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Porsche Boxster & Cayman (2008) at LA Auto Show

Wed, 19 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

19 November 2008 09:00

How to improve on arguably the most sublime roadster and coupe on sale for thirty-something thousand quid? The Porsche Boxster and Cayman are a tough act to follow so, in time-honoured Porsche fashion, Darwinism prevails for the facelifted, 2009 model year models.

The new Boxster and Cayman, due to be unveiled later today at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show, are blink-and-you’ll-miss-them similar to today’s cars. Change lurks within – just like on the recently launched second-gen 997-spec 911. Which should come as no surprise: these models share roughly half their parts with the evergreen 911.

Porsche’s mid-engined sports car duo gain much of the 911’s new tech, including direct injection for some of the flat-six boxer engines and the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe transmission. Let’s just call it the PDK twin-clutch ’box, shall we? It replaces the Tiptronic gearbox and is geared for efficiency in a tall top ratio.

The new-look models have a pair of new engines. Basic Boxsters now come with a 2.9-litre six mustering 255bhp, while boggo Caymans have an upgrade to 265bhp.

Step up to the S models of each and you’ll be treated to the 3.4 with direct injection. Result? The Boxster S kicks out 310bhp, the Cayman S a stout 320bhp. That means that every facelifted model is between 10 and 25bhp meaner than before.

That’s always been a worry, hasn’t it? Equip a Cayman S with PDK and launch control (it comes with the optional Sports Chrono pack), and it’ll shoot to 62mph in just 4.9sec.

Sure you still want that rear-engined Beetle relic?



By Tim Pollard