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Porsche Celebrates 60 Years In The US With 3 L.A. Unveilings

Cayman R, 911 Carrera GTS and 356 Speedster share the stage.

by on Nov.19, 2010

Are those birthday candles? Porsche celebrates 60 years in the U.S. with the L.A. Auto Show launch of the Cayman R.

Some folks celebrate their birthdays with candles.  The folks at Porsche came up with a better way to mark the maker’s 60th anniversary her in the U.S. – by rolling out three new models at the 2010 L.A. Auto Show.

Sharing the spotlight are the brand new Cayman R, the 911 Carrera GTS, which is making its North American debut, and the 4th-generation 356 Speedster.

The 356 was Porsche’s first – and some would say most revolutionary – production car. It was a lightweight 2-seater with rear-wheel drive and a rear-mounted engine, which was the first to bear the Porsche badge when it arrived in America in 1950.

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The first Speedster will always be remembered as the car raced by actor-cum driver James Dean – though he had his fatal accident not in the Speedster but a 550 Spyder.

Of the already limited production run, only 100 copies of the new Speedster 356 will come to the North American market. This means that potential customers have to speed up if they want to buy the exclusive Porsche – which will be offered at $204,000.

The Porsche Speedster is back for the first time in 18 years. The original was Porsche's first offering to reach U.S. shores.

From a global standpoint, the big news at the LA Auto Show was for the world premiere of the 2012 Cayman R. It is not only the most powerful variant of the Cayman but also the lightest, Porsche engineers helping it shed 161 pounds.

The Cayman R is equipped with the 3.4-liter 6-cylinder DFI boxer engine that also powers the Cayman S, but it’s tuned, in the R, to make 10 extra horsepower — 330 instead of 320 hp. The new Porsche model will arrive on the American market early next year and has an MSRP of $66,300 (excluding a $950 destination charge).

Straddling the 911 mid-range, the Carrera GTS.

Also on stage was the new 911 Carrera GTS. The GTS straddles the 911 range between the S and the GT3, delivering 23 hp more than the 911 Carrera S. The GTS will be available in Coupe and Cabriolet form at $103,100 and $112,900, respectively, (plus $950 destination).

Perhaps we should say there was a fourth preview on the Porsche stand, this one involving the German maker’s new CEO, Matthius Müller. “This is the first time I can address a media crowd outside Europe and, at the same time, introduce a brand new sports car,” he crowded, during the Porsche media event.

Muller previously handled manufacturing duties for Volkswagen, which is in the process of completing its acquisition of the smaller maker.

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