The Cayman R was Porsche’s first answer to a more hardcore version of the Cayman S. The Cayman R might not be all that more powerful but it does has a couple of significant changes which gives it a leap of the S version.
What’s different ?
The most significant improvement to the R is the weight. The car weighs 55 kg lighter than the S version which Porsche achieved by using 19-inch slimline alloy wheels, aluminum door skins from the 911,extremely light carbon fiber sports bucket seats and the removal of the radio and air-con (15kg). Porsche even offers a light weight battery for the car.
The Cayman R makes use of Porsche’s 3.4 litre flat six,mid mounted, engine, a new exhaust manifold, which allows for a more free-flowing exhaust, and an ECU remap which boosts the total the power to 330 hp, a mere 10 hp more. The engine now revs to 7400rpm and puts out 370 Nm of torque. Porsche’s launch control system is a standard on the car and allows for a 0-100 km/h time of 4.7 sec. However that’s with the seven speed dual clutch transmission. The six speed manual only manages to loose 0.3 seconds. The top speed now sits close to 280 km/h.
The R makes use of shorter and stiffer springs which brings the car 20mm lower than the S. The introduction of a fixed rear wing on the car as well an improved front-splitter provides for a more aerodynamic car and reduces the lift keeping the car more planted when all that power is delivered to the rear wheels.
My time with the Cayman R was limited but it was enough to give me a great indication of what it’s like to drive on the roads of South Africa. From the time you jump into the very expensive carbon bucket seats you already feel like you in a race car the red seat belts and the straps for door handles. The roar of the flat 6 engine sends shivers down your spine as you start it up.
Once i was out on road the car just felt absolutely immense. The stiffer suspension and lowered ride height did not hamper the ride at all. The steering response was accurate and the car sticks through corners brilliantly. Throttle response was instant and was even better when the car was in sport +. Sport + also quickens the gear changes with the PDK version and you can feel all 330 horses at real wheels when planting your foot to the floor.
However i had noticed that the gearbox was undecided at times while sitting in traffic but that is only a small flaw for such a great piece of machine.
Where does it fit in the market ?
When new the Cayman R was sold for a price around R840 000 which was great value for money. But how does it compare in the present market ?
Well, current retail value sits at around R699 000 – R730 000. So in three years the value had dropped by around R100 000. Not too bad if you ask me. However for the same value you can purchase a wide range of Mercedes AMG’s, a Jaguar F-Type V6 or even a new spec Cayman.
The Porsche Cayman R will for me is a truly stunning car. It’s light, fast and racey. Sure you can get a Jaguar F-Type which is also great value for money (and it makes an amazing noise) but the Cayman R is one of those cars that are limited and you might not get the opportunity to buy one at a later stage.
Article by Zaakir Essop
Photography by Yusuf Essop