2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

718 Cayman

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2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Overview

Building on the same recipe as the Cayman that preceded it, the new-for-2017 718 Cayman gains a longer name that pays homage to a successful small racing car that dominated tracks 60 years ago.

Like the original 718, the new 718 Cayman utilizes a 4-cylinder engine, but that's about where the similarities end. The 718 Cayman’s new turbocharged 4-cylinder is placed just behind the passenger compartment, which gives the sports car a midengine layout. Such designs are rare but help centralize weight between the axles for stable handling.

Two variants of the 718 Cayman are on offer: the 300-hp base trim with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and the 350-hp 718 Cayman S with a 2.5-liter version of that same engine.

Either way, the 718 Cayman is blisteringly fast: Porsche quotes 0-60 mph sprints of 4.5 and 4.0 seconds for the base and S, respectively. Both versions come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while Porsche’s Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) automatic transmission is available and is as advanced as its name is long. PDK is Porsche-speak for a dual-clutch automatic transmission, which offers the advantage of rapid-fire shifts over a conventional automatic.

Regardless of engine or transmission, all 718 Caymans are rear-wheel-drive, which combines with their standard performance tires to deliver tenacious handling. The 718 Cayman might be fast in a straight line, but it was really built for a winding country road.

Unlike older sports cars, the 718 Cayman pampers those inside. Materials and standard equipment befit its luxury-level status, though, as with any Porsche, buyers should be prepared to spend hours poring over the list of available options. Few car manufacturers allow such a large degree of customization.

Still, the basics are all standard, including a touchscreen display with a standard 8-speaker audio system. Support for Apple CarPlay is also included, and the available navigation system adds Google Earth and Google Street View. In-car Wi-Fi to create a mobile hotspot is available, but requires a monthly charge.

One thing the 718 Cayman does not offer is a rear seat. Like the 718 Boxster, essentially a convertible version of the 718 Cayman, the car’s midengine configuration renders it solely a 2-seater. While it has limited storage for small items (like a mobile phone) behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats, those looking for Porsche excitement with the ability to occasionally carry passengers in a pinch will need to step up to the 911—or the brand’s Cayenne SUV or Panamera luxury sedan.

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