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by Tim Beissmann

The wraps have come off the all-new Porsche Cayman at the 2012 Los Angeles auto show, with the German sports car maker unveiling a larger, faster and more efficient third-generation entry-level coupe.

Like the original Porsche Cayman that launched in 2005, the new model is again based on the latest-generation Boxster convertible, sharing its basic underpinnings, powertrains and sharper design.

Arriving in Australia in late April, the 2013 Porsche Cayman will be slightly more expensive than the old model, with the entry model starting $400 higher at $115,500 and the sporty Cayman S priced $2900 above the previous car at $150,400. The optional seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission adds $5300 to the price of both models.

At 4380mm long, 1801mm wide, 1295mm tall and riding on a 2475mm wheelbase, the new Porsche Cayman is 33mm longer and 9mm lower than the old model and has grown 60mm between the wheels. Despite its stretched stature, the new-generation Cayman is up to 30kg lighter than the model it replaces, depending on the specific model and equipment level.

Powering the entry-level Porsche Cayman is a mildly uprated version of the new Boxster’s 2.7-litre flat six-cylinder. The engine generates 202kW and 290Nm – up 7kW over the old car’s 2.9-litre motor but down 10Nm. The result is a six-speed manual model that is one-tenth quicker from 0-100km/h (now 5.7 seconds) and a PDK version that’s three-tenths sharper, stopping the clock at 5.4 seconds. The new Cayman PDK is 15 per cent more fuel efficient than the old model, consuming 7.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, while the manual is 13 per cent cleaner at 8.2L/100km.

The Porsche Cayman S features a reworked version of the old car’s 3.4-litre flat six, which, like the base model, runs a slightly higher tune than the Boxster S. Producing 239kW and 370Nm, the new model generates 4kW more power than the model it replaces and an identical peak torque rating. The new Cayman S manual is two-tenths quicker than before, now reaching triple figures in 5.0 seconds, while the Cayman S PDK races to the mark in 4.7 seconds. Fuel consumption in the manual falls from 9.6L/100km to 8.8L/100km, while the PDK improves 13 per cent to 8.0L/100km.

Like the Boxster, the third-generation Porsche Cayman features an electromechanical steering system and is available with Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system, which continuously regulates the damping force for each wheel according to road conditions and driving style.

Also available for the first time is adaptive cruise control and a keyless entry and engine start system.

Australian specifications will be revealed in full closer to the launch of the new Cayman, due in the second quarter of 2013.

2013 Porsche Cayman manufacturer’s list prices:

  • Porsche Cayman manual – $115,500
  • Porsche Cayman PDK – $120,800
  • Porsche Cayman S manual – $150,400
  • Porsche Cayman S PDK – $155,700