Most people will point out the 911 as the best handling Porsche road car. That’s because the 911 is Porsche down to its very core, but as far as handling is concerned, is it the best Porsche? The answer is, well, no. That is because that honor goes to the smaller (and much cheaper) mid-engine Cayman coupe.
Yes, the "Boxster hardtop", as some have called it, holds a striking grasp between absolute steering feel, communicative handling and above all, absolute balance. While the 911 will bite you if you’re not 100 percent committed and in control, the Cayman will flatter you with its much more forgiving handling manners. Neutral is the key word here, neutral with a hint of delicious oversteer on command.
Sales of the Cayman have proven healthy for Porsche and to keep interest in the model brewing, Porsche has subtly updated what will for sure be a future classic one day. Starting with the exterior, both the headlights and taillights are changed, the latter now with LED bulbs. The front fascia is also subtly changed and now incorporates a new style of fog lamp.
On the motivation end of things, Porsche did not disappoint either. An all-new 3.4 liter, flat-six engine now makes 320-hp while being both lighter and more fuel efficient. The new engine can also be mated to Porsche’s new 7-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe dual-clutch gearbox. Called PDK for short (thank goodness), the new gearbox can fire off rapid shifts 60 percent faster than the Tiptronic automatic which it replaces. A conventional 6-speed manual will also be an option, of course.
Coming in at a cool $60,200 for the base 6-speed manual version, the Porsche Cayman isn’t exactly cheap. Then again, Porsche’s have never been for the faint of funds. You can rest assured though that the money is buying you a whole lot of car, especially considering that a 911 is closer to $90,000. Porsche’s Cayman proves that the best handling car in the company’s current line-up is also one of the most accessible to own.
Source: Road and Track
Photos: Porsche AG