Sleeper sweeper: 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS
“We’re only bringing one Porsche,” said a villain who shall remain nameless during the planning process for Best Driver’s Car. Just one? Are we nuts? Last year we brought two of Zuffenhausen’s finest—718 Cayman S and 911 Turbo S—and they both wound up on the podium, second and third, respectively.
This year, the Porsche offerings looked even stronger. Just look at the 911s: GT3, GT3 with a manual, GT3 Touring, GTS, 911 T, and the machine we ultimately settled on, the track king GT2 RS. We could have even brought along the new Panamera Turbo, and I promise it would have placed midpack. Then there’s the case of the nearly forgotten Cayman GTS.
This GTS, like all Porsche GTS models, is a simple formula. Take a bunch of things that are optional on other trims (PASM, torque vectoring, Sport Chrono, 20-inch wheels, the sport exhaust), include them as standard equipment on the GTS, then add power—in this case 15 hp for a healthy 365 horsepower. Should you opt for the PDK transmission, it makes 317 lb-ft of torque. (The manual GTS stumps up 309 lb-ft, just like the Cayman S.)
We used the $91,490 Cayman as a sweep car in between runs of Route 198—to ensure the CHP road closure was in full effect and no civilian cars were lingering at vista points. We also needed the Cayman for an upcoming Head 2 Head episode we were filming.
I made the terrible mistake of driving the Cayman GTS both on Route 198 and around Laguna Seca. At Laguna Seca, I remember constantly catching the poor Stelvio in front of me—and I had a passenger. Randy Pobst also drove it for kicks, and the GTS was more than a second quicker than last year’s Cayman S, 1:38.79 versus 1:40.05. And coming down 198, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “fourth place.” Considering this year’s podium, that would be an honorable finish.
I’m not necessarily saying we brought the wrong Porsche. I’m just restating what I told our nameless villain: We should have brought more Porsches.