Pride of place on Porsche’s Los Angeles Auto Show goes to the refreshed 2009 Boxster and Cayman models that benefit from new flat-six boxer engines, a double-clutch PDK gearbox, suspension revisions and subtle cosmetic changes. On the front end, the 2009 Boxster and Cayman gain new halogen headlights with integrated direction indicators that are reminiscent of those found on the Carrera GT as well as new LED daytime running lights. At the rear end, both models feature slightly larger ‘swoopy’ taillights, new exhaust tailpipes and redesigned lower bumper areas.
But as one might expect, what’s really important about Porsche’s new mid-engined sports cars is well hidden underneath the skin as both models gain much of the tech seen on the recently facelifted 911s. The basic versions now come with a 2.9-liter direct-injection straight six that cranks out 255HP in the Boxster and 265HP in the Cayman, an increase by 10 and, respectively, 20HP over the preceding models. The 3.4-litre power unit in the S-versions, benefiting from direct fuel injection, now delivers 310HP in the Boxster S and 320HP in the Cayman S, a 15 and 25HP bump respectively.
For the first time, both the Boxster and the Cayman are available with Porsche’s PDK double-clutch gearbox which not only shifts gears even more quickly but according to Porsche, it also helps reduce fuel consumption. Equipped with the PDK double-clutch gearbox, the Roadster and Coupe accelerate to 100 km/h or 62 mph 0.1 seconds faster than with the manual six-speed gearbox featured on the “basic” models.
Porsche hasn’t published the exact performance figures for all versions but it did announce that the Cayman S with PDK and Launch Control accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 while the Boxster 2.9 with its six-speed manual gearbox completes the same exercise in 5.9 sec.
In terms of fuel economy, Porsche said that with the PDK, the new 2.9-litre boxer engine make do with 8.9 lt/100 km (equal to 26.4 mpg US) or 11 percent less than the former models with Tiptronic S. The 3.4-litre versions reduce fuel consumption by an even more significant 16 percent to 9.2 lt/100 km (equal to 25.5 mpg US).
Porsche’s new mid-engined models are entering the market in February 2009 with the base price for the Boxster in Europe set at €38,600 and the Cayman’s at €41,700. The corresponding prices for the Boxster S are €46,700 and the Cayman S €51,500. If you add VAT and national specifications, the Boxster retails in Germany at €46,142, the Cayman at €49,831, the Boxster S, at €55,781 and the Cayman S at €61,493.