The Cayman sits above the Boxster and below the 911 in Porsche's sports car lineup. In top, R trim, the Cayman gets performance upgrades, such as a limited-slip differential.

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The Cayman R is a two-seater hard top with its engine placed just behind the cabin, putting the weight close to the center. An aluminum body keeps the car light.

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Although the Cayman shares some styling with the 911, the placement of the engine allows a more slated rear end. The front, with its hood dropping down between the two fenders, is a look shared by all Porsche vehicles.

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With the engine amidships, the hood covers a small cargo area in front.

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This car came with ceramic-composite brakes, an expensive option for the Cayman R and most useful on the track.

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With its rigid body, well-engineered suspension, and weight distribution, the Cayman R handles with spectacular acuity.

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Where other Porsches use automatic spoilers that rise up at speed, the Cayman R has a fixed spoiler.

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Manually adjustable seats with high bolsters make getting in and out of this car difficult.

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There are no buttons on this steering wheel, as the R-trim Cayman is designed for performance, with less emphasis on cabin tech.

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In sports car style, the tachometer occupies the most visible position on the instrument cluster.

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The six-speed manual shifts with a very mechanical feeling. Porsche's dual-clutch Doppelkupplung, with seven gears, is also available.

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Despite the spare nature of the car, it still has a sport button, which changes the throttle response.

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The Sport Chrono package adds this stopwatch to the dashboard, suitable for lap timing.

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Although this Cayman R lacked any cabin tech options, Porsche includes this large display for the radio as standard.

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The standard audio system, with its 11 speakers, is very good. But with no cabin tech options, a CD player and AM/FM radio are the only audio sources.

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