Key to the Highway

Observations about cars and the auto industry

2012 L.A. Auto Show: Porsche

Porsche often skips the Detroit and other auto shows, focusing on its largest market in North America: Southern California. That means the German sports car maker sees no reason not to debut significant models at a show known more for hybrids than high-performance.

The Cayman is probably the best handling Porsche, at least for drivers whose names haven’t graced endurance racing standings the past 40 years. A new version of the coupe version of the Boxster arrives in both regular and S models with the expected styling tweaks and more power. The interior undergoes a complete redesign, while the outside gets a bit rounder and loses some the aggressive stance of its predecessor. The car is lighter, more powerful and more fuel efficient, the automaker says, along with sporting a longer wheelbase and wider track.

A pair of flat-six-cylinder engines power the regular and S models. The Cayman gets the 2.7-liter and its 275 horsepower, which when paired with the Sport Chrono package enables one to get to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds. With Cayman S displacement rises to 3.4 liters and output to 325 horsepower, allowing a 4.7-second trip to 62 mph.

No. 2 on the hit parade, but not getting the big intro to the press, is the 911 Carrera 4 in both regular and S versions. The all-wheel drive 911 is available in coupe and drop-top versions.


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