When it comes to Porsche sports cars, the company is famed for its 911 which has been on sale in various forms since the early 1960s. The cheaper Cayman however, has a much shorter history, dating back to 2005. Despite its status as the junior Porsche coupe, sports car buyers won’t feel short changed with the Cayman.
The Cayman is arguably the finest sports car on sale in the UK at the moment and sits between the Boxster roadster and the classic 911. It has won a large number of fans for its simple, unadulterated driving thrills, mid-engined layout, high-quality interior and not-too-unreasonable price tag. It comes in two flavours: 2.7-litre Cayman form and the 3.4-litre Cayman S. Both are terrific but the latter delivers more treats – just as you’d expect.
The Cayman is a wonderful thing to grab by the scruff of its neck. It’s some 30kg lighter than its predecessor and that weight loss really makes itself evident in the driving experience. It darts, flows and tiptoes on the most severe of country lanes and when teamed with the excellent seven-speed PDK twin-clutch automatic gearbox, absolutely flies everywhere else.
However, it’s just as wonderful when you don’t want to grab it by the scruff of its neck. Knock the gear lever to auto and turn off ‘sport’ mode and the angry loud exhausts, and it settles down to a cruise (albeit with high levels of tyre roar and 25mpg tops).
Engine choice really does come down to what you’re looking for in a sports car. Plump for the 2.7-litre Cayman if you like to show the car who’s boss while the 3.4-litre S is for those after a hell-ride.
If you’ve had the treat of spending time in a modern Porsche, then you’ll know how delightful Porsche interiors are. They are just so logical and easy to get to grips with. But those accustomed to Porsches will also know that most nice bits come at a cost. Our Cayman S test car had a list price of £49,000 but once options like the full black leather interior, Bluetooth, sat-nav and parking sensors have been added, the price is inflated to £59,000.
Compare this to a Ford Focus and then the answer would be no, but for a sports car, the Cayman is almost like a people carrier in terms of roominess. The cabin offers plenty of space and easily caters for large-bodied people and thanks to this car being mid-engined, there are two boots. The rear one is suitable for small bits of shopping while the front can easily take a couple of large squashy bags. The Cayman could be a perfect weekend-away car and, if push came to shove, a small weekly grocery shop car.
If you’re after the perfect sports car and your budget can stretch to the Cayman, then it should be at the top of your list. It’s a machine that somehow – quite how, we don’t really know – does everything: Sheer driving thrills mixed with decent levels of practicality and driving comfort. We’d be tempted to spend the extra £9,000 over the standard car and go for the S – it just takes things to the next level in driving pleasure.
Model: Porsche Cayman S
Price: £58,757 (as tested)
Engine: 3.4-litre, six-cylinder petrol
Max speed: 175mph
MPG: 32.1 combined
Emissions: 206g/km CO2
Author: James Batchelor
August 29, 2014