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Various road tests of the new Porsche Cayman (981)

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    Various road tests of the new Porsche Cayman (981)

    The old Cayman received a lot of praise for it's superb handling and balance, and pretty much set the standards for it's class. The new one seems to have faired even better if these reviews are anything to go by. The general sensus seems to be that the 981 has raised the bar significantly higher again for it's class...

    First up, Autocar. They were very impressed in their review of the top spec PDK Cayman S:
    Porsche Cayman S first drive review

    They were equally impressed with the base spec manual 2,7-litre Cayman:
    Porsche Cayman 2.7 first drive review

    In EVO, the new Cayman S got a 5/5-star rating and lots of praise:

    CAR Magazine was also very pleased with the 981 Cayman S:

    Top Gear Magazine was also impressed by the Cayman S:
    First Drive: the new Porsche CaymanSo, what's the final verdict?

    9/10. Call it 9.5 in manual S guise. Want one badly.

    Finally, Chris Harris of PistonHeads really liked the Cayman S too:

    Chris Harris reports back from the Cayman launch and, yes, it is rather good


    The new Cayman's bodyshell is almost exactly twice as rigid as the new Boxster's - something to digest before committing pinkies to keyboard to ask "why wouldn't you just have a Boxster?"

    Either Cayman will prove beguiling to driveIf cars are defined by their raw ingredients, then the Cayman hamburger begins life as a slab of perfectly aged, extravagantly marbled Aberdeen Angus, whereas the Boxster pattie, although definitely not containing traces of Dobbin, is more your processed mince. It has to be. It is missing a crucial stressed body panel called a 'roof'.


    Building a better mid-engined sports car than the last Cayman isn't an easy task. From the moment it arrived back in 2004 it was the undisputed leader of the class. And also the subject of raw admiration from automotive engineers not working at Porsche. Over the years several admitted to me that they wouldn't want to try and better the Cayman because it would be horribly difficult.

    The single caveat concerns the styling - the last one was distinctive and not unattractive but wasn't something people went wobbly over. But this new 981 version has to be the best looking Porsche since the Carrera GT. Reducing the rake of the rear screen and pulling its base further back to towards that Boxster-styled bottom has done wonders. It also makes for a bigger boot, which is handy


    So the steering has very little feel. It vaguely loads and unloads in your palms while the weighting feels far better than in those early 991s. In the last Cayman you had huge trust in that information source clasped between your palms (stop sniggering) but you no longer do so. At first this is a let down. 10 miles later I forgot about it, and never gave it a second thought. A thinner wheel rim would help but apparently marketing types favour girth.

    This is the Cayman's supreme confidence trick. It slices through direction changes and follows the course you set it so obediently, and with such charisma from that motor, you just forget the steering lacks something. Partly this is down to the way it behaves in the entry phase to almost every turn: it's just so precise and accurate. Within minutes you're using every inch of the road because you can place the car exactly where you want it. It immediately settles mid-corner with vast grip and then pings out the other side with zero fuss. And yet despite being so damned grippy it's always fun.


    But it's the cohesion of the Cayman's many talents that leaves you slightly befuddled - I've tried to define why it is that I now want one so badly and I keep arriving at the same disappointingly shallow answer: the new look takes an improved set of dynamics to a different level of desirability.
    It will also feature in a DRIVE video some time next week:

    EDIT: The review is up...

    Though not reviews, here are a couple of driving scene videos with the 981 Cayman S, first on country roads:

    On Portimao:

    Edit 2: EVO video added...

    It's safe to say this is shaping up to be a fantastic sports car...
    Last edited by marcos_eirik; March 15th, 2013, 1:47 AM.