Porsche’s reveal at the LA show is the new Cayman R, which is lighter and more powerful than the Cayman S by 55 kg and 10 hp respectively. The R was “designed for spectacular road behaviour” with a specially adapted sports chassis, providing “an even more precise driving experience than the Cayman S”, which is the already the best driving Porsche to some.

The 3.4-litre flat six gains 10 horses to make 330 hp (torque remains at 370 Nm). With a six-speed manual, 0-100 km/h is achieved in 5.0 seconds flat, while the seven-speed PDK twin-clutch ‘box is faster by 0.1 sec. The optional Sport Chrono package takes the time further down to 4.7 seconds. Top speed is 282 km/h for the manual or 280 km/h with PDK. The car without the clutch pedal is rather frugal with 9.3 l/100 km combined consumption.

For comparison, the Cayman S does the century sprint in 5.2 (manual) and 5.1 seconds (PDK) while top speed is 277 km/h for the stick shift and 275 km/h for the PDK model.

The main aim of the Cayman R was to improve performance, driving dynamics and agility through weight reduction. At just 1,295 kg, the R’s improved power-to-weight ratio stands at 3.9 kg per horsepower (4kg/hp for PDK). Savings were achieved through the use of lightweight components and doing without convenience equipment (air con, stereo). The Cayman flagship also comes with the lightest 19″ wheels Porsche has. The complete rim set weighs less than 40 kg.

The Cayman R sits 20 mm lower than the S and comes with an LSD as standard. The fuel tank is also smaller (by 10 litres) at 54 litres. To spot a Cayman R, look for the fixed rear spoiler, black-framed headlights, black wing mirrors and the ‘Porsche’ decals on the side (in contrasting black or silver, depending on the body colour). The ‘Peridot’ colour of this car is exclusive to the R.

It will go on sale from February 2011. Gallery after the jump.

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