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Car of the Year Awards 2024: Sports Car of the Year

More than anything, sports cars need to thrill you. Acceleration is important, but it’s finesse and feel through corners that matter most...

WINNER: Sports Car of the Year

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

COTY 2024 logo with Motoreasy

Every time you watch a YouTube video involving a 4.0-litre six-cylinder sports car from Porsche (and who hasn’t?), it will almost inevitably kick off with a shot of the rev counter needle homing in on 9000rpm, accompanied by a spine-tingling symphony of sound and the driver grinning like a loon at the sheer joy that comes from this experience every time the accelerator pedal is planted. The quality of the engine plays a huge part in the appeal of any sports car, and the one in the Porsche Cayman GTS is up there with the very best.

True, the GTS’s 394bhp 4.0-litre flat six doesn’t rev quite as high or produce as much power as those of its even more exotic siblings, the Cayman GT4 RS and 911 GT3, but that hardly matters when it delivers such scintillating performance, with a soundtrack to match. The engine is incredibly responsive at virtually any revs, and with a manual gearbox, the GTS sprints from 0-62mph in a mere 4.5sec; in fact, it was quicker than its more powerful BMW M2 rival when we put them back to back.

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS rear

While the optional PDK automatic gearbox (£2532) is impressively smooth and quick-shifting, we prefer the standard six-speed manual for the extra driver involvement it brings. With its short, slick action, every gearshift is something to be savoured (and sweeter than the manual ’box in the M2); never before has swapping cogs been so rewarding.

The calibre of the engine and gearbox alone might be enough for some, but the Cayman is at least as special when it comes to handling. With precise, well-weighted steering, sublime balance and seemingly endless grip, it gives you complete confidence to push hard along twisty roads, and it’ll run rings around any M2 or Jaguar F-Type you might meet along the way. An Alpine A110 would give it a run for its money, but virtually nothing else handles as sweetly or is as rewarding as the Cayman.

The Cayman isn’t just a weekend toy, either; you could use it every day – assuming you never need to carry more than one passenger.

Porsche Cayman GTS interior

The ride is comfy, the low-slung driving position is spot on, the interior is classy and not at all spartan, and there are two boots (front and rear) with more space for bags than you’ll find in most two-seat rivals. Yes, it’s less practical than the four-seat M2, but that’s hardly going to be a deal-breaker for most sports car buyers.

While the Cayman GTS is pricier to buy than the A110 and M2, it more than justifies the additional outlay by delivering a nearperfect sports car scorecard, blotted only by a paucity of standard safety kit. The fact that it’s so intoxicating to drive, yet is so much more attainable than a GT4 RS or GT3, makes it the ideal real-world sports car.

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