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.

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.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Aston Martin DB11 V8
    First Drive
    22 November 2017
    Aston's decision to utilise AMG's 4.0-litre V8 struck us as an inspired one initially, but will a drive on UK roads change our minds?
  • Volvo XC40 cornering
    First Drive
    21 November 2017
    Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class