What is it?
Taking the base-model Porsche 718 Cayman as its starting point, the Cayman T raids the options list to offer a sharper, more focused kind of driving experience.
On top of a standard Cayman, with its centrally mounted 2.0-litre flat four turbo engine, the T gets Porsche Torque Vectoring (which includes a limited-slip differential), Porsche Active Suspension Management with a drop in ride height, Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts, Sport Chrono (incorporating a customisable driving mode and an intermediate setting for the stability control) and 20in rather than 18in wheels with a smoky finish.
You could walk into a Porsche showroom and specify all of that equipment on a standard Cayman, but you’ll end up paying more. In that sense, the Cayman T does offer decent value for money. Apart from the decals on the side of the car, fabric loops for door pulls, the grey mirror housings and one or two other details, all that is exclusive to the T - or, to phrase it another way, all that’s not available on a basic Cayman - is the 20mm ride height drop. You can specify the sport chassis with Porsche Active Suspension Management on the standard model, but that’ll lower it by 10mm only.
Clearly, then, we’re looking at detail changes rather than any sweeping re-engineering work. However, sitting closer to the ground and rolling on bigger wheels, the Cayman T does look more purposeful than a Cayman. The Alcantara-trimmed GT sports steering wheel is a delight to hold and, lending a one-third-of-a-GT3 sort of air to the cockpit, if you really want to press the road-racer tone, you can choose to have a sizeable cubbyhole where the infotainment system would ordinarily be. Very few buyers actually will.
The engine is unchanged, meaning a peak power output of 296bhp arrives at 6500rpm, with 280lb ft of torque ready from 2150rpm. A seven-speed PDK transmission can be specified, but given the car’s more focused brief, the six-speed manual would seem to be the more appropriate gearbox. So equipped, it has a 0-62mph time of 5.1sec and a 171mph top speed, according to Porsche.
The 718 Boxster T and Cayman T follow in the tyre tracks of last year’s 911 Carrera T and their recipes are much the same. With no more power but all the right chassis hardware, the 911 Carrera T had a sharper edge than a basic 911 Carrera as well as its own character. The mid-engined cars now set out to do the same thing.