Porsche is beavering away on the replacement for its Cayman coupe, aka the tin-top Boxster. CAR understands that the new 2013 Cayman will be shown at the Los Angeles auto show in autumn 2012.
Sales in Europe will kick off in spring 2013 - a year after the new 981-spec Boxster, which goes on sale in the UK in April 2012.
What's new on the 2013 Porsche Cayman?
This is an all-new car, again based heavily on the 2012 Boxster unveiled earlier this month. As our artist's impression shows, the new 2013 Cayman is essentially a coupe version of the Boxster and we expect the same stylistic treatment to keep the duo identifiably as a family duo.
Handily, that also keeps the production costs down. The new Cayman and Boxster will both be built in Stuttgart, after Porsche ended its contract for Valmet to build them in Finland. There aren't many more build slots for the existing Cayman left, apparently.
Engines, tech changes on the 2013 Cayman
The 1996 Boxster cleverly recycled much of its hardware from the 996, enabling Porsche to engineer and manufacture it more efficiently and bring it to market for around two-thirds the cost of the 911. This neatly explains why the new Boxster arrives so soon after the new 991 - the two are again closely related and both roll out of the same factory at Zuffenhausen.
So the Cayman - and Boxster and new 911 - boast a roster of new engines which sup up to 15% less fuel and despite a growth spurt the Cayman is expected to be 'considerably' lighter model for model thanks to an aluminium-intensive construction. We expect it to follow the Boxster's footprint, which means a wheelbase stretched lengthways by around 125mm and widthways with a 50mm wider track.
There are no radical shocks in store under the mid-mounted bonnet. Both engines at launch are flat sixes fueled by direct injection: the Cayman's shrinks back to 2.7 yet still kicks out 261bhp. The Cayman S will stick with a 3.4-litre capacity but ups the power by five horsepower to 311bhp. Both engines come as standard with the seven-speed manual cogfest you'll find in the 911.
The new Cayman: more economical
Porsche now spends as much effort on cutting consumption as carving corners, so the new Cayman will be equipped with a raft of fuel-saving technology. The engines will cut out at traffic lights and automatically restart; there's a clever thermal management system to heat and cool the engine and transmission efficiently; power steering is now electro-mechanical; and the seven-speed twin-clutch PDK gearbox is long-legged enough to promise around 37mpg on the Cayman. Yes, the days of travelling forty miles on gallon in a sporty Porsche are not far away.
But it's not all about low CO2 and Greenpeace hugs. The Cayman is likely to match its soft-top brethren with a 0-62mph time of 5.0sec, its little brother just seven-tenths behind. Cunningly, still just a bit slower than a 911, see?
Fansite forums like Planet 9 had earlier been abuzz with rumours that the Cayman wouldn't be replaced; it is comfortably the slowest selling Porsche in the current line-up - despite its critical excellence.
Despite being the cheapest model in Porsche's line-up, Brits buy around 1000 Boxsters a year but Porsche GB expects that to swell by around 50% this year when the new model arrives.
>> Watch this official Porsche video of the new 2012 Boxster below.