Overview
If you're into weekend racing, there's nothing else on the market quite like the 2012 Porsche Cayman R. A stripped-down version of the Cayman S, the new R doesn't come standard with such amenities as air conditioning and a radio. It weighs 121 lbs. less than the S, however, as well as sitting 0.8 in. lower to the ground. It also has a sportier suspension and special engine mapping. Those changes—plus a midmounted engine that gives it nearly perfect front/rear weight balance—make the Cayman R incredibly quick, stable, and nimble during hard driving. The R's closest competitors are probably the Corvette Grand Sport and the Spyder, a similarly stripped-down version of the ragtop sibling model, the Porsche Boxster.

Overview
If you're into weekend racing, there's nothing else on the market quite like the 2012 Porsche Cayman R. A stripped-down version of the Cayman S, the new R doesn't come standard with such amenities as air conditioning and a radio. It weighs 121 lbs. less than the S, however, as well as sitting 0.8 in. lower to the ground. It also has a sportier suspension and special engine mapping. Those changes—plus a midmounted engine that gives it nearly perfect front/rear weight balance—make the Cayman R incredibly quick, stable, and nimble during hard driving. The R's closest competitors are probably the Corvette Grand Sport and the Spyder, a similarly stripped-down version of the ragtop sibling model, the Porsche Boxster.

2012 Porsche Cayman R

2012 Porsche Cayman R
2012 Porsche Cayman R

Overview
If you're into weekend racing, there's nothing else on the market quite like the 2012 Porsche Cayman R. A stripped-down version of the Cayman S, the new R doesn't come standard with such amenities as air conditioning and a radio. It weighs 121 lbs. less than the S, however, as well as sitting 0.8 in. lower to the ground. It also has a sportier suspension and special engine mapping. Those changes—plus a midmounted engine that gives it nearly perfect front/rear weight balance—make the Cayman R incredibly quick, stable, and nimble during hard driving. The R's closest competitors are probably the Corvette Grand Sport and the Spyder, a similarly stripped-down version of the ragtop sibling model, the Porsche Boxster.

R for Racer
R for Racer
Interior
Go with the Cayman S if you want creature comforts: The R's spare cabin has canvas straps for door handles and no air conditioner or radio (though you can add them back at no charge). The heavily bolstered seats are supportive but hard to get in and out of.
R for Racer
R for Racer
Engine/Transmission
Under the hood is a 3.4-liter flat-six with a sports exhaust and special engine mapping that gives it 330 horsepower, 10 more than the S. There's a choice of a six-speed stick shift or a seven-speed PDK automatic ($3,660) with paddle shifters.
R for Racer
R for Racer
Performance
The R is rated to jump from zero to 60 in 4.7 seconds with a stick shift, 4.6 seconds with an automatic, and 4.4 seconds with an automatic and the optional Sport Chrono Package. Top speed is 175 miles per hour.
R for Racer
R for Racer
Fuel Economy
The R is rated to get 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway with a stick shift, 20/29 with an automatic. That compares with 16 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway for the Corvette GS and 13/25 for the Audi R8.
R for Racer
R for Racer
Safety
The R doesn't have government crash-test ratings but comes standard with front, side, and side curtain air bags (six total), as well as stability and traction control, seat belt pretensioners, and brake-force distribution. Ceramic brakes are available for $8,150.
R for Racer
R for Racer

Price
Starting price is $67,250, compared with $63,050 for the Cayman S and $54,085 for the base model Cayman. That compares with $55,995 for the Chevy Corvette Grand Sport, $82,250 for a Porsche Carrera Coupe, and $118,450 for the Audi R8 4.2 quattro.