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Porsche, Chevy to unveil cars in L.A.

November 16, 2012|David Undercoffler

This year's L.A. Auto Show will include debuts of the all-electric Chevrolet Spark sub-compact and the Porsche Cayman sports car, the automakers announced Thursday.

The Cayman is the fixed-roof counterpart to the Boxster convertible, a new version of which Porsche put on sale this year.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, November 23, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Porsche Cayman: In the Nov. 16 Business section, an article about cars debuting at this year's L.A. Auto Show said that the Porsche Cayman would have an inline six-cylinder engine. The engine is a horizontally opposed six-cylinder.

Both cars are rear-wheel-drive, feature a mid-engine setup and count the rear-engine 911 and 911 convertible as a big brother.

Details on the Cayman's powertrain haven't been released, but previous models always had a tick more power than the corresponding Boxster version.

Expect the base Cayman to have somewhere around 275 horsepower from a 2.7-liter, inline six-cylinder engine.

The more powerful Cayman S probably will have a 3.4-liter, inline six-cylinder engine similar to the one in the base 911 Carrera. Expect it to produce around 325 horsepower in the 2014 Cayman S. A six-speed manual transmission should be standard with Porsche's seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK serving as the optional gearbox.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but expect at least $54,000 for the base Cayman, including destination charge, and $64,000 for the Cayman S. The models will go on sale in early spring 2013.

That Porsche would use the L.A. Auto Show for a global debut like this is a result of California's being the automaker's largest single market.

Numerous other Porsches have made world debuts at recent L.A. Auto Shows, including the Boxster Spyder in 2009, the Cayman R in 2010 and the Panamera GTS in 2011.

The 2012 L.A Auto Show will open to the public Nov. 30 after two media daysand continue through Dec. 9.

Also debuting at the show will be the all-electric version of the Chevy Spark subcompact. Chevrolet says the Spark EV has an oil-cooled electric motor producing 130 horsepower -- a hearty jump from the 84 horsepower in the gas-powered car. Meanwhile, torque skyrockets to 400 pound-feet -- more than a Porsche 911 -- which Chevy says helps move this car from zero to 60 in less than eight seconds.

This power comes from a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, which will be covered by an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The battery is made by A123 Systems, a company that recently filed for bankruptcy protection and provides batteries to Fisker for use in its Karma plug-in hybrid car.

Although Chevrolet didn't reveal the Spark EVs range, it did say it would be among the best in its class.

Chevy says owners will be able to recharge the batteries to 80% capacity in about 20 minutes by using DC fast charging. The car will also fully charge in less than seven hours via a 240-volt outlet, and a standard 120-volt charge cord is standard equipment.

Owners will be able to keep track of the car's charging via a smartphone app that works in conjunction with OnStar. The car will be available for sale or lease in California in summer 2013, with Chevrolet to announce other U.S. markets in the near future.

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david.undercoffler@latimes.com

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