There are two flat-six engines available: a 2.7 in the standard Cayman and a 3.4 in the Cayman S. The S is truly rapid, racing to its 7600rpm redline with no flat spots. The 2.7 is also quick, but you need to work it harder because there's a pronounced drop-off in performance below 3800rpm. Both models accelerate even faster if you specify the optional seven-speed PDK semi-auto gearbox.
The new Cayman is a relatively light car, tipping the scales at around 1300kg in entry-level form. However, you’d swear that figure was even lower, because it changes direction so effortlessly and stays incredibly flat during cornering. The steering only adds to your confidence, feeling precise and beautifully weighted, while the standard brakes are powerful and easy to modulate. The Cayman even has a reasonably forgiving ride.
You don’t expect sports cars to be quiet, but nor do you want to be sitting in the middle of a din. With the Cayman you’re not. The engine never completely fades into the background, but it’s not overly noisy either, and it sounds great when you work it. Wind noise is also well suppressed, but the tyres do generate quite a bit of noise over coarse motorway surfaces.
The Cayman won’t be cheap to service, but it’s reasonably fuel-efficient for such a fast car, and the desirability of the Porsche badge means it will hold its value well. It’s great value, too, undercutting other cars with similar performance by many thousands, including Porsche’s own 911.
Everything you touch, prod or twist in the Cayman feels beautifully built. However, reliability information is limited because Porsche doesn’t sell enough cars to be included in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey. The latest Cayman is also too new to have been included in the last reliability survey, but the Porsche brand came a disappointing 20th out of 36.
You get stability control and six airbags as standard, while the standard brakes are powerful and easy to modulate, so there’s no need to upgrade to the optional ceramics unless you plan to do a lot of track driving. Security is naturally better than it is in the Boxster roadster, and both boots keep your luggage out of sight.
The driving position is just about perfect because you sit low and there’s a huge range of seat and steering wheel adjustment. The raised centre console places the gearlever just where you want it, too, and forward visibility is superb. However, over-the-shoulder vision is more restricted than it is in a 911, and there are quite a lot of buttons on the centre console, making it hard to find the one you want at a glance.
The Cayman is a strict two-seater, but it’s a surprisingly practical one. There’s plenty of space for you and your passenger, while the load bays at the front and rear of the car give you quite a bit of room for luggage. If there’s one slight criticism, it’s that there isn’t a huge amount of stowage space in the cabin.
The list of standard equipment includes air-conditioning, an aux-in socket and part-leather upholstery. However, it seems crazy that you have to pay extra for full leather, Bluetooth, climate control and rear parking sensors. Satellite-navigation and fully electric seats are also expensive options.
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