Unveiled: 2006 Porsche Cayman S Photo Gallery and Specifications

The Boxster-based 2006 Porsche Cayman S is distinguished from its roadster brother by a new front clip with larger air intakes and prominent round fog lamps below the headlights. The Cayman's hatchback design allows rear storage capacity to increase from 4.6 cu ft in the Boxster to 9.2 cu ft in the Cayman S. Total capacity including the front trunk is 14.5 cu ft--that's more than in the BMW 330i sedan. The rear fenders are more prominent than the Boxster's, and they culminate in a speed-activated baby ducktail spoiler atop a more aggressively designed rear clip that houses dual tailpipes in a unique, squared-off rounded design.

Those hoping for a significantly lighter version of the Boxster may be disappointed; our sources indicate that the Cayman S will weigh virtually the same as the Boxster S--just under 3000 pounds. Powered by a 3.4-liter flat-six cylinder engine producing 295 hp and 250 lb-ft, the Cayman S will reach a top speed of 171 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds with the standard six-speed manual gearbox from the Boxster S. 0 to 60 takes an additional 0.7 seconds with the optional five-speed Tiptronic S manu-matic. The Cayman S's engine is equipped with the same VarioCam Plus variable valve timing system as the 911 Carrera; it allows a more aggressive cam profile as revs rise.

When the Cayman S goes on sale in mid-January, 2006, it will cost $59,695 including destination charge. Cheaper versions of the Cayman will follow one to two years later. The Cayman S will be equipped much like the Boxster S, meaning that PSM electronic stability control and 18-inch wheels are standard. 19-inch wheels, PASM electronic damping, and PCCB ceramic brakes are optional, as are a smorgasbord of expensive gewgaws that can push the price well over $90,000.

This is the most powerful volume-produced mid-engine Porsche ever, and when properly equipped with PASM and 19-inch wheels, it is faster around a track than the base 911 Carrera. If the highly profitable Cayman S sells well, we could see an even more powerful version priced in the same range as the 911.

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