2019 Porsche Cayman T review: prices, specs and release date
Taking the base-model 718 Cayman as its starting point, the Porsche Cayman T raids the options list to offer a sharper, more focused driving experience...
Priced from £52,055 On sale Now
Three years after causing fairly serious upset among sports car enthusiasts by replacing the Cayman's tuneful flat-six engine with a turbocharged four-cylinder unit, a certain German manufacturer is trying to win back the dissenters with this, the Porsche Cayman T.
The T costs around £7200 more than the entry-level Cayman 2.0 on which it's based. But for that extra cash you get a suite of enhancements, including the Sport Chrono package, which provides four different driving modes, a limited-slip differential (LSD) for better traction out of corners, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which sits the car closer to the ground and lets you soften or stiffen the suspension at your whim.
To make sure everyone knows you've bought the T, you get model specific stripes up the side in grey, a grey model badge on the rear, grey mirrors and embroidered 718 script on the headrests. A smaller steering wheel, sportier seats with Sport-Tex cloth centres and a smattering of additional leather inside finishes the makeover.
All of the important mechanical stuff is available as optional extras on the regular Cayman, although the optional PASM on that car drops the ride height by only 10mm, compared with 20mm on the Cayman T.
The T in the name stands for Touring and is a nod to the stripped-out 911 T models of the late-1960s built for tackling classic rallies such as the Monte Carlo. It's no surprise, then, that the Cayman T also gets fabric pulls instead of door handles along with sportier seats. It also gets 20in alloys in place of the 18in rims the Cayman comes with as standard. However, the the 2.0-litre engine hasn’t been given any more power.
2019 Porsche Cayman T on the road
But even though the Cayman T has the same 296bhp as the regular Cayman, it can still rocket itself to 62mph from rest in just 5.3sec with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Specify the optional seven-speed PDK automatic 'box and that figure is shaved down to 4.7sec, partly because you also gain a Launch Control system which helps you make the fastest possible getaways.
Meanwhile, another feature that the auto brings is a Sport Response button, which primes the engine and gearbox to unleash power as quickly as possible for a 20-second burst; perfect for slingshotting past slower moving traffic.
The engine does feel a little asthmatic at low revs, and you have to get it spinning above 2000rpm before the turbo really starts to work its magic, but when you do there’s plenty of power right up to 7000rpm. And having the option of four different driving modes adds to the fun.
Switch to Sport or Sport Plus and the accelerator response is sharpened up, while the suspension is also tautened for better body control. Individual mode lets you pick your preferred setting for each of these things should you, for example, want razor-sharp acceleration response combined with the supplest suspension mode to deal with a particularly pockmarked road.
Overall, the Cayman T's combination of accurate and feelsome steering, immense grip and traction (helped by the LSD that comes as standard on the T), and reasonably forgiving ride put it miles ahead of the Audi TT, BMW M2 and Jaguar F-Type Coupe – although the Alpine A110 is even more entertaining on a typical B-road.
The thing is, though, the regular Cayman is also incredibly good to drive and most of the extras the T brings, particularly the adaptive suspension and Sports Chrono Package, aren't things we'd usually recommend paying extra for. Unfortunately, the sound of the T's engine is no more tuneful the regular Cayman's, either.
2019 Porsche Cayman T interior
As standard, the T comes with a large central storage compartment in the dashboard instead of an infotainment system.
However, less hardcore drivers who don’t mind being 'disturbed' by music can opt to have the 7.0-inch touchscreen from other Caymans included as a no-cost option. We certainly would, because it’s a user-friendly system with sat-nav, a DAB radio and Apple CarPlay all featuring as standard.
The T's seats hold you tightly in place and most of the things you touch regularly, including the shorter-throw manual gearlever, feel suitable plush. It’s really only the driving mode selector on the steering wheel that lets the side down: it's made from lightweight plastic and feels decidedly like an afterthought.
Elsewhere, the T is the same as other Caymans. It’s roomy enough inside for two tall adults and has two reasonably sized boots: one under the bonnet and another at the back of the car. For lots more information about the Cayman, head over to our main 16-point review.
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