something only Porsche has achieved in petrol engines.
The go-fast Sports Chrono pack comes as standard in GTS trim, helping the car hit 100km/h in just 4.1s – one-tenth quicker than the S model with the same feature. Top speed goes up to 290km/h. It also gets sharper external design with plenty of black trim and the best interior fit-out.
It’s a terrific car to drive. The steering is beautifully weighted and precise. The chassis inspires confidence with its balance and composure. It speaks to the driver in you with subtle adjustments in its poise in response to minute inputs to throttle or wheel. Few cars at any price do everything this well.
Price is an issue though. The test Cayman GTS had a few options fitted, such as premium audio, power sports seats, intelligent LED headlights and painted wheels. It was surprising that some of these things were options, given a starting price of almost $180k. I was even more shocked when the eventual sticker came in at more than $200k. That’s nudging into 911 territory – they start at $220k – and it’s a problem. The most basic 911 gets more power (272kW), torque (450Nm) and, crucially, more cylinders with a 3.0-litre turbo flat-six.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the Cayman’s four-pot unit – you might even warm to its distinctive chaff-cutter sound, reminiscent of those early Volkswagens. The 2.5-litre feels potent, and Porsche has reduced turbo lag (the delay in throttle response intrinsic to turbos) so that you barely notice.
But any way you cut it, the Cayman GTS (and Boxster GTS for $2800 extra) look very expensive when it comes to piston count. The only cars with less capacity for this sort of money are hybrids, such as PORSCHE CAYMAN GTS
ENGINE: 2.5-litre turbo-petrol flat four-cylinder (269kW/430Nm). Average fuel 8.2 litres per 100km
TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
PRICE: From $178,680 BMW’s 740e limo or its i8 (threecylinder!) supercar. When it comes to pure petrol power, these Porsches are the most expensive four-cylinders you can buy.
However, the GTS is not the most expensive Cayman. That honour belongs to the GT4, the swansong of the previous generation, which was fitted with a 283kW naturally aspirated flat six and cost $189,900 (there was no Boxster version). It was so well received that second-hand examples, two to three years old, are fetching more than $200k now.
And that’s possibly fuelling feverish internet reports that the next Cayman GT4 will return to six-cylinder power, perhaps with a version of the 4.0-litre unit in the track-focused 911 GT3.
Now that would be worth waiting for, no question. But even better, wouldn’t it be a fitting way for Porsche to celebrate its birthday?