The rear-mounted, water-cooled flat engine (horizontally opposed) comes in the form of a 3.4-liter six-cylinder DFI that produces 345 horses and 266 pound-feet of torque. On the road, the Cayman S picks up quickly and efficiently, with the distinct cry of the Porsche engine adjusting with each gear change. Our tester featured the now-standard Porsche Doppelkupplung or PDK paddle shifters as well as the seven-speed Tiptronic stick. While paddles are great for long highway jaunts or the track, there’s something much more natural about shifting above the actual gearbox, but regardless of preference the Cayman S delivered an unbelievably fast shift response time without lag or push back.
The interior as a whole is a fairly understated design that leaves drivers focusing on the road rather than a dazzling array of entertainment choices that have lately become ubiquitous. That’s not to say that the Cayman S lacks any of the now-mandatory features such as navigation, sat radio and Bluetooth, but even the spectacular Bose surround sound system couldn’t distract from the pure joy of driving this machine.
Out on the open road, the sports mode instantly switched the PDK transmission to a much more aggressive stance. Shifting into the higher gears became much more rapid and downshifts were more delayed, with a roar of displeasure at being forced back from its optimal speed. How cruel. From a full stop, we easily hit 60 mph somewhere between fourth and sixth gear in 4.6 seconds—not bad for a six-cylinder, and certainly not bad for the price point.
Switching into the Sport Plus mode, an essential element of the track-ready Sport Chrono package with launch control, the new shifting strategy becomes even quicker, allowing for a much faster and more impressive performance.
The exterior design makes the new Cayman S absolutely one of the sexiest cars we’ve driven in a long time (tied with a recent favorite, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG). The Cayman has a much lower, bolder presence than its predecessor, with a design that suggests a baby coupe version of Porsche’s new supercar, the 918. Equipped with an optional 20” rim package, the car’s low, flowing lines carry through the bold front fascia, over the powerful Bi-Xenon headlights, around the distinctive side air intakes to the crisp but clean rear under the clear back window showcasing the speakers.
With the rear-wheel drive forcing the engine behind the cabin, the modest trunk in the front won’t fit your set of irons but is more than enough for an overnight bag. Alternatively, the Cayman’s mileage combined with its nimble body makes it a perfect commuter vehicle should you choose to travel in style.
Starting at $63,800 in the U.S. and $72,900 in Canada, the 2014 Porsche Cayman S is on sale now. Check our www.porsche.com for details.