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The 718 Cayman may be an entry level Porsche, but its driveability and handling is anything but.

16 Jan 2017


The first generation Porsche Boxster was first released to the world as a production model in 1996, roughly three years after the concept saw daylight. Strangely, it wasn't until 2005 when the hard-top Cayman was born. In the lifeline of car models, coupes are always the first to hit the production line, followed by the more complex convertibles.

Back then, the Cayman was offered with a choice of naturally aspirated flat-six engines, which was also designed to offer the thrills and spills of the flagship 911 without burning that big of a hole in your pocket.

Porsche's signature silhouette, whether it's a Cayman or a 911

So the Cayman is just a cheap man's 911 then?

That's just for egoistic and boastful Porsche purists who lack the finesse in their otherwise cheap behaviour. We would gladly disagree calling the Cayman nothing but a cheap man's 911. We don't believe that the Cayman or the 911 are inferior or superior to one another. To us, they are simply different, that's all.

You see, the Cayman, like the 911, evolved into something so much more refined and dignified in such a wholesome manner that it almost seems like they have grown up and are now mature working adults. Apart from the fact that the Cayman and the 911 sport a mid-engined and a rear-engined layout respectively (which allows the Cayman to have two trunk spaces), the differences are down to the attention to driveability and handling.

Two trunk spaces in the Cayman: Front and back (left and right respectively) allow you to place your barang barang easily

The 911, while it's fast and more powerful than the Cayman, lacks the nimbleness and lightweight that the latter is known for. At sgCarMart, our stand on 'fast doesn't necessarily equate to fun' stands firm. At the hands of the right driver, the Cayman could be more poised than, say, an everyday rich driver behind the wheel of a 911.

So that's how the 718 Cayman feels?

Absolutely. Around town, the car you see here feels focused and eager to aim and fire through and in between traffic, with a ride that's firm but never harsh. It's not your typical sports car where placing it on the road is a hindrance. At 4,379mm x 1,801mm x 1,295mm (L x W x H), there's no guesswork on whether you're going to scratch your rims or if you want to slide it between two full-sized sport utility vehicles on the move.

Once you're on long open stretches of roads, the car is deliciously and perfectly set up to embarrass its fellow German rivals. Thanks to its engine layout, handling is spot on while steering provides you ample feedback. You feel the road as much as you feel the steering, which allows you to carve that corner with absolute aplomb.

Gun the throttle and all 295 horses and 380Nm of torque will garner their muscles to see that you hit the 100km/h mark in just 4.7 seconds. There's no doubt that the downsized four-pot 2.0-litre engine in the 718 Cayman feels just as strong as its six-cylinder 2.7-litre predecessor.

Seven-speed PDK gearbox shifts gears with pure precision and sheer speed

What about the Cayman S? Will that be better?

Of course having the S variant is always a good thing. But if you aren't a track junkie, we say the entry level 718 is more than sufficient. On the road, the differences between this and the S variant are negligible. Both cars will easily dish out whatever you require them to do in a beautiful and fuss-free manner.

But once you decide to journey out on to a track, where all hell is allowed to break loose, we suspect the Cayman S' extra 50bhp and 40Nm of torque over the standard model will be a significant difference, which will also bring out the individual cars' true characteristics and capabilities.

Cabin is decidedly sporty and will put a smile on most drivers' faces despite it being a base model

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo… domo…

No need to stand on ceremony here, buddy. We're just doing our jobs, really. At $253,988 (as of 6th January 2017, without COE), the 718 Cayman truly is remarkable. Of course, it being the base model also means that it comes without certain bells and whistles that can be found on the Cayman S.

But that's all fine and dandy if you ask us because we'd probably spend more time driving the car rather than comparing what unnecessary features the car is lacking, which is really what this car is for and all about.
Also read our comparison article on:
Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe 2.0 vs Porsche 718 Cayman PDK 2.0

Car Information

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Price

: $273,988

Engine Type

:

Flat 4 Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1988cc

Horsepower

:

224kW (300 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

380 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) PDK

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4.9sec

Top Speed

:

275km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.2 km/L

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