Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP), has launched the new Cayman R. The new Cayman R which had its international launch in Los Angeles late last year, with deliveries commencing in Europe just five months ago. It’s now available in Malaysia, joining the Cayman and Cayman S.Read the full news by Chips Yap from Motortrader below.
PORSCHE CAYMAN R
Since becoming the official Porsche distributor in early 2010, Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) has been very busy expanding the business in Malaysia. Where Auto Eurokars may have had limited resources to go to the next level, SDAP has the Sime Darby conglomerate behind it and also appears to have a greater degree of commitment and support from the principal.
The expansion is evident in various ways with the new Porsche Centre in Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Golden Triangle’ being the most visible. There are also more activities in brand-building and where new models are concerned, they are being offered in Malaysia in a much shorter time after their global debut.
This is clearly a reflection of the strong support being given by Porsche as SDAP is not a subsidiary (unlike BMW Malaysia and VW Group Malaysia) but still manages to get new models pretty fast. Given that Porsche is not a mass producer, it would have limited units to go around and how fast a dealer can get its allocation depends on how important the carmaker considers the market to be.
That’s the case with the new Cayman R which had its international launch in Los Angeles late last year, with deliveries commencing in Europe just five months ago. It’s now available in Malaysia, joining the Cayman and Cayman S, and SDAP expects to sell at least 25 units of this version in 2011 at RM630,000 each (excluding insurance).
The ‘R’ marks this Cayman as something special and is Porsche reserves the alphabet for its very special sportscars. It deems ‘R’ to stand for ‘responsive’ and ‘refined’ but especially for ‘racy’. With the new Cayman R, all these attributes are said to be combined without compromise. 55 kgs lighter and with 10 bhp more than the Cayman S, the mid-engine coupe has a specially-adapted sports chassis designed for ‘spectacular road behaviour’.
The Cayman R is powered by an uprated 3436 cc 6-cylinder engine developing 330 bhp and 370 Nm of torque. Peak power output comes very high, at 7400 rpm, which is just 100 rpm below the redline. The main contributor to the increased output is the different exhaust system as well as a modified engine control system.
In standard configuration for Malaysia, power goes to the rear wheels via a 7-speed PDK transmission with a revised shift strategy that is matched to the engine characteristics, especially the higher revving. Top speed, claimed to be 280 km/h, is achieved in sixth gear while the seventh gear is for fuel-saving. The Cayman R’s transmission also has a Sport Plus mode which allows for more rapid shifting, a requirement when racing. This mode has a ‘Launch Control’ to optimize take-off.
According to Arnt Bayer, the MD of SDAP, almost all Porsche customers in Asia (and 80% worldwide) order their car with the PDK transmission, so all the units imported have this transmission. However, if a customer insists, the 6-speed manual transmission can also be specified ‘but we will ask the customer to first try the Cayman R with the PDK transmission and then confirm the decision,” said Mr, Bayer.
With an unladen weight of just 1,295 kgs, the Porsche engineers were able to improve the power-to-weight ratio of the car to 3.9 kgs per bhp. The largest savings were achieved through the use of lightweight components and omitting convenience equipment, though one would not say the Cayman R is spartan. But weight-saving was pursued aggressively and the 19-inch wheels available from Porsche weigh less than 40 kgs. Aluminium is also used for the bonnet and doors and to show just how serious the engineers were in keeping weight down, the wiper at the rear is listed as optional!
However, whatever you do, you are not going to get 100% of the rated output using Malaysian fuel. According to SDAP’s After-sales Manager, Christopher Hunter, the engine is tuned to give optimum output with RON98 petrol and the highest octane available here is RON97. He said that there would definitely be a bit of power loss but how much exactly was uncertain as there are many other factors as well. But unless you are racing, what’s a few bhp less when you have over 300 anyway?
Like all Porsches today, there’s the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system which is a very sophisticated vehicle stability system. It integrates ABS, traction control, engine braking control, brake differential control so that there is coordination between all these systems to help the driver keep the car under control even in extreme situations. It’s not supposed to help you become a faster driver but to be able to explore the extremely high limits of the car with safety. Skilled drivers can disengage PSM but you have to be very skilled if you want to do that because the car can snap sideways quite quickly. Even then, the system does not retains a degree of control: during gentle braking into a corner, the PSM will not intervene but if there is hard braking, ABS will kick in to ensure the driver has steering control through the corner.
As a basic rule, the PSM acts to ensure increased stability in critical driving situations close to the absolute limits through selective brake actuation. In order to provide more agile handling, the PSM comes into play later at lower speeds of up to around 70 km/h. Pre-filling of the brake system increases the brake readiness and assists in reducing the stopping distance in emergency situations.
The Cayman R’s purpose and purist character is evident from the extended silhouette of the bodywork which has been lowered by 20 mm, compared to the Cayman S. There’s also the distinctive fixed rear spoiler and numerous sporting highlights on both the interior and exterior, which give an individual appearance. The black-framed headlights, black exterior mirrors and the “PORSCHE” lettering on the side – in a contrasting colour to the body colour – take design cues from classic Porsche racing cars.
Understanding that Malaysian customers will expect to be comfortable when they drive a car that costs as much as the Cayman R, Mr. Bayer said SDAP has ensured that many of the features which are omitted in European countries are included. Air-conditioning is a must, of course, and there’s also a universal audio interface. Of course, as with other German luxury models, there is also the possibility of personalization if one pays extra money and is willing to wait longer. Incidentally, the price of the Cayman R includes a 4-year warranty and 4 years/100,000 kms of free scheduled servicing.