Want 80 per cent of a 911 for half the price? Where do we sign?
PORSCHE’S Cayman makes it damned hard to recommend a 911. The latest incarnation of the mid-engined two-seater has grown up to the point it’s more than enough car for most enthusiasts. It’s also about half the price of a 911, so potential owners can seriously consider buying the Cayman and tossing in a Cayenne SUV for family needs. Tough call, if you’ve got the cash.
In outright performance terms, the Cayman is a bargain with a base price of $107,100. Stepping up to the 3.4-litre S model costs $139,900.
The obvious opposition comes from Audi’s TT S and TT RS, which are quicker in a straight line than the Cayman and Cayman S respectively. The four-ringed brand is also cheaper and uses an allwheel-drive system that imbues the cars with Superglue levels of grip.
Where the Audis lose ground is in chassis and steering feedback— there’s still nothing on the road at the price that is as communicative and responsive as the Cayman.
That’s reflected in in the lap times of the famed Nurburgring, where the Cayman S’s 7 minutes and 55 seconds is 12 seconds faster than the outgoing model.
A bigger footprint— the wheelbase is 60mm longer and the front track is 40mm wider — gives the Cayman a better stance on the road, aided and abetted by a near-ideal 46/54 weight split. Auto stop-start and energy recuperation on both engines helps cut fuel use by 15 per cent despite the performance lift.
A six-speed manual is standard fare; the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch auto adds $4990.