2013 Porsche Cayman review

  • Entry-level Porsche Cayman driven in UK
  • 2.7-litre flat six engine with 271bhp
  • On sale now, priced from £39,694
Read the full Porsche Cayman review
Read the full Porsche Cayman review
The new Porsche Cayman has a tough act to follow, because its predecessor was not only one of the finest coupes ever made, it was (whisper it) even good enough to take on the legendary 911 in a straight fight.

Now the new car has not only a new 911 to upstage, but it has to be better than the original Cayman. Oh, and don’t forget that there’s a BMW M4 just around the corner, as well as the powerhouse Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe.

The new Porsche Cayman is going to have to be deeply special.

It certainly seems to be on paper, because it’s lower, wider and has a much stiffer structure than the old car. It’s also up to 30kg lighter, and uses 15% less fuel. However, ink on paper is one thing, the frenzy of a bucking, writhing B-road is quite another. This is the first time we’ve driven it in the UK.

What’s the 2013 Porsche Cayman like to drive?
It would be utterly underselling the Cayman to say it’s a brilliant all-rounder, but it really is a car you can use day in, day out. It’s easy to get into and out of, it’s got loads of boot space and, crucially, it’s genuinely easy to drive, with simple, reasonably light controls.

There’s a fair amount of road noise and the odd high-frequency vibration caused by the large wheels and low-profile rubber, but it isn’t unbearable. So far, so humdrum.

Read the full Porsche Cayman review

Get the Porsche Cayman on to the sort of road for which you require pacenotes, however, and it is simply one of the finest driving machines you can buy.

The 271bhp 2.7-litre engine punches the car between bends with an anger that belies the 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds, and all the while the sound of that howling engine merely encourages you to try harder, go faster.

You will try harder, too, if only to feel the joy and precision of yet another gearchange up and down through the six-speed manual gearbox (Porsche’s seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK auto is available as an option).

Read the full Porsche Cayman review

Purists may bemoan the presence of electric power steering, but they’d be wrong. It is the best example of the set-up, offering more than enough feedback and having a consistency of weight to it at all times.

The car responds to steering inputs totally faithfully – you turn the wheel, the nose of the car turns just as much as you intended. The front end hangs on to the road like its life depends on it, no matter how fast you’re going. If you’re going fast enough on the road to make the front tyres slide wide of your intended line you’re quite likely in the early throes of a crash.

The rest of the car changes direction just as nimbly, and traction on the way out of corners is never an issue.

The standard suspension set-up works beautifully, too; it keeps the body under complete control at all speeds, yet it never allows the worst of the British roads to trouble your equilibrium.

What’s the 2013 Porsche Cayman like inside?
You and a passenger will have plenty of head- and legroom, and there’s no need to worry if you’ve had a few too many late-night fridge raids of late, because there’s loads of space.

The standard seats are comfortable and supportive, and the driving position is hugely adjustable, so there’s no reason for anyone to feel uncomfortable after hours at the wheel.

Read the full Porsche Cayman review

The dashboard is simple and clear enough, although it takes a while to get used to where everything is on the centre console. Even when you do know where things are, you still have to look away from the road to find the buttons. Things could be easier.

Standard kit includes air-conditioning, auto lights, 18-inch alloys and a CD/MP3 audio system with touch-screen control. However, there’s not much else, which seems a mite stingy to us. Oh wait, you get floor mats, too.

Should I buy one?
Definitely. Sell your organs if you have to, although you shouldn’t have to sell many because it costs less than £40k to start with.

Read the full Porsche Cayman review

The Cayman is so quick, so nimble, and so devastating across country that we’d question the need for you to shell out the extra on the more powerful S model.

The entry-level Cayman also averages 34.4mpg and emits just 192g/km of CO2, so it stacks up pretty well for the accountant. Buy one. Now.

What Car? says...


Rivals:
Audi TTS
Porsche Boxster

Read the full Porsche Cayman review >>



Specification
Engine size 2.7-litre flat six
Price from £39,694
Power 271bhp
Torque 214lb ft
0-60mph 5.7 seconds
Top speed 165mph
Fuel economy 34.4mpg
CO2 emissions 192g/km

By Euan Doig
 
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