While Porsche may hang its proverbial hat on the legendary 911, the mid-engine Porsche Cayman has helped expand the reach of the automaker by providing a more affordable alternative. Overhauled for 2017 and renamed the 718 Cayman, this Porsche is now more powerful and capable than ever.
Porsche 718 Cayman Overview
The third-generation Porsche Cayman is a two-passenger rear-wheel drive sports car from the brand known for building scintillating vehicles that are beautiful to look at and fun to drive. For the latest model, Porsche went back to the drawing board, changing every body part except the roof, windshield and luggage compartment lids. The name was also changed to the 718 Cayman. The new prefix references the early-1960s 718 RSK race car.
Introduced for 2017, the Porsche 718 Cayman is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four engine that produces 300 horsepower. A more powerful, 350-horsepower 718 Cayman S is also available. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode is optional.
A true driver’s car, the Porsche 718 Cayman’s cabin is a tribute to the sports car enthusiast. Its ergonomically designed cockpit keeps important controls within arm’s reach. As with any great sports car, the distance between the 918 Spyder-inspired steering wheel and the shift lever is minimal.
The 718 Cayman’s gauge cluster features three prominent gauges, placing the all-important tachometer front and center. A color display to its right shows important vehicle information. A touch screen in the center stack controls an updated version of the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system.
Standard features include one-touch power windows, heated sideview mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite radio. Options include sport seats, leather upholstery and heated seats.
The Porsche 718 Cayman is a strong competitor in the red-hot luxury sports car marketplace. Often regarded as the leader in areas of performance, luxury and all-around levels of fit and finish, the Porsche Cayman serves in many ways as the segment benchmark. Its primary competitors include the Audi TT, Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-Benz SLC, Nissan 370Z and Alfa Romeo 4C.
Earlier Porsche Cayman Models
The first-generation Cayman was derived from the Porsche Boxster convertible and launched for the 2006 model year. At first, only the Cayman S was offered, and this model featured a 295-horsepower 3.4-liter flat-six engine. In 2007, a less-expensive model was added, known simply as the Cayman. The standard Cayman was powered by a 2.7-liter flat-six engine that produced 245 horsepower. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual, a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic.
Standard equipment on the first-generation Cayman included a CD player, cruise control and full power accessories. The options lists included heated seats and a navigation system.
For 2009, the Cayman received a minor styling refresh and engine enhancements. The base flat-six grew in size to 2.9 liters and now delivered 265 horsepower. The 3.4-liter engine also received a power boost to 320 horsepower. The transmission lineup changed as well: a six-speed manual was now standard, and Porsche added a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox as an option.
In 2010, the Cayman got a new steering wheel design, while Bluetooth and an iPod interface were added to the list of standard features the following year.
Porsche added an enthusiast-oriented Cayman R trim in 2012. The R model was lighter and more powerful than any previous Cayman.
No 2013 model was produced, as the second-generation Porsche Cayman was launched for 2014. The restyled two-seater was longer, lower and wider than the first-generation car. Engines were revamped, yielding a faster, more powerful sports car. The base 2.7-liter flat-six engine produces 275 horsepower and the Cayman S model’s power plant is a 3.4-liter flat-six engine that generates 325 horsepower.
All second-generation Cayman models feature a standard six-speed manual transmission, with the dual-clutch seven-speed PDK transmission available as an option.