One of our favourite Porsches on sale is being replaced – and this is it: the new 2013 Porsche Cayman. Essentially a tin-top coupe Boxster, the new 981-series Cayman was unveiled today in the fitting location of Los Angeles.
It's the Mk2 Cayman, after 2005's original first spawned a Boxster coupe for the sub-911 masses.
Porsche Cayman: what's new on 2013's 981
The new Cayman is wider, lower and enjoys a wheelbase stretched by 60mm – it's now even longer than the big brother 911's, to the benefit of interior space. Nearly half the bodyshell is now made from lightweight aluminium, bringing kerbweight down by around 20kg despite the growth spurt.
The Cayman's style is instantly new, too. Porsche seems to have cottoned on that we don't want same-again design every time and the Cayman follows the crisper Boxster fashion. The roofline 9is longer and higher, the wheelarches blistered front and back and the rump is distinguished by a full-width spoiler skewering the rear lamps.
Don't expect just a facsimile of the Boxster, though; the front grille is different (tapering outwards at the base, rather than inwards) and the taut metal roof lends a different vibe to the mid-engined Porsche.
What's the story with the engine and tech on the 981 Cayman?
Those enlarged air intakes feed air to a boxer six available in two different states of tune, at launch at least. Porsche will sell you a Cayman in two flavours:
• Cayman, 2.7 litres, direct-injection, 271bhp, 5.4sec 0-62mph, 36.7mpg, 180g/km
• Cayman S, 3.4 litres, direct-injection, 321bhp, 5.0sec 0-62mph, 32.1mpg, 206g/km
PDK twin-clutch transmissions are available on either model in place of the six-speed manual, and a raft of new tech – much of it imported from the latest 991-spec 911 – is now available. There's active cruise control, electro-mechanical power steering and a clever decouple-to-coast function claimed to save a litre of fuel every 62 miles.
How to spot the difference between a Cayman and Cayman S
Anoraks take note: the Cayman has a single central exhaust, the S sticks with twin pipes.
Porsche has added a modest £487 premium to the cost of a base Cayman, which will be priced from £39,694 when sales begin in spring 2013. Yep, somehow they're still persuading us to part with more cash for the coupe over the roadster.