For the enthusiast, the Porsche Cayman is the modern interpretation of the 356 and early 911 classic sports cars. Remaining a true Porsche, the Cayman concentrates all its energy into bringing out the best in its drivers, both their driving ability and their driving enjoyment. It’s a Porsche and nothing less.
Roaring to life right behind the driver sits the 2.9-liter flat six. Cranking out 265 horsepower, the boxer engine drives the rear wheels through a choice of transaxles. A standard six-speed manual transmission is for the owner who wants to be in full control all of the time. Opting for the PDK dual-clutch unit rewards the driver with quicker shifts through its seven forward gears and cuts zero-to-60 mph times to as low as 5.2 seconds. When you’re running in the sub-six-second category, every tenth counts. As an unexpected bonus, the Cayman returns as much as 29 mpg on the highway when equipped with the PDK transmission.
Most people would be more than satisfied with the basic Cayman, but for those who aren’t, there are other trim levels. The Cayman S adds a 320-hp 3.4-liter engine. Sprints to 60 mph arrive in just 4.9 seconds while the top speed on a track rises to over 170 mph. For the hardcore enthusiast, Porsche offers the Cayman R model, which drops more than 120 pounds (by leaving out superfluous items such as air conditioning) and adds 10 hp to the Cayman S engine’s output. There’s even a limited edition Cayman S Black that combines the qualities of the Cayman S with the power of the Cayman R.
All Cayman models deliver a connection to the road that no other car can. Independent suspension at each corner harnesses Porsche’s version of MacPherson struts to keep the tires planted. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which allows the driver to select suspension settings between “normal” and “sport,” is offered. It goes without saying that four-wheel disc brakes are standard, but Porsche gives the option of Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes to lighten the vehicle’s already trim weight and provide improved stopping power.
Amenities such as Bluetooth® connectivity and links for an MP3 player are standard. The multi-functional Porsche Communication Management system with 6.5-inch touchscreen is available and serves as a central control unit for audio, navigation and communications. Outside, 17-inch wheels measuring seven inches wide up front and 8.5 inches wide in back are wrapped with low-profile rubber befitting the abilities of this car. Larger wheels with wider tires, along with performance, convenience, entertainment and styling options, can enhance each Cayman and tailor it to suit its owner.
Sitting behind the leather-wrapped wheel, the driver becomes one with the car. Standard sport seats hold firm to allow the driver to better concentrate on the primary mission: Driving. Available heating and cooling systems in the seats make driving even more comfortable. Porsche offers a range of seating options, up to the nearly race-ready Sports Bucket Seats.
To further enhance this driver-oriented design, the instrument cluster in the Cayman provides all of the important information first. Front and center is the large tachometer to keep tabs on how the engine’s humming (as if the melodious sound wasn’t enough). More analog gauges, including speedometer and engine temperature, flank the primary dial. A multi-function digital readout in the middle can be configured to provide information such as tire pressures and vehicle speed.
Unlike other sports cars, the mid-engine design in the Cayman provides real, usable cargo space. The Cayman features more than five cubic feet of storage up front, and there’s an additional 9.2 cubic feet under the hatch at the rear in which to haul stuff.
Like all Porsche models, the Cayman is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty. Porsche also provides 24-hour Roadside Assistance that includes Trip Interruption Coverage.
The Cayman is better than a throwback to Porsche’s earliest days; it’s a modern interpretation of those cars. All the visceral sensations of a pure sports car, all the safety of a modern car and all the quality that comes with the Porsche name. It’s a Porsche, and nothing less.