2018 Porsche 718 Cayman 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman

There are two basic varieties of sports cars: those with the power and subtlety of a sledgehammer, and those with the precision and finesse of a scalpel. The Porsche Cayman and the more powerful Cayman S are perhaps the archetypal example of the latter category, mid-engined wonders that steer, brake and attack corners with the accuracy of a surgeon's blade.


The second-generation Cayman is larger, more cosseting and more fuel efficient than its predecessor while also managing to be lighter and quicker. It's still big, big fun.

As its exterior styling makes plain, the 718 Cayman is essentially a fixed-roof version of the 718 Boxster roadster. That's no bad thing, though, as the Boxster's superb proportions, muscular haunches, and aggressive air ducts make it one of the more eye-catching Porsche models in recent memory. A dynamic, model-specific front fascia helps set Cayman apart ever so slightly from its drop-top sibling.

Life aboard

With a Panamera-inspired sloping center console, the Cayman's interior is much more stylish than before, and the overall design and material quality now approach luxury car levels.

The instrument cluster remains a simple, legible three-gauge design with the tach front and center in the best sports car tradition, while the right gauge is now 4.6-inch TFT screen that can be configured to display numerous different types of vehicle information.

Despite its handling prowess, the Cayman is actually a fairly practical machine - it offers 15 cubic feet of cargo room, although that space is divided between a traditional rear trunk and a frunk (front-trunk) where the engine would be in a normal car. Larger items may not fit.

Technical specifications

Downsizing has struck again in Stuttgart.

The naturally aspirated flat-six engines of the previous model are gone. The new base engine is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Stepping up to the Cayman S will get you a 2.5-liter engine that boasts 350 horsepower and 309 pound-feet.

For those keeping score at home, those are 25-horsepower bumps over each of the flat-sixes they replace. Porsche claims (conservatively) that the base Cayman will only need 4.5 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour; the S should do it in four seconds flat.

Standard and optional features

As with other Porsche models, the Cayman offers a nearly endless array of interior treatments and paint schemes in addition to available luxury and convenience features. While most other automakers offer such options as part of bundled packages - forcing buyers to sometimes pay for features they don't want to get desired items - Porsche offers all of its extras as stand-alone features. This means that buyers can create unique, custom cars, although doing so can quickly get very pricey.

The Cayman comes standard with a hill hold function, power windows, Bluetooth connectivity, Halogen headlights, a sport steering wheel, sport seats partially upholstered with leather, tinted windows, heated mirrors and a four-speaker CDR audio system controlled by a dash-mounted seven-inch touch screen and auxiliary inputs located in the glove box.

Upgrading to the Cayman S adds 19-inch alloy wheels, beefier brakes with red calipers, Bi-Xenon headlights and twin stainless steel exhaust pipes.

The Cayman is available with an impressive selection of extra cost add-ons including (but not limited to) the aforementioned infotainment system, metallic paint colors, 20-inch alloy wheels, 14-way power adjustable seats, full leather upholstery, front and rear park assist, a rear wiper, carbon ceramic brakes, a sport exhaust system and a brake-based torque vectoring system that applies stopping power to the inside rear wheel to help the Cayman's dynamics remain neutral during cornering.

Porsche also offers the Cayman with a wide variety of performance-enhancing options. The Porsche Active Suspension Management system, or PASM, actively regulates the damper force to each wheel based on a combination of road conditions and driving style to provide an optimum blend of roll stiffness and ride comfort.

Also available is a Sport Chrono Package, which includes dynamic transmission mounts, a performance display, a digital and analogue stopwatch and the SPORT PLUS button. When this is pressed, the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) switches to Sport mode for harder damping and more direct steering and therefore even more intensive road holding.

The coupe is available with an optional infotainment system called Porsche Communications Manager (PCM). PCM groups the car's audio, navigation and communication functions into a single easy-to-use interface that packs a 40 GB hard drive, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. All of PCM's functions can be controlled by buttons, knobs or a built-in voice recognition software.

Adventure-minded buyers can choose to pick up their Cayman in either Zuffenhausen or Leipzig, Germany

Even without add-ons, the Cayman is a revelation on a winding road. Communicative, precise steering and lightning-quick transient responses combined with the punchy, dulcet flat-six add up to a driving experience not soon forgotten.

Occupant safety

The Cayman comes standard with dual front, front knee and front side head/thorax airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Key competitors

Although Porsche will tell you that there's no substitute for its sporty coupe, it's at least worth taking rivals like the Audi TTS, the Nissan 370Z and the Chevrolet Corvette for a test drive before parking the 718 Cayman in your driveway.

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