It’s a two-seat, mid-engined coupé still, and the construction is much the same, but every panel apart from a couple of bits around the roof were renewed in the transition from Cayman S to 718 Cayman S. The front suspension is adapted from the 911 Turbo, the rear suspension has bits of previous-generation Cayman GT4, the steering is 10% faster than the old Cayman’s was and the geometry, springing and damping are all new for the seven-eighteen.
Inside, there aren’t vast differences between Caymans old and new. You sit relatively low, but with reasonable visibility that now includes, pleasingly, a view of the tops of each wing, which I don’t remember having before. It’s quite reminiscent of 911s of old – a cute touch.
Interior materials are well chosen, but it’s largely a business-like cabin. Porsche hasn’t gone out of its way to wow you with soft surfaces or embellishments here. It’s just a solidly constructed, effective cabin, with switches where you’d hope they’d be and a new infotainment system that’s still in danger – as is the gearlever – from latte overspill, given that the right-hand cupholder overhangs the centre console. Hashtag first world problems, etc.
To the £53,565 Jaguar F-Type, then, because frankly its interior tries to do the opposite of the Porsche’s. It sets out to wow and excite. It feels shrink-wrapped around you, which is partly because the chassis’s aluminium construction eats into interior space regardless of the fact that this a long, wide car. It’s snug, head room is less generous than in the other pair and even leg room can be at a premium if you’re over 6ft tall.
At least there are only two pedals to worry about, though, what with this V6 being an auto – there’s a manual, too, but an auto suits the F-Type, as we’ll discover – so there’s a smallish stick on the centre console and a reasonable amount of space around it. Materials have been chosen for their appearance as much as their feel and it’s an altogether flashier, showier cabin than the Porsche’s.
There’s nothing wrong with that, though, and it’s designed sweetly, with the driver getting all of the important things angled their way, while the passenger’s side is cordoned off by a Jesus handle. I like the seats. When I ran an F-Type as a long-termer, they used to induce some back stiffness on long journeys, but I don’t find it a problem today.
Like the Porsche, the Jaguar has two seats only but, unlike the Porsche, it has a six-cylinder engine, which happens to be placed at the front. It’s a V6 – 3.0 litres – and its artificial aspiration is via a supercharger rather than turbocharger. Still, it’s not as powerful as the 718, making 335bhp, which has to propel the F-Type’s not inconsiderable 1567kg. The Porsche’s extra 10bhp has to move just 1430kg, which leaves it the lightest car here by a margin. Blame those six-cylinder engines and the lengths of the propshafts on the other two.