First launched in 2005 for the 2006 model year, the Cayman is a coupé derived from Porsche's second and third generation Boxster roadster, styled in its first iteration by Pinky Lai. All Caymans were manufactured in Finland by Valmet Automotive. As Volkswagen assumed control of Porsche AG, production of Caymans and Boxsters after 2012 began in the former Karmann plant in Osnabrück, Germany, at the time owned by Volkswagen and also used for production of the 2012 Golf (Mk6) convertible. The car is not named after the Cayman Islands. Both the car and the islands are named after the caiman, a member of the alligator family.
The R is 55kg lighter than its S sibling thanks to slimline 19-inch wheels, aluminium door skins, lighter sports bucket seats and 15kg is saved from the removal of the sound system and air-con (thankfully for our climate these are still options). There is an extra 9bhp from the 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine thanks to a new exhaust manifold and ECU programme. Porsche's PASM active suspension system is not fitted and the car is 20mm lower than the Cayman S thanks to shorter and stiffer springs. A limited slip differential is standard and a fixed rear spoiler (reducing lift by 40%) and a revised front splitter (-15% lift) is fitted.