Platon’s ideal sports car
If you have read any mine job, you probably know that I’m Jalopnik’s biggest Porsche 911 fanboy. I love them. When people say, “Miata is always the answer,” I say no and only go to 911 because it can make things better – which it should, because it is much more expensive. Objectively, however, while the 911 is Porsche’s most comprehensive car, I can tell it’s not the company’s best sports car. That honor belongs to Caymanand specifically GTS 4.0.
GTS 4.0 is the hot spot in the 718 Cayman lineup. GT4 and GT4 RS are better race cars and the basic Cayman is a more comfortable everyday driver (with a terrible sounding engine). The GTS 4.0 manages to deliver a great balance of those accessories.
Of course, the heart of the Cayman GTS 4.0 is a naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six engine. This is actually a 4.0-liter version of the GT4, making a still very healthy 394 hp at 7,000 rpm and 309 lb-ft of torque between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm. For comparison, that’s 44 hp more than the Cayman S and the same torque, although the turbocharged S version offers lower peak rpm in the rev range, from 1,900 to 4,500 rpm. /minute.
The GTS 4.0 gives Cayman buyers a more classic Porsche driving experience. You are rewarded for keeping the engine running and punished for lazy shifting and poor gear selection. Around town, this makes for a car that doesn’t feel as quick from stop light to stop light as the turbocharged Caymans (Caymen? Cays-man?), but on a fast, open road, the The excitement that comes from the high revs – coupled with the classic Porsche flat 6 howl – makes a solid case for the higher price tag of the GTS 4.0.
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That sweet 4.0-liter engine can be paired with either a very nice six-speed manual transmission or Porsche’s quick-shifting seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Honestly, neither is a bad choice, but given the very driver-focused nature of the Cayman GTS, I’d definitely make a case for getting three pedals. Still, my test car’s PDK makes dealing with LA’s hot garbage traffic a lot more pleasant.
The 718 Cayman’s chassis at any trim level is a thing of beauty, but in the GTS, it’s almost a higher truth, a Platonic ideal. This car offers tack-sharp steering with reasonable amounts of feedback. The MacPherson strut suspension used at all four corners shouldn’t be as good as it is, given the design’s origins as a cheap-to-build setup. It’s taut without being harsh, even around town over broken pavement, and does a superb job of controlling the car’s mass in a way that makes it feel as though the Cayman is pivoting around the driver.
It’s this chassis that makes the Cayman such an incredible sports car. It does what older, lighter 911s , less has been doing for decades but adds modern comforts, safety equipment, and a level of predictability and playfulness at the limits of traction that older motor cars lack.
The Cayman’s steel brakes are excellent, and they don’t remind me of Porsche’s sturdier carbon ceramic, which is absent on the GTS 4.0. The steel stoppers provide a distinctive pedal feel that allows me to brake confidently even when ABS intervention is about to happen and do so multiple times without worrying as much about fading. Porsche sports car brakes are always the highlight, and the Cayman GTS’s 13.8-inch front and 13-inch rear brakes (with six- and four-piston calipers respectively) are no exception.
The GTS formula in Cayman is almost the same as always. Get the Cayman S and add all the most popular performance options, such as a 0.8-inch lower ride height with Porsche Active Suspension Management and stiffer dampers, the Size package Active Sport Function, rear axle torque vectoring, sport exhaust and active engine mount. Then tap the Sport Design front and rear bumpers and charge a little less for the GTS than you would add those options individually to an S. This GTS handling has resonated. since Porsche introduced it on the 997 911 Carrera and it’s easy to see why.
Of course, the Cayman isn’t perfect, and the problem is on the inside, it’s actually lagging behind the 911. The 982-generation Cayman is pretty old now – it debuted in 2016 – and that shows. . While the 911 has a gorgeous digital dashboard and a more refined interior overall, the Cayman has done it with the 991’s small infotainment screen and button-filled dashboard. The gauges are mostly analog, which I really like in sportier cars, but the design is really outdated with the car. Admittedly they are also less functional than the new digital ones.
As for the interior, for most people, the Cayman will probably be fine. However, at 6 feet 4 (with most of my height in the upper body), I found the Cayman’s cabin a bit cramped, but I realized I was taller than most people. One thing the Cayman absolutely crushes, however, is cargo space. As mid-engine, the Cayman has two trunks. The front trunk offers 5.3 cu-ft of space, while the rear trunk offers 4.4 cu-ft, making it surprisingly accommodating. My wife and I were able to pack two sleeping bags, two deck chairs, a tent, clothes and snacks for a night of camping, and while it was tight we didn’t have to leave anything behind because we wanted more. place.
The Cayman’s infotainment system includes a small 7-inch touchscreen. Its functionality is basic, but this setup at least offers Apple CarPlay and the important thing is that you can activate Android Auto with some laptop coding, but I really don’t recommend it yourself. do that. Interestingly, the 7-inch PCM system on the Cayman is almost identical to the Porsche Classic PCCM Plus system that I just bought for My 996 911 (full story coming soon).
My test of the Cayman GTS 4.0 was not nearly as optional as you’re used to seeing in the wild. This means it has a base, semi-electric, four-way adjustable seat as opposed to a carbon bucket seat or a much heavier 14-way power seat. It also comes with navigation and Porsche’s Enter & Drive system that allows you to lock and unlock the car without using the buttons on the fob. It also has black brake calipers ($900 option) and body-colored headlight washers. That’s it.
This is a really cool spec as the GTS version basically takes over all the performance gear and options you’d want, and in the end you get a classy sports car. world for $99,800, including a $1,450 destination fee. It’s hard to think of competitors that offer this kind of engagement and performance boost for this currency, but lotus emirate seems to help Cayman make money, at least on paper. BMW M4 Competition makes a case for itself, despite its larger size and front-engine setup. The BMW is also cheaper – until you start giving options for it.
Compared to a 911, a Cayman really feels like a bargain, as today you can’t buy a larger Porsche sports car for less than six figures. To get the same experience with the manual transmission on the 911, you have to spend a minimum of 118,050 USD for Carrera T. Sure, that $18,250 spike will buy you a lot in a 911, but I can’t say the Carrera T is a more appealing sports car than the Cayman GTS 4.0.
The Cayman is a friendlier and more playful overall car, encouraging you to push its limits. It contracts around you as you drive faster in a way that current 992-generation 911s don’t, but older 911s did. The Cayman GTS simply offers a more intuitive experience, and when it comes to sports cars, that’s what matters.