10g/km less than the manual version.
The Cayman R was lightened with the use of new components and the stripping back of equipment ranging from the air-conditioning to the stereo. The car also has a smaller, 54-litre fuel tank and is fitted with a sports suspension system that lowers its ride by 20mm, and a limited slip differential to improve cornering grip. The Cayman R also shed 5kg by using the lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels first seen on the Boxster Spyder, and other 'weight-loss' touches include aluminium door skins from the 911 Turbo and GT3, carbon fibre sports bucket seats and interior door panels from the 911 GT3 RS.
Capable of 282km/h, 5km/h faster than the Cayman S, the Cayman R has been specially styled with a fixed rear spoiler in a contrasting colour, black-framed halogen headlights, contrasting side mirrors and decorative side-stripes. The centre console and the dashboard trim strip are finished in the exterior colour, especially in the new Peridot green metallic paint.