Few people were surprised when Porsche announced in 2005 its coupé version of the mid-engined Boxster. It was the expected progression of the model range in the way the Cayenne was totally out of the blue.

What did raise a few eyebrows was just how close to the final specification of an entry-level 911 Carrera the top-model Cayman, the S, actually proved to be.

Read our review of the new 2016 Porsche 718 Cayman here

A niche too far for Porsche, perhaps? That's what this test aims to find out: after all, open versions of a coupé are usually more expensive, but this time it's the other way round with just a bit more engine power to justify it.

Little has changed here in the years since launch, although the Cayman range evolved both downwards (a 242bhp, 2.7-litre base model arrived shortly after launch to join the 291bhp, 3.4-litre Cayman S) and onwards with a new range of engines in 2008.

These direct-injection units give 262bhp as a 2.9 and 316bhp as a 3.4, unless it's the pared-down, firmed-up Cayman R with 326bhp.

Top 5 Sport coupes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lamborghini Aventador S
    First Drive
    21 January 2017
    Is an upgrade to 730bhp and the addition of four-wheel steering enough to realise the Aventador's potential?
  • Ford Focus RS Mountune FPM375
    First Drive
    20 January 2017
    Does an official Mountune upgrade of 25bhp and 30lb ft, improve the already rampant and rather magnificent Ford Focus RS?
  • Audi S5 Sportback
    First Drive
    19 January 2017
    The Audi S5 Sportback is more bruising GT than practical sports car, but it makes sense for those wanting a fast executive saloon in coupé get-up
  • First Drive
    18 January 2017
    Despite receiving a cosmetic and mechanical refresh, Lexus's compact executive saloon still fails to provide much driving involvement
  • 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5h review
    First Drive
    18 January 2017
    Big-selling plug-in SUV gets a light refresh in the face of new challengers to offer decent economy but only average driving dynamics