£40,249 - £58,303 Price range
31 - 35 MPG
For 2016 the baby Porsche gets a sharper headlight design and wider appearance, but the big change is reserved for under the skin…
That’s right, Porsche has binned the Boxster’s gem of a six-cylinder engine for a humdrum four-cylinder that’s boosted by a turbocharger. Is it a change too far? Well, for enthusiasts, it might just be – the exotic howl of the old unit has been replaced by a none-too-spectacular drone that’s lightly seasoned with pops and crackles from the pricey £1,328 sports exhaust.
The endless pursuit of lower running costs is what forced the downsize, apparently, even Porsche watches the pennies. And it won’t take a fastidious eye to the sport the improvements – fuel economy has increased by around 5mpg on all models and CO2 emissions are lower than ever, too.
A corresponding drop in performance doesn’t materialise, though, in fact, the new model’s quite a bit quicker than the car it replaces – power has increased by 25hp in both versions, so the regular 2.0-litre Cayman pumps out 300hp, and the souped-up 2.5-litre Cayman S a healthy 350hp. That’s enough for 0-62mph times of 5.2 and 4.6 seconds, respectively, or quite a bit quicker if you opt for the £1,922 seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox.
While the engines have changed the driving experience has not, save for a few minor adjustments. As such, the Cayman still flows through a series of bends in a way its rivals simply can’t match, and the mid-engined layout means traction out of corners is sublime. In fact, drivers with more skill than us reckon the Cayman is a better driver’s package than the all-conquering Porsche 911 – praise really doesn’t come better than that!
Inside, the car gets a redesigned upper dashboard and now includes Bluetooth preparation and an upgraded sound system as standard. Drivers are also treated to a new steering wheel taken straight from the 918 Spyder hypercar.
Owners can utilise apps via their smartphone – the Cayman’s £801 Connect Plus module enables the use of Apple CarPlay along with Google Earth, Google Street View, and built-in WiFI. In fact the Cayman can even squeal a cry for help (via your smartphone) should someone try to pinch it.
Notable standard equipment in entry-level models includes bi-xenon headlights and air-conditioning, but that’s about it. Like all Porsches, be wary of the options list – it can send the price to truly astronomical levels.
Optional adaptive (£971) or sports adaptive suspension (£1,133) offer a 10 or 20mm ride height reduction respectively. The £1,125 optional Sports Chrono Pack includes various driving modes that can enhance or soften the driving experience as the driver sees fit. Larger brakes feature on all models to bring the fun to a halt even faster than before and as a £4,977 option, you can upgrade them to ceramic composite.
The 718 Cayman is due to go on sale in September 2016 but be prepared because demand is likely to be high upon its launch.