Porsche is preparing a successor to its hard-core Cayman R.
Less than a month after the German sportscar maker released flagship GTS versions of the Cayman, and its convertible cousin the Boxster, at the Beijing motor show, a big-winged prototype has been caught testing near the famed Nurburgring circuit.
The top-secret test mule borrows styling cues from the 911 GT3, which clearly signals Porsche is ready to extend the mid-engined Cayman's performance closer to its iconic 911 Carrera than ever before.
It is easily identified by its more aggressive bodywork, which includes a deeper front bumper with larger air intakes and a protruding front splitter as well as a new boot lid with integrated spoiler and a high- mounted adjustable rear wing.
The car also appears to ride lower than a standard Cayman, features lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels and has high-performance brakes, all of which are aimed at further improving its road- holding ability.
Exactly what will power the car is under intense speculation, with respected American magazine, Motor Trend, indicating it could be powered by a turbo charged four cylinder with electric assistance featuring technology borrowed from the company's 919 Hybrid sportscar that Australian Mark Webber will race at the Le Mans 24-hour next month.
The more likely option though is the hi-po Cayman will have the 3.8-litre flat six from the 911 Carrera S.
Either way, it is likely to produce around 290kW - substantially more than the 250kW produced by the 3.4-litre in the Cayman GTS - with drive sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The combination of its larger engine, stickier tyres and stiffer suspension is likely to result in significant improvements in performance, both in a straight line and through the bends, with the potential to match - or even eclispe - the Carrera S' claimed 4.3 second sprint from 0-100kmh.
It is also unclear which direction Porsche will go in terms of its model designation, with initial reports suggesting it will be called the Cayman GT4 but it is most likely Porsche will keep the GT-type nomenclature as an exclusive domain within the 911 family and that the hard-core baby coupe will adopt the Cayman R badge.
Considering this is the first look at the vehicle, the final production vehicle isn't expected to hit showrooms until mid 2015.
It is fully expected that the Boxster soft-top, with which the Cayman already shares its basic platform will also enjoy a similar performance package as well as a completely naturally aspirated flat four without hybrid assistance
- Taranaki Daily News