Black Magic

 

   For so many automakers, creating a limited-edition model is like applying the proverbial lipstick to a pig.

   If you’re lucky, you might get different style alloy wheels. Or a cheesy spoiler for the truck lid. Or maybe a fancier stereo. But more than likely, it’s fresh badging, a garish color scheme and some fancy name.

Porsche Cayman Black Edition - Howard Walker

   Case in point: Buick’s Tiger Woods Edition Rainier SUV, circa 2003. Not even the support of Tiger in his prime could generate much interest in this re-worked Chevy 4×4 with chrome wheels and two-tone leather. It rightly bombed.

   But if you want to see a limited-edition model that works, take a look at Porsche’s new Cayman S Black Edition that hits showrooms in July.

 Porsche Cayman Black Edition

  As the name suggests, it’s black, very black. Black paintwork, blacked-out chrome, black-painted 19-inch alloys. The interior? You guessed it, as black as a Kentucky coal mine, with more black leather than Alice Cooper’s closet.

   But there’s some lovely detailing here. Like the glossy black trim on the dash and the black-faced instruments, along with a black plaque on the glovebox lid telling the world the car’s build number in the Cayman S Black Edition production run. 

Howard Walker - Cayman 2012 Black Edition

   Of course there’s also some substance to add to all this style. The Black Edition’s 3.4-liter six-cylinder mounted behind the driver gets an extra 10 horsepower, taking max power up to 330hp. Not a massive power hiker but enough to deliver 0-60mph acceleration in a zippy 4.6 seconds.

   In the end, it’s probably the Black Edition’s MSRP of $67,500 that will have die-hard fans of Porsche’s agile-handling Cayman knocking on dealers’ doors. The new sticker is several thousand bucks less than the Cayman S on which it’s based.

2012 Porsche Cayman Black Edition - Howard Walker

   That, and the fact that production of these Black Editions will be restricted to just 500 cars worldwide, ensuring strong future residual values.

   As Morticia Addams, matriarch of the Addams Family, would no doubt say; lipstick whether it’s on a pig or a person looks great. So long as it’s black.