Porsche at Los Angeles Auto Show. New 2009 Boxster and Cayman image

The new Boxster – the famous two-seat roadster first launched by Porsche in 1997 — and its mid-engine coupe sibling, the Cayman — which debuted in 2006 — offer more powerful flat-six boxer engines, which are even more fuel efficient than the powerplants they replace. On the outside, the Boxster and Cayman also receive subtle, yet very distinct, refinements that update the classic sports car design of both automobiles individually. Both add new standard and optional features for the 2009 model year.

The new 2009 Boxster and Cayman models go on sale in the U.S. in March of next year.

“Today is our first presentation of the new 2009 mid-engine sports cars, and here is the right place,” said Detlev von Platen, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “We wanted to celebrate their worldwide premiere here in Los Angeles since it is, by far, the city with the highest population of Boxsters and Caymans anywhere.”

For the first time, the Boxster S and the Cayman S use Porsche’s new direct fuel injection (DFI) and all versions of these models can be ordered with the company’s innovative 7-speed double-clutch gearbox PorscheDoppelkupplung (PDK). PDK is a race-inspired technology that is essentially two transmissions in one: it combines the driving convenience of an automatic with the sporty and fuel efficient operation of manual gearshifts by employing two fully automated parallel clutches. It can be driven as a full automatic or it can be shifted manually via paddles on the steering wheel or through the shift knob. The result is more power with improved fuel efficiency, a development that helps Porsche meet today’s demands for reducing environmental impact, yet maintain the brand’s performance persona.

The new base engine in these models is a 2.9 liter flat six cylinder that develops 255 hp in the Boxster and 265 hp in the Cayman, representing an increase in power of 10 hp and 20 hp, respectively, over the preceding models. The 3.4 liter power unit in the S versions, which benefits from Porsche’s Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), now delivers 310 hp in the Boxster S and 320 hp in the Cayman S.
Another extraordinary car on display is the Porsche 550 Spyder — a car that was introduced in 1953 at the Paris Motor Show and later became the mid- engine inspiration for the modern Boxster. The car began in 1951 as a small Porsche 356 Spyder that was created and raced by Walter Glockler; several years later, the factory decided to build such a car, making it the first Porsche designed specifically for use in auto racing.