I understand that for many car enthusiasts, having A/C makes their experience cooler on warm days. For me, A/C was nice to have when it is 115 out (like when I was in the Middle East) but the rest of the time, it is just a "power rob".
I would be willing to go without the A/C if I could dirve something like the new 2012Porsche Cayman R....All I can say is it looks realy sweet.
Some Porsche Purists Like It Hot, and They’re Sweating to Prove It
TESTED 2012 Porsche Cayman R
WHAT IS IT? A two-seat midengine Porsche that has been lightened, lowered and lettered.
HOW MUCH? Base price, $67,250. As tested, $85,100, including PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission, ceramic brakes, Sport Chrono package and Sports Exhaust System.
WHAT MAKES IT RUN? A 3.4-liter direct-injected flat 6 producing 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
HOW QUICK IS IT? Quite quick: Car and Driver magazine clocked a 0-to-60 m.p.h. run in 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 174 m.p.h.
IS IT THIRSTY? The federal mileage rating is 20 city/29 highway m.p.g. with the PDK transmission or 19/27 m.p.g. with a conventional 6-speed manual.
ALTERNATIVES Lotus Evora S, Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R, Audi TTS.
I CAN’T remember the last car I drove without air-conditioning — let alone a sweltering $85,000 Porsche.
But while an August heat wave in New York brought new meaning to the term “triple-digit car testing,” the Cayman R was worth every drop of perspiration expelled in its parboiled cabin.
While a two-seat movable sauna may not be your idea of fun, some Porschephiles may find the Cayman R is right in their comfort zone. Buyers have the option of deleting the air-conditioning and the basic radio; the price is the same with or without the frills. Or they can pay extra to add fancier audio components or even a navigation system. But the point of this purist version of the standard Cayman is to carve away fat and reveal the lasting beauty of bare-bones performance.
Like its philosophical twin, the 2,811-pound Boxster Spyder convertible, the Cayman R seems intended to perk up sales of an aging model. As with the Spyder, this Cayman R is no cynical, surface upgrade, but a sports car whose advantages were apparent from my first go-round at the Monticello Motor Club northwest of New York City.
The Cayman’s flat 6 squeezes out 330 horsepower at 7,400 r.p.m., only 10 more horses than the Cayman S. But this 2,855-pound fighter drops 121 pounds from the S version, substituting such weight watchers as aluminum doors and front luggage lid, carbon-fiber seat frames and Porsche’s most feathery 19-inch wheels — the set weighs about 88 pounds. The result is a car roughly as quick as a Corvette Grand Sport but with superior balance and handling, aided by the matchless midengine layout.
The body was lowered by 0.79 inches and the suspension was stiffened. A fixed rear wing helps reduce aerodynamic lift. That wing, unfortunately, looks tacked-on and incongruous.
Nostalgic Porsche lettering scrawls along the lower body sides, evoking models including the 911 R of 1967. Another historical link is forged inside, where utilitarian fabric straps have replaced the door handles. Cute, but it strikes me as a retro affectation.
The racing seats are ideal for the track or the twisties, though the backrests are not adjustable. For everyday use, their hip-crunching entry reminded me of squeezing into an elementary school desk. This being Porsche, buyers can pay for less confining, more adjustable seats.
My deep-blue Cayman came with the optional Sport Chrono package and the PDK transmission. I prefer the 6-speed manual, but the PDK makes the car quicker, and it features a launch control that automatically drops the clutch for perfect takeoffs.
This Cayman also features proper shift paddles, not the maddening up-and-down buttons found in some other Porsches.
The Sport Chrono includes a lap timer, albeit one that is too complicated. But what makes it a must-have option are push-button settings that bump up the throttle and redline, goose the PDK into snappier operation and activate the optional Sports Exhaust system.
Ceramic composite brakes, at a wallet-busting $8,150, come into their own only on track, where they stand up to all-day torture with no trace of fade.
Like the Boxster Spyder, the Cayman R makes a clear case: if you’re willing to sacrifice some comfort, or scoff at it outright, these are the versions you’ll want.
The Cayman tugged on my hands and heartstrings on the track, accompanied by Sam Schultz, Monticello’s track director, who happens to be a professional Porsche racer.
During my stint on the 22-turn course, the Cayman reminded me of its most winning quality: no matter your driving skills, the car is always predictable and forgiving, yet fast and sophisticated enough to satisfy the experts.
Proving the point, I traded places with Schultz, who casually knocked out a few dazzling laps. “It’s so neutral and balanced,” he said, playing the car like a fast bluegrass fiddle. But he did flag the PDK’s annoying tendency to downshift unexpectedly in the middle of a turn, which upsets the car’s poise.
This Porsche also feels bulletproof. After an intense workout at the track, I drove the Cayman R home through rush-hour Manhattan, as laid-back as an orthodontist in a 911 — except for keeping the windows wide open to force some superheated air inside. (Call me a wimp, but I’m not ready to revisit the pre-A.C. era for the sake of 29 pounds.)
Cool breeze or not, people who prefer Porsches stuffed like a foie gras goose will run screaming from the Cayman R. But if they choose, say, a 911 coupe or even a 911 S — which cost a respective $12,700 or $25,600 more — they won’t be able to shake their stripped-down cousin.