Prior to introducing the Boxster and Cayman, Porsche was a company in big trouble. They went on to become sales phenomena, helping put Porsche back into profitability.
After owning quite a few Boxsters I remember with excitement ordering a Cayman. It was always called the poor man’s 911 but personally thought it was kinder to call it the thinking man’s Porsche.
I remember watching Top Gear one night with Jeremy Clarkson reviewing the Cayman. Knowing his hatred for Porsches, I watched, eagerly waiting for him to hate the car.
It’s a well-known fact in the car industry that what Clarkson says can make or break a car. Having ordered my car I was waiting to see what he had to say. I’m sure he liked it but he trotted out the familiar ‘poor man’s 911’ line and promptly decided to re-name the car a Coxster.
When I started the car up for the first time the noise made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The engine is behind you and with the blaring exhaust, it made for a truly memorable drive home – especially with its exemplary handling.
I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on the keys and take it for another drive. A trip to the Lakes was on the cards and the weather was great with the perfect car for the day at hand.
As I get to drive different cars most weeks it’s interesting when I get some feedback from people. I think the colour of the Cayman- a metallic Miami blue – just made it look really amazing and attracted a fair bit of attention. Normally no one comments on the car but with this machine, loads of people commented on just how beautiful it looked.
At first glance, the new Cayman doesn’t seem too different to the model it is replacing. However, I’m informed that only the roof, bootlid and windscreen are the same, with every other panel being changed.
The new model has what can only be described as a sweat band running along the back of the car, with Porsche lettering running along underneath the third brake light.
A bit of a jigsaw puzzle, the Cayman features front suspension from the 911 Turbo and rear suspension with bits from the GT4 especially when it comes to lateral stiffness.
The S also features beefed up brakes from the 911 with four-piston callipers and thicker discs. The 911 has always been the benchmark for two seater sports cars. So the Cayman, with its new smaller turbocharged engine, had a great deal to live up to.
It has two engine choices like the previous Cayman. The difference now is both engines are not only smaller but they are both turbocharged as well.
You can choose from either a 2.0lt or 2.5lt engine which get to 62mph in 5.1 and 4.6 seconds with top speeds of 170mph and 177mph respectively.
In the right hands or feet the car should return around 35mpg but while I had the car, I managed to average around 20mpg. As I’ve said the engine is mounted behind the driver so not only does that help give the car perfect weight distribution it also gives you two boots.
One behind the engine and one at the front. As the engine powers the rear wheels all the front wheels have to do is steer – something they do well. The feedback is brilliant and I for one am a fan of the electric steering. Unlike some I’ve tried recently Porsche have nailed it with excellent feedback through the steering wheel right into your hands. The cars subtle exterior design tweaks really look great, but inside the car looks just like the 911 and the dash and multi-media system is light years better than the previous car.
The system comes with Apple Play so it’s much easier to link your iPhone and access music and entertainment via the touchscreen display. The optional Porsche Adaptive Suspension lets you choose from Normal or Sports mode – sport is more at home on a race track as you feel every imperfection in the road and we all know how bad some of our roads are in the UK.
Owners will really relish driving this car down some country roads as it really feels planted to the road and there is virtually no body roll at all. Put the car into sport mode using the new dial on the GT steering wheel and the engine really comes to life.
From the first popping and rasping exhaust noises, you really want to downshift all the time just to hear the amazing noise from the engine; saying that the new smaller engines just don’t have the same amazing soundtrack of the previous six cylinder engines.
As with all Porsche cars it’s very easy to go mad with the spec sheet.
the Cayman comes with air conditioning, part leather upholstery, digital radio, parking sensors and heated seats as standard. For me the car needs large alloy wheels and the excellent PDK gearbox. They are priced from £40k for the base 718 and the S comes in at £49k – but believe me when I say they can become really expensive once you start ticking the options on the spec sheet.
If you are looking for a well-engineered two seater coupe the Cayman is still the best car by miles and you can’t help smiling after every drive.
Car supplied by Porsche Newcastle