2015 Porsche Cayman Review


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2015 Porsche Cayman Overview

After a redesign last year, the 2015 Porsche Cayman returns with few changes, which will delight sports car devotees. The midengine, two-seat Cayman delivers transcendent handling and superb acceleration that matches its head-turning good looks. It's a sports car's sports car. Plus, the Cayman costs less than its 911 cousin and even manages some decent efficiency numbers.

The 2014 redesign upped the Cayman's power output, dropped its total weight, increased the rigidity, lengthened the wheelbase, electrified the steering, sharpened some of the exterior styling lines and added a GTS model to the lineup at the end of year. For 2015, additions include a pair of new exterior colors (Jet Black Metallic and Carrera White Metallic), a new interior color scheme (Black/Garnet Red two-tone leather design), available 20-inch 911 Turbo wheels and an available rear-view camera that's bundled with the ParkAssist package. There are also a couple of subtractions for 2015: the rear cargo net and footwell lighting are no longer standard.

The three Cayman trim levels — Base, S and GTS — each get their own engine. The Base comes with a 2.7-liter flat 6-cylinder (275 hp, 213 lb-ft of torque), the S has a 3.4-liter flat 6 (325 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque), and the GTS gets a slightly modified version of that 3.4-liter flat 6 (340 hp, 280 lb-ft of torque). All the engines come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and all have the option of a 7-speed, paddle-shifting, dual-clutch PDK gearbox.

The choice of manual or PDK transmission affects the Cayman's acceleration and efficiency. With the manual, the base Cayman can reach 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and gets 20 mpg city/30 highway. The PDK drops the 0-60 mph time to 5.3 seconds and ups the mileage to 22/32. The manual S finds 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and gets 20/28, while adding the PDK transmission shifts the numbers to 4.6 seconds and 21/30. The manual GTS hits 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and gets 19/26. With the PDK the stats improve to 4.5 seconds and 22/31.

Weighing in at a svelte 3,000 pounds helps the Cayman achieve those impressive acceleration numbers. That weight, plus the balance of a midengined design, makes the Cayman agile in any cornering situation. Purists lament the departure from hydraulic steering, but the electric version still offers an accurate and responsive feel. The Cayman will hold its own on a track (especially with the Sport Chrono package, which allows the driver to adjust chassis settings, throttle sensitivity, suspension tuning and the PDK transmission, and records and stores lap times), but it's also comfortable and reasonable to drive around town, especially with the efficiency numbers boosted by the overall weight and technology like engine decoupling and start/stop.

The Cayman's exterior lines and interior quality are worthy of all that performance brilliance. The front end seems to rise from the road itself in a graceful curve that flows around the headlights and fenders and into the compact A pillars and teardrop roof line. The air intakes just behind the doors and the rear fenders add a flex of muscle before all of these gorgeous lines come to a fitting conclusion in the succinct and focused rear end.

The cabin offers comfortable seats, ample leg, head and shoulder room for any size occupants, and the highest quality materials and construction. A plethora of comfort and convenience features come standard on all Cayman models, including cruise control, two-way power adjustable seats, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, a 4.6-inch TFT instrument cluster display, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors. The list of optional features is practically endless, but be careful: the options are also expensive and can quickly alter the Cayman's price (which starts at just above $50,000 for the base model) into the 6-figure range.

The Cayman has not been crash tested, but it boasts plenty of safety features. The car's structure, thanks to the abundant use of aluminum, is strong and rigid while remaining light. It also has side-guard door beams, traction and stability control, antilock ceramic composite brakes, brake-pad wear sensors, full-size front airbags, head and thorax side airbags, and knee airbags for driver and passenger.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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