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Porsche Cayman S (2013) CAR review
By Georg Kacher

First Drives

12 February 2013 12:30

The new '981-generation' Porsche Cayman S is 30kg lighter than the outgoing model, 5bhp more powerful, and boasts same the classy interior as its soft-top Boxster sibling. Is it still the £40-50k sports car benchmark?

Porsche Cayman S: the spec
The new Cayman is bigger than before: its wheelbase is 60mm longer, and it now rides on 19-inch rims as standard. Porsche claims the body structure is 40% stiffer than the old car's too. The Cayman S uses a 3.4-litre flat-six engine, developing 321bhp. It's essentially a detuned version of the motor found in the back of a 991 Carrera, pushing 1385kg of mid-engined Cayman down the road.

As with all new Porsches since the 991, the power steering is now assisted by an electric motor, rather than hydraulics. You can upgrade the standard six-speed manual gearbox to a seven speed dual-clutch PDK auto, and there's the usual mind-boggling array of pricey options.

In the optimum spec, the Cayman S will hit 62mph in 4.6sec, top out at 176mph, and return around 35mpg.

What's the new Cayman like to drive?
First off, it's fast: quicker than a Cayman R and even a manual 991 Carrera to 62mph. Get brutal with the power and you'll easily overcome the chassis's benign balance and provoke big slides from the tail.

The Cayman feels nimble, and though its natural reaction to ham-fistedness is a dollop of understeer, being precise with your throttle inputs yields real balance and delicacy. However, although the mid-engined chassis handles beautifully, the electric power steering feels more mute than the the outgoing hydraulic rack's, and it can make slight, self-correcting inputs on bumpy roads that are an unwelcome intervention.

The six-speed 'box has a crisp manual gearchange action, though the more economical and whip-crack fast PDK box is well worth the extra £1922. Standard steel brakes offer peerless strength and feel: would you ever long for £4977 of carbon-ceramic stoppers? We think not.

Keywords: George Kacher

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