When you think of Porsche your mind often directs you to their flagship model, the 911. Of course, the 911 in all its different forms whether it be a GT3 RS or Carrera 4S is an excellent sports car that is highly regarded in the automotive world. However, over recent years the 911 has lost some of its character particularly due to the introduction of electric steering and enthusiasts have been more engaged by its baby brother, the Cayman.
The Porsche Cayman I’m referring to is the previous generation 981 model with a 2.7-litre flat six engine producing 275bhp. This car turned heads for all the right reasons when it was released in 2013 and ever since all incarnations impressed, in particular the Porsche Cayman GT4 which was pushed along by a 3.8 litre flat six from the 911 model.
For me what makes the Cayman so good is because everything seems to work in unison because every relevant part is in the right place. The stiff chassis and mid-engined layout provide the car with this unwavering sense of balance that allows the car to flow effortlessly down the road. Furthermore, because Porsche opted for a stiffer chassis the suspension is more compliant and forgiving over more moon-like roads.
The engine, although not the biggest producing 275bhp, is a bit of a gem and seems to come alive when you start creeping past 6,000rpm. The thrill of the experience makes you want to push hard to the redline and change as late as possible because of the roar that’s being conducted behind. What’s also desirable about the Cayman is that the noise is never too rash or unnecessary, it’s there when you want it and shuts up when you’re cruising along at low speeds.
The 6-speed manual gearbox adds to the overall driving experience too and for a car as engaging as the Cayman is perhaps a better choice over the automatic PDK system. Don’t be fooled by the Cayman’s sporty looks as it’s surprisingly practical because you get not one, but two reasonably sized boots. The front one in particular could easily fit one medium sized goat. The cabin is also a nice place to be with leather sports seats and easy to use infotainment system.
If I were to pick faults, I would say that it’s quite big for a sports car. The Cayman is surprisingly wide and has a long sloped rear end meaning that parking and manoeuvrability can be a challenge. The handbrake is also a bit unusual and holds the car for you when you don’t really expect it.
However, these small niggles don’t change the fact that this is one of the best sports cars you can buy. The Cayman 981 is one of the most engaging cars ever to grace the automotive world. The brakes, the steering, the engine, the gearbox. They all work in unison to give you the best driving experience possible, and this is just the base model. If you want a German sports car that delivers a pure driving experience, look no further.