Doing an encore with an all-new evolution of the original is a hard nut to crack. Many have tried in sincerity and haven’t attained that definitive step up the ladder. Whether that thought was paramount in the minds of the Porsche engineers at Weissach or not as they worked on the next generation Cayman but they just had to go after it, didn’t they? However, what was already manifest in the minds of the Cayman project team was not just to get the second generation Cayman various notches above the car to be replaced but in doing so they didn’t have to eclipse the iconic mother lode with which Porsche continues to be revered on an on-going basis – the classic 911 in all its iterations!
The Cayman was born out of the iconic Boxster but it is not just about a Boxster given a roof. The very essence of Porsche having learnt from the 911 and made a few critical changes to Dr Ferdinand Porsche’s original design has made the Cayman achieve a balance of poise and grip which were always against the 911 trying to alter the laws of physics with its rear engine layout. And let me qualify this at the very outset because the Cayman, unlike the 911, has its engine and tranny package located between the rear wheels rather than behind the rear axle line and this makes all the difference in the dynamic ability, control, poise, stability, turn-ion and what have you. Of course it is control that is so very much needed when you have a car that makes in excess of 300 horsepower (321 to be precise in the case of the Cayman S which we had with us for a magical mountain blast) and in every sense of the term the new Cayman S is perfection personified.
EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;
There is no doubt that this model series looks very attractive in terms of external appearance owing to its distinctly designed exterior cosmetics. The newly introduced trim too looks to be attractive, as it has distinctly designed sporty cosmetics. This GTS trim has a lot of black accents on its exteriors along with 10-spoke design alloy wheels and sporty headlamps that distinguishes it from other trims. Its frontage gets a trademark oval shaped clear lens headlight cluster that houses halogen projector headlamps along with LED DRLs and turn indicators as well. It also has a smiley shaped bonnet embedded with prominent company’s insignia. Unlike most of the vehicles, its front windscreen has a concave structure that is further accompanied by a pair of wipers and washers. The air intake sections are placed in the front bumper that renders a sporty stance to the front facade. Its side profile has a coupe sort of design with curvy shoulder line and beautifully carved wheel arches. However, its rear fender is accompanied by an air inlet that provides better ventilation for engine cooling. It also has a very sleek window lining that is garnished with black accents. Its door handles as well as ORVM caps are garnished in body color that further adds to its elegance. Its base trim gets a set of stylish alloy wheels, while the S and GTS trims are blessed with 10-spoke design rims. Coming to the rear end, this vehicle gets snake-eye shaped, clear lens taillight cluster, which is equipped with advanced LED brake lights and turn indicators. The tailgate and the windscreen are quite small but the company lettering on boot lid gives it an astounding appeal. The body colored rear bumper houses a license plate console and a protective cladding. Beside this, it is also embodied with a muffler cutter including centrally mounted exhaust pipe that renders an aggressive look to its rear.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
Inside, the 718 Cayman is also identical to the Boxster, save for the infinite headroom that comes with a drop-top. Cabin updates are less spectacular, but the coupe now comes with a revised dashboard with new A/C vents, an updated instrument cluster, and a redesigned steering wheel based on the 911’s. Upgraded tech includes a standard Porsche Communication Management system with cell phone connectivity, audio interfaces, and a 110-watt Sound Package Plus. Optionally, customers will be able to add the Connect module with extensions for smartphones, such as the USB port, Apple CarPlay and Porsche Car Connect. Other goodies available on the options sheet include navigation module with voice control and a Connect Plus module for access to a wide array of online services. As usual, 718 Cayman buyers will also have access to a wide variety of customization options and upholstery combinations.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
Horizontally opposed 6 – cylinders power a 2.9litre engine which delivers an output of 268.6PS at 7400 revs per minute. The torque achieved is 300Nm between 4400 – 6000 RPM. The coupe series also comes powered with a 3.4litre engine which delivers 324PS at 7200RPM and 370Nm at 4750 RPM. The CO2 emissions are controlled in both engines and the direct fuel injection system is constructed in a manner that it is light. The Variocam Plus technology helps increase the torque even at lower engine speed. The Porsche Doopelkupplung transmission, also known as PDK, is also offered as an option with which the car can achieve 281lmph high speed and can accelerate from 0 – 100kmph in 4.9 seconds. The Sports Chrono Package is also available which allows the acceleration till 100kmph in just 4.7 seconds. With the manual gearbox, Porsche Sportscar can do 0 – 100kmph in 5.8 seconds.
When you drive a machine like Porsche Cayman, not many worry about the mileage because this vehicle aims at satisfying one’s need for driving a car that’s brilliant in terms of handling as well as driving. However, the figures delivered in the Porsche Cayman mileage reports are quite impressive with a mileage of 6.3kmpl in cities and about 9kmpl on highways. The S version delivers 6.9kmpl in cities and 13.8kmpl on highways.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
But to get to the real magic, I need to push harder. As if on cue, the condition of the tarmac improves and so does my pace. Much has been written about Porsche’s new electric steering, and it is true. It does feel a bit numb around the centre in comparison to the old car. But that really doesn’t matter all that much, and I’ll tell you why. Sure, you miss some of the confidence that comes from a better steering and a bit of clarity is missing too, but the rest of the Cayman works so well from apex to apex, you just tend to settle down and dig into the feast. As you go harder and start to transfer more weight from one side of the car to the other, you soon come to realise that the car’s cornering balance is near perfect. Going quicker doesn’t upset the composure of the car and I find that the more you use the throttle, the easier it is to neutralise that hint of understeer lurking in the chassis. What thrills you totally also is the fantastic level of precision with which this car operates; it just feels super special. Go harder and there’s a gradual transition from grip to slip as the riveted-to-the-road rear begins to move smoothly in a predictable manner, pointing the Cayman more naturally into corners. On offer, as long as you don’t go overboard, is a flattering layer of controllability which is simply thrilling. The new Cayman, however, isn’t as easy to get sliding around as the earlier car. The longer wheelbase and generally higher levels of grip mean you need to be going much quicker to get the same thrills. But then, the sense of accomplishment once you do is much higher.
SAFWTY AND SECURITY ;
There’s no Euro NCAP crash data available on the Cayman, but all version come with six airbags and the option of automatic emergency braking. The standard steel brakes are more than up to the job of frequent stops from high speed, but Porsche offers fade-free carbon-ceramic discs as an option. The latter is only worth considering is you plan to attend track days.You have to pay extra to add Isofix fittings to the passenger seat of the Cayman, while blindspot monitoring and speed limit display are also on the options list.Security experts Thatcham awarded the Cayman a maximum five-star rating for resisting theft, and four stars for withstanding being broken into.
For automobile enthusiasts, the Porsche Cayman has done wonders. Its remarkable performance, dashing exteriors, luxurious interiors and advanced safety features make it a worth buy. However, low ground clearance and limited seating can be a huge drawback for its lovers. The automaker can also pay attention towards increasing authorized service stations across the country.