Porsche Cayman

Redefining the Limits

Porsche Middle East and Africa recently invited us to review the Porsche Cayman and Cayman S in a dedicated drive event for the third generation two-seater. The event kicked off at the Dubai Autodrome where attendees were introduced to the Cayman's new features during an exclusive press conference.

Featuring a new, lighter design and powered by a 2.7 liter flat-six cylinder engine, the new Cayman produces 275 hp. It accelerates from zero to 100 kph in 5.4 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 266 kph. Its fuel consumption is 7.7 L/100 km when equipped with (PDK). Its higher sibling, the Cayman S, uses a 3.4 liter naturally aspirated flat-six cylinder engine for an output of 325 hp. Acceleration time from a standstill to 100 kph time is 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 283 kph. The fuel consumption value is 8.0 L/100 km with PDK.

Driving Impressions
A challenging set-up on the Dubai Autodrome's Club Circuit provided the perfect platform to showcase that the new Cayman is built for driving bends like few other sports cars can. More than ever, the interplay of the mid-engine concept and chassis tuning assures it the top position in its class. The original geometry creates ideal conditions for the outstanding performance features of the new Cayman. The 60mm longer wheelbase ensures greater stability at very high speeds, and a wide track width at both axles supports additional driving stability and agility in bends. Better road grip is achieved by the larger diameter tires.

Our test car was fitted with Porsche Active Suspension Management, which lets drivers choose between Normal and Sport chassis settings. It's more clever than before though: even in Sport, the Cayman's ride stays relatively soft if the driver is holding back. We haven't tried the standard suspension, but if it's anything like a base-spec 911 chassis it'll be a safe choice.

The Cayman feels agile, and though its natural reaction is a squirt of under steer, being precise with your throttle inputs yields real balance and delicacy. However, although the mid-engine chassis handles beautifully, the electric power steering feels muter than the outgoing hydraulic rack, and it can make slight, self-correcting inputs on bumpy roads that are sometimes an unwelcome intervention.

The next day, a well-defined road test proceeded along an almost 300 kilometers drive up to the Emirate of Fujairah at the Gulf of Oman. Long straights ensured that the two-seater had plenty of room to flex its engine muscles, with the flat-six feeling right at home with ample power on tap. We were eventually given an exciting road peppered with hairpin turns, twists and bends, where the Cayman's new electromechanical power steering, optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) active damping system as well as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), resulted in an even better, more stable drive, creating an exhilarating experience that left both me and the car asking for more.

Aesthetically, the sports coupe stays true to its heritage. It has been redesigned to become even more distinctive. The new model features an extended wheelbase with shorter overhangs. The standard 18- and 19-inch Cayman wheels give it not only a sportier appeal but also better lateral stability and handling properties.

The new Cayman also comes with new optional features. Customers can now order Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), a system that controls the distance to the car ahead in traffic and vehicle speed. Other options include a specially developed Burmester sound system as well as Porsche Entry & Drive.

Verdict
You could easily live with a Cayman every day. Fast, well-built, sporty and safe, the new Porsche Cayman is a soulful and emotional drive. The brakes, transmission, handling and cabin are all top-of-the-class material, and though it's spec-sensitive, the new Cayman is basically a brilliant car. First deliveries of the new Porsche Cayman and Cayman S started in April..

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