The new Porsche 718 Cayman S

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The new Porsche 718 Cayman S has no supercar pretensions, but it does offer sports car performance, incredibly sharp handling, a comfortable cabin and supreme build quality, and most of all can be driven near its limit all day long without the driver feeling stressed or worn out. The 718 number changes, as with the recent 718 Boxster, liken these cars to the iconic 718 sports racing car of the 1950’s-60.

Porsche 718 Cayman S


In terms of engineering, the revised Cayman has received an extensively retuned suspension, more powerful brakes and most significantly, new engine. Both the Boxster and Cayman share mid-engine chassis, drivetrain, most of the interior and some body parts. The new suspension now has springs with a bit more stiffness with revised dampers to match, stiffer all round but smoothing the edges off sharp bumps very well indeed.

Visually, the new Cayman is distinguished by four-point daytime-running LEDs in each headlamp and a black strip between the tail lamps, just below the rear spoiler.

Following the Boxster, the revised Cayman has a new engine. Instead of the previous flat six it is now a four-cylinder turbo. In the standard Cayman it is a turbocharged two-litre four-cylinder outputting 220kW. The S's engine is wider bores (102mm rather than 91mm) to yield 2.5-litres, and uses a variable turbine geometry turbocharger, derived from the proven 911 Turbo and adapted specifically for the 718 Boxster S, which gives more consistent power delivery, and 257kW, 18kW more than previously. Torque is also up 90Nm, even at under 2,000rpm.

Although there is increased output, fuel consumption and emissions are appreciably reduced, which is why turbocharging has such a big appeal these days. There is also auto Stop/Start, and engine coasting function to save fuel.

The 718 Cayman S test car, with PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) gearbox and Sport Chrono Package, sprints zero to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, topping out at 285 km/h. Weight has raised 35kgs.

Interior changes are mostly confined to the new flush-fitting infotainment screen, but it is hard to find fault in the cabin. Controls are just where needed, operating with fluent easy precision and the driving position is low and snug, which, along with the low flat engine, keeps the centre of gravity low for better handling. There is good storage room behind the engine, and even more in a deep space behind the nose.

The test car is easy to see out of and easy to place on the road, it is compact and well packaged. Although the new engine’s healthy torque requires less frequent shifting, split-second manual upshifts on hard acceleration are quite addictive.

What is very noticeable about this car is the soundtrack, resonant, broadbanded and powerful, from the 2.5-litre turbo. Porsche has obviously worked hard to get the sound Porsche owners want, which is especially an issue with the new smaller and now turbocharged engine compared to a previous naturally aspirated six, and we think whilst it is different, it is very impressive if you want a sound that gets plenty of attention, which most owners probably do. Optional sports exhaust further enhances the engine sound.

Add on packages include Active Suspension and Stability Management, and the Chrono Package, which changes the setup between Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual, and includes a dash mounted lap timing stopwatch, the Sport Response 20 second blast of all out acceleration for suitable situations, and Launch Control for racing starts.

The Cayman has always been a fine driving machine and the latest and revised 718 is certainly the best yet, driving and handling dynamically brilliantly, to earn its renaming.
  • Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
  • Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch RWD
  • Power: 257 kW @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 420 Nm @ 1,900 - 4,500 rpm
  • Fuel: premium unleaded 98RON
  • Fuel tank: 64 Litres
  • Dimensions mm: L 4,379 W1,801 H 1,295 WB 2,475
  • Price: from $140,300 (plus on-roads including Luxury Car Tax)
  • Warranty: 3 years/unlimited, 3 year 24 hr roadside assist