New Porsche Cayman

28 Feb, 2013 10:15am James Disdale

The entry-level version of the all-new Porsche Cayman is just as beguiling as the faster Cayman S


The new Cayman continues the Porsche success story. It’s fantastic to drive, is truly beautifully built and is remarkably comfortable for daily use. It’s not as fast as the S, but at £39,964 it undercuts that car by nearly £10,000. And for most drivers, most of the time, this is all the sports car they will ever need.

Less really is more with the new entry-level Porsche Cayman. Despite being fitted with a smaller engine than its predecessor, the two-seater coupe is actually faster and more efficient than ever.

The on-paper figures certainly look impressive: the new 2.7-litre flat-six engine produces 271bhp, which is 10bhp more than the old 2.9-litre car, while around 30kg has been slashed from the latest model’s kerbweight.

As a result, the Cayman will cover 0-62mph in only 5.7 seconds, yet return a claimed 34.4mpg at the pumps. Alternatively, you can go for the excellent PDK automatic gearbox, which cuts the sprint time by a tenth of a second and improves fuel economy to 36.7mpg.

From behind the wheel, the car doesn’t feel as muscular at low speeds as the range-topping S model we drove earlier this month. But once the revs climb above 4,000rpm, it accelerates strongly to the 7,400rpm red line.

Our test car was also fitted with the £1,473 optional twin-exit sports exhaust. This enhances the engine’s trademark flat-six bark when you press the button on the centre console, plus delivers a series of enjoyable pops and bangs when you lift off the throttle.

Thanks to its lower kerbweight and wider stance, the Cayman is every bit as brilliant as the S through corners. The beautifully weighted steering allows you to place the car accurately, the grip on offer is incredible and the ride is stiff, but never uncomfortable.

With a little less power than the S, the standard Cayman feels a little easier to exploit at its limits, too. There’s less of a tendency for the back to kick out if you get a bit exuberant with the throttle through bends.

Elsewhere, the powerful brakes are guaranteed to deliver fade-free stopping power, while the six-speed manual box’s action is so slick you’ll find yourself changing gear just for the fun of it.

Externally there’s little to distinguish the Cayman from the more expensive S – the oval centre-exit exhaust and smaller 18-inch alloys are the biggest clues. It’s a similar story inside, where there’s the same classy, comfortable cabin – although it could do with more standard kit.

Key specs

  • Price: £39,964
  • Engine: 2.7-litre flat-six
  • Power: 271bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 165mph
  • Economy: 34.4mpg
  • CO2: 192g/km
  • Equipment: Air-con, LED tail-lights, stop-start, 18-inch alloy wheels
  • On sale: Now