Yesterday, Porsche unveiled the new 718 Cayman. It’s the latest and fourth generation of the mid-engined, two-seater sports coupé with a distinctive athletic and purposeful appearance. There’s a new flat-four turbocharged ‘boxer’ engine which now delivers upwards of 300hp.
Since its debut in 2005, the Porsche Cayman has earned a particular reputation as a driver’s car among owners and fans alike. The new 718 Cayman, say Porsche, aims to once more set the class benchmark for driving performance. So no longer the poor man’s 911 then.
The same new four-cylinder ‘boxer’ engines with turbocharging that first debuted in the 718 Boxster are shared with the 718 Cayman. As a result, coupé and roadster Porsche models offer identical engine outputs for the first time. The 718 Cayman derivative is powered by a 300hp 2.0L engine. The 718 Cayman S features a more muscular 350hp 2.5L powerplant. Fuel economy apparently rises to 34.9 – 40.9 mpg on the combined cycle.
These new engines promise rewarding levels of responsiveness even at low revs. The 2.0L engine produces up to 380Nm of torque, generated between 1,950 – 4,500 rpm. The 2.5-litre engine of the 718 Cayman S features a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. This technology has been hitherto used exclusively in the 911 Turbo, and is unique to Porsche in petrol engine applications.
In the 718 Cayman S, the VTG turbocharger additionally has a wastegate. The engine delivers up to 420Nm between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm. For the driver, this means improved torque across all engine speeds. This signals dynamic performance, say the company; the 718 Cayman with PDK and optional Sport Chrono Package sprints to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds. The 718 Cayman S completes this sprint in 0.5s faster. Top speeds are 170mph and 177mph, respectively.
New Chassis Tuning
The comprehensively retuned chassis of the 718 Cayman has increased dynamic responsiveness and cornering grip; springs and anti-roll bars have been designed to be firmer and the tuning of the shock absorbers has been revised. The steering, which has been configured to be 10% more direct, enhances agility and consequently increases driving pleasure further still. The rear wheels, which are half an inch wider, in combination with the re-developed tyres result in an increased lateral force potential and hence greater cornering grip. Lovely.
Driving dynamics options such as the Sport Chrono Package and the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) electronically-controlled rear limited slip differential allow the sporting character of the 718 Cayman to be further custom-tailored to suit individual preferences. Another available option is Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with a 10mm lower ride height. Additionally, in the S model, PASM sport suspension combined with a 20mm lower ride height is offered for the first time.
The Sport Chrono Package can be adjusted via the mode switch on the steering wheel. Supplementing the previous settings of ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ is the ‘Individual’ programme, which is able to call up previously programmed individual settings for various systems.
To cater for the new car’s greater driving performance capabilities, stronger brake systems are now in use with 330mm brake discs in front and 299mm discs at the rear. The 718 Cayman features the brake system that was previously used in the Cayman S. The 718 Cayman S in turn uses the four-piston callipers of the 911 Carrera, combined with 6mm thicker brake discs.
The new 718 Cayman has been further developed as comprehensively in its design as in its technology. The taut proportions, prominent air intakes at the front and sides and sweeping profile underscore the boost in dynamics. The nose has a much sharper profile, which gives the front end a wider and more purposeful appearance.
The ultra-slim front lights above the air intakes, which contain the parking lights and indicators, further reinforce this impression. Rounding off the front end of the 718 Cayman are the significantly larger cooling air intakes and Bi-Xenon headlights in a new design with integrated LED daytime running lights. LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available as a new option.
Viewed from the side, the new coupé reveals its striking sculptured wheel-arches and side sills. The re-designed rear also has a much wider appearance, emphasised by a high-gloss black strip with integrated Porsche badge between the tail lights. The tail lights themselves have been completely re-designed and are distinguished by their technological three-dimensional styling and four brake individual brake lights that appear to float freely.
Behind the wheel, subtle revisions are apparent in both the 718 Cayman and the 718 Boxster. The upper part of the dash panel including air vents is new. The new sports steering wheel in ‘918 Spyder’ design as well as the extensive connectivity options have now been added to the 718 cockpit, along with the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) as a standard feature. Mobile phone preparation, audio interfaces and the 150-watt Sound Package Plus are all part of this standard. Options are available to extend the PCM.
The new 718 Cayman models are available to order now from Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland. For the first time, the coupé is priced below the roadster – in a similar way to the 911 models. First deliveries begin in the autumn.
The 718 Cayman is priced from £39,878.00 and the 718 Cayman S costs from £48,834. Start saving. Geoff Maxted