10
Beautifully sweet to drive and something of a bargain in the Porsche range, the new Cayman GTS ticks all the right boxes for a sports car

Our Verdict

Porsche Cayman GTS
The Cayman GTS is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.4-litre flat six that produces 336bhp

Staggeringly precise, flatteringly controllable, totally immersive, and now also that little bit quicker. The best just got better

  • First Drive

    Porsche Cayman GTS first drive review

    Beautifully sweet to drive and something of a bargain in the Porsche range, the new Cayman GTS ticks all the right boxes for a sports car

What is it?

A new, slightly more potent version of the already rather wonderful Cayman S that will, for the time being at least, lord it at the top the Cayman range until more powerful, possibly turbocharged models appear in the reasonably distant future.

Priced at £55,397 and boasting an uprated 336bhp version of the 3.4-litre flat six that already serves the Cayman S so well, the GTS also gets Porsche’s PASM suspension system as standard alongside a set of tasty looking 20-inch alloy wheels and a small range of styling upgrades. And it goes on sale throughout the Porsche dealer network as of now, with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and the option of Porsche’s excellent but pricey seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Also on the options list will be carbon-ceramic brakes, as before, but what’s new to the line-up is a sports chassis option, which lowers the ride height by 20mm and does away with the electronic dampers for the ultimate 'analogue' Cayman driving experience. The sport chassis is a no-cost extra and can be specified in place of the PASM.

You also get the sports exhaust and Sports Chrono Package as standard on the GTS, whose kerb weight drops to a feather-light 1345kg, getting from 0-62mph in 4.9sec with the manual gearbox and 4.6sec with the optional PDK.

What's it like?

In a word, lovely, especially in the spec in which I drove the car on its launch – so with the sports chassis, optional carbon-ceramic brakes, sports seats and a six-speed manual gearbox.

There is a cohesion to the way this car goes down the road that is rare, if not unique in my experience. There are 911 fans who claim that the bigger car is still the better one to drive and that the Cayman remains its lieutenant, no matter what form it might take or how good it may be. But I am no longer one of these people. 

The Cayman GTS feels connected and compact and responsive to your inputs – be that to its throttle, steering, brake pedal or gearlever, which slices quite beautifully up and down its six-speed gate – in a way that a 911 no longer does. The last time a regular 911 felt this alive, this keyed in to the part of one’s brain that revels in the simple art of driving, was a very long time ago. 

Indeed, you need to look to some fairly special versions of the 911 to match the satisfaction that the GTS Cayman provides, to the second generation 996 GT3, perhaps, or the 997 GT3 RS, and more recently the current GT3. And this puts the Cayman GTS in very high company, and me right out on a limb among Porsche’s commentators, some of whom will take great offence at such heresy towards the sacred 911. 

But, for me, that’s how extraordinarily good the Cayman GTS, with sports chassis, manual gearbox, carbon-ceramic brakes and sports seats, feels. Which is some statement, but then the Cayman GTS really is some car.

Should I buy one?

It’s hard, if not impossible, to think of any other sporting car this side of £70,000 that is sweeter to drive than a Cayman GTS. Get the spec just right and you will get very close to motoring nirvana. Get it wrong and you’ll still end up with a very lovely sports car. 

And at £55k it seems like a bargain next to just about all versions of the latest 911, none of which feel as compact or connected as a Cayman GTS. So I guess the answer is, yes, you should. With extra cheese and chilli sauce on top.

Porsche Cayman GTS

Price £55,397 0-62mph 4.6sec Top speed 177mph Economy 31.4mpg (combined) CO2 211g/km Kerb weight 1345kg, Engine 6 cyls horizontally opposed, 3436cc, petrol Installation Mid, longitudinal, rear-wheel drive Power 336bhp at 7400rpm; Torque 280lb ft at 6500rpm Gearbox 6-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
14

8 May 2014
All very well, but knowing how much they charge for their options, it would have been more accurate to state how much the car costs as tested...

8 May 2014
Indeed,well said gaco 1,you can easily add the cost of an A45 AMG to a Porsche.BTW it is faster and seats 4 and has 4WD!

Madmac

8 May 2014
That is the way a modern Porsche should look. Compact, clean lines and classic Porsche shape. The colour, wheel combo looks great too. The final three quarters photo is stunning. Roll on the midlife car crises.

MB

8 May 2014
It's £60,000, unless you want to fork out £1,500 for the colour-matched lederhosen with the Porsche emblem embossed on them.

8 May 2014
Yes, it's not cheap but this is about indulging in driving pleasure. If you want a car all about the stats there are other places to go.


8 May 2014
I think I would still take an F-Type.. The interior of the Cayman appears to have a few parts borrowed from the VW parts bin, the light switch in particular looks like it could have come out of a £10k Polo

8 May 2014
Citytiger wrote:
I think I would still take an F-Type.. The interior of the Cayman appears to have a few parts borrowed from the VW parts bin, the light switch in particular looks like it could have come out of a £10k Polo
The F-type coupe is simply more desirable, not just because of its switch-gear, but also because of the way it looks, sounds and makes you feel. Whilst I'd be deeply impressed with this car, I'd be having a ball and feeling special in the Jaguar, and really, its this aspect of driving which appeals to me more.

8 May 2014
Will the sports chassis be available on the other versions of the Cayman and Boxster lower down the range? Also when is the 911 GT3's steering coming to other 911s, Caymans and Boxsters? There seems no reason for them to be deprived.

8 May 2014
Very pretty car, and the base price seems good too even if it would be far too easy it add many thousands to that. This or an F Type? it would have to be the Porsche, it has a manual box. If jaguar ever correct that failing the choice would be a lot tougher

8 May 2014
I will have to keep the 911 as there's nowhere for the dog to go (safely) in a Cayman. and I can't afford the luxury of having two toys. Seriously, the Cayman is viewed by 911 owners as a genuine and excellent sports car in its own right. Both cars drive very differently due mostly to where the engines sit. Its horses for courses.

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