We have had some quick drives in Porsches before, and the Cayman was very impressive…so we asked for one for a week long test.
Our Guards Red Cayman is fitted with a 2.7 litre flat six engine, producing 271 BHP and 290 Nm of torque. This propels the 1330 KG car to 60 in 5.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 165 MPH.
With a base price of £39,694 our Cayman had nearly 6 grand’s worth of optional extras.
These included the Porsche Communication Management system (PCM/Sat Nav) at £2,141, the sports exhaust – £1,473, Bi-xenon headlamps – £1,060, front and rear parking sensors – £599 and beefier 19” alloys at £971.
I have never been a big fan of the original Cayman, it looked a little too fragile compared to a 911. This time Porsche have hit the nail on the head, arguably making the Cayman the best looking Porsche on the market today.
Its squat, fat, rear end mimics the one found on its bigger brother, in fact the whole car is very similar to a 911 just flatter and lower.
And boy does it turn heads! The Guards Red obviously helped, but the amount of attention this car received on the road was easily on par with that of the Jaguar XKR-S. You drive down the street and kids on bikes stop mouthing ‘WOW’. It’s a lot of attention for £40k.
With this being the first mid engined car we have had on test we weren’t sure quite what to expect over the course of the week…
It handles INCREDIBLY.
With the engine being mounted mid ship it gives what we can only describe as perfect weight distribution, and grip…so much grip!
Fling the Cayman into a fast corner on a country lane and there is zero weight transfer, no front and rear pitching, no side to side yawing. This thing just stays flat.
Even when trying to unsettle it mid corner it still stays pitch perfect.
Due to this superb setup steering input is pin sharp. It turns instantly and again stays thoroughly flat. The whole sensation is like driving a go kart, albeit one with 271 BHP.
Power delivery is equally wonderful, the high revving flat 6 just keeps on pulling. You can hit 80 in second gear…not that we did. The engine seems to unlock more power after around 3,500 RPM, its very VTEC in the way it delivers those horses.
You never really get a real sense of speed in the Cayman though, its quick enough, but due to the lack of turbo grunt the torque is only really felt when accelerating at higher revs.
Oh, and if you even think of buying a Cayman you will need to budget an extra £1,473 for the sports exhaust system. Even at low revs it just sings to you. As the speed builds it eggs you on that bit more, ‘go on you know you want to change up right before that red line’ and you do, just because it sounds so bloody good.
Once you let off you get a nice burble and crackle, it’s barely audible from inside the car but when outside it’s very noticeable.
One thing to be aware of is how hot the interior can get due to that mid mounted engine. Porsche must know this, as when you fire the car up the air con comes on very low.
Over 450 miles we managed 28 MPG, that was mainly gained over two long journeys to London and back. Around town we were seeing about 20 MPG. Porsches Urban figure is 24.8 MPG.
Inside this baby Porsche you find excellent build quality and nicely finished plastics. Although you do realise you are in an entry level model as there are numerous blanking plates on the centre tunnel.
You also go without steering wheel audio controls and cruise control…something I personally would expect on a car costing upward of £40k.
Black headlining comes as standard and the part leather Alcantara seats are to die for, they hold you in all the right places right up to your shoulders. Over a couple of long journeys we came out feeling as fresh as when we clambered in.
All of the dials and infotainment menus have that Porsche quality about them, nicely fitted fonts all very clean and functional.
You get a rather deep boot in the front and a shallow boot in the rear, meaning it is quite a practical coupe. In total you get 425 litres, albeit filling the rear to the roofline.
For us the Porsche Cayman is the next step up from a Toyota GT86, still a pure thoroughbred in terms of driving dynamics it ups the game with regard to performance, handling, interior quality….and price.
It doesn’t have ludicrous power, but it doesn’t need it. It’s the type of car you work with to get the best out of it, keeping the revs up, heel and toeing at the precise point it all rewards you with ever increasing pace.
Couple this with that sonorous exhaust note and you are in driving nirvana.
Porsche Cayman – Excellent exhaust note, head turning looks, unreal handling.
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter