What's the used Porsche Cayman coupe like?
If you are in to your sports cars, and you’re paying a very large sum of money for the privilege of owning and running one, such things as the number of cylinders in the engine and whether or not that engine is turbocharged are of paramount importance.
Hence when Porsche updated the Cayman and replaced its iconic flat-six engine with a more mundane turbocharged four-cylinder one, enthusiasts the world over wept. Such an engine, they would say, will not be as responsive as the older one, and it will be sadly lacking in aural pleasure.
Indeed this newer Cayman, known as the 718, was actually much faster than the old one. It had been comprehensively refreshed all over, with updated styling and an even tricker suspension. The steering was quicker, too.
Well, one thing's for sure, it’s not short of power. There’s a 2.0-litre unit that’s good for 296bhp, and a bigger 345bhp 2.5-litre one in the S version, and both of these engines are strong enough to make the Cayman tantalisingly fast. Both will see off the 0 to 62mph sprint in under five seconds and rocket up to a licence-losing speed fairly quickly, and despite the turbochargers it’s rarely caught out when it comes for sheer puff. However, what it does lack is an aural pleasure. The noise is just a noise, when all is said and done, and in the case of the S there’s quite a lot of it. It’s not nearly as pleasant as the old engine’s tone, and it’s not very sports car-like.
However, there were those who still hankered after six cylinders, and in 2019 Porsche reintroduced a naturally aspirated 3.0-litre flat-six engine to two additional models, the 394bhp GTS and the 414bhp GT4. Joy was unconfined in enthusiasts' circles as a Cayman once again issued a classy six-cylinder burble. Both versions go like the clappers, of course, and sound fantastic.
But the engines only tell half the story, because what’s always separated the Cayman from the also-rans in this class is its delicate mid-engined handling balance, and just how damn enjoyable it is to drive. This one is no different, with wonderfully direct steering that is well weighted and linear in its responses, and eager handling that makes the car brilliantly driveable at any speed, with endless grip and remarkable poise thrown in for good measure.
It even rides well, with a suppleness unknown in other lesser sports cars. It’s firm, of course, but it never threatens to become uncomfortable.
Inside is a comfortable, pleasant and well put together interior with a great driving position that places the driver central to the action, in a perfect location in front of the controls. Visibility is reasonably good, too, for such a low-slung sportster, and many cars will have been specified with the optional reversing sensors or, if you’re lucky, a camera.
All the switchgear has a solid, high-quality feel, and all the buttons are well damped. There’s plenty of room for two to sit without brushing shoulders, and although storage space is rather limited there are two small-ish boots: one in the nose and the other behind the engine.
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