Bit of an exhilarating job, to be strapped into the most powerful production Porsche Cayman yet offered and asked to sling it up the hill on the first day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed – with enough speed on to prove to prospective customers in the crowd it's worth visiting a showroom.
This is the new Cayman GTS, complete with 340-horse engine, 177mph top speed, and a 0-62mph capability around 4.6sec. A nice Porsche bloke explained he's configured this one especially as a driver's car – with a 20mm lower chassis (not the usual 10mm) and a proper manual gearbox.
I've always liked the Cayman, but this was the best one I've been in. Routine black interior and silver exterior, but distinguished by black badge script, standard 20in wheels and two beautiful black central exhausts. They've smartened the body, just a bit, with a new front bumper with just a hint of 969 about it – a good look in my book.
You can't thoroughly road test a car in 1.2 miles. On the other hand it's plenty of space to sample a beautiful, smoothly powerful and ultra-responsive engine. Also firm direct steering (our first ever corner together was Goodwood's first, famous double-apex 70mph right-hander) and brakes – for the scary Molecomb Bend – that wash speed almost too willingly.
It's the way Porsches are honed in testing and built in practice that remains so very impressive, even against improving opposition. Every switch, joint, crevice or surface is well executed.
The car drives the same way. Require exceptional power and that's what you'll get. Drive with precision and that's what the car will deliver. This new Cayman GTS delivers all the Cayman virtues, just a little better than ever; can't wait for it to arrive at Autocar for a full road test.