Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive

2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive Sometimes, you find yourself in unlikely situations. Just the other day I was chasing rally champion Walter Röhrl around the feverishly gorgeous Portimão Circuit outside of Lagos, Portugal. Mr. Röhrl was in a 911 Carrera S, and I was behind the wheel of the brand-new Porsche Cayman S. Emphasis on chasing, because it sure wasn’t racing. My chances of running down Walter were on par with Wile E. Coyote catching the Road Runner, if Coyote were missing a paw. However, there was a moment, a brief and fleeting moment, entering turn three where it really felt like the mid-engined Cayman and my meager skills were about to run down a legend. Röhrl told me later as I sat in the 911’s passenger seat while a group of seemingly feral Australians tried to dice with the master: “The Cayman turns in faster than the 911. Of course, the 911 has more traction. And more power.” In a nutshell, that’s been the story of the Cayman since it launched in 2005.   Porsche had us at Portimão to launch the all-new, second-generation car, and guess what? The Cayman, especially the S version that is the focus of this review, is more of the same. But here’s the thing: There have been very few negative things ever written about the Cayman. Aside from price—it costs more than the Boxster it’s based on, the only hardtop in the industry that’s more pricey than its convertible version—there has been very little to complain about. There has always been, however, a great deal to praise. Perhaps the best steering in the business, mid-engine balance and confidence-inspiring poise, and a very light curb weight for a modern car. A Cayman S even won our Best Driver’s Car competition back in 2009. It was that good. Fans of fast, fun automobiles will be happy to hear nothing’s changed, except it’s better.

 2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive

2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive

 2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive

2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive





























2014 Porsche Cayman S First Drive 

 Sometimes, you find yourself in unlikely situations. Just the other day I was chasing rally champion Walter Röhrl around the feverishly gorgeous Portimão Circuit outside of Lagos, Portugal. Mr. Röhrl was in a 911 Carrera S, and I was behind the wheel of the brand-new Porsche Cayman S. Emphasis on chasing, because it sure wasn’t racing. My chances of running down Walter were on par with Wile E. Coyote catching the Road Runner, if Coyote were missing a paw. However, there was a moment, a brief and fleeting moment, entering turn three where it really felt like the mid-engined Cayman and my meager skills were about to run down a legend. Röhrl told me later as I sat in the 911’s passenger seat while a group of seemingly feral Australians tried to dice with the master: “The Cayman turns in faster than the 911. Of course, the 911 has more traction. And more power.” In a nutshell, that’s been the story of the Cayman since it launched in 2005.   Porsche had us at Portimão to launch the all-new, second-generation car, and guess what? The Cayman, especially the S version that is the focus of this review, is more of the same. But here’s the thing: There have been very few negative things ever written about the Cayman. Aside from price—it costs more than the Boxster it’s based on, the only hardtop in the industry that’s more pricey than its convertible version—there has been very little to complain about. There has always been, however, a great deal to praise. Perhaps the best steering in the business, mid-engine balance and confidence-inspiring poise, and a very light curb weight for a modern car. A Cayman S even won our Best Driver’s Car competition back in 2009. It was that good. Fans of fast, fun automobiles will be happy to hear nothing’s changed, except it’s better.
The most obvious difference is its looks. First previewed on its Boxster platform-mate, and shown at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, the Cayman looks more aggressive than its predecessor. From the 918 Spyder-aping looks to the scalloped air intakes on the doors to the silicone-injected hips, the car looks buffer. It’s larger, too. The wheelbase has been stretched by 2.4 inches, while the overhangs on either end have been shortened by 10mm. Overall length is only up 0.1 inch. The track has been widened 40/12mm front/rear. However, body-in-white weight is down 66 pounds because of more aluminum and various types of high-strength steel. Body-in-white stiffness is said to be up by 40 percent over the old car (which was plenty stiff), and the new Cayman is said to be twice as stiff as the current Boxster. Bigger tires, better and bigger brakes, and 5 more horsepower (from 320 to 325 hp) are all part of the reason Porsche was able to record a 7:55 lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, an 11-second improvement over the previous Cayman S.  Steering is of course the mid-engine Cayman’s raison d’être, and even though Porsche ditched the hydraulic setup for electric assist, it’s still top shelf. Curmudgeons will argue that some of the “feel” has been lost, but, as Porsche points out, negative feedback was also lost in the switch. These are the same breed of folks who said the 901 (the original name for the 911 before Peugeot sued for all the middle zeros) was too fat and heavy back at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show. These people enjoy barking up the wrong tree. There are times when I question a manufacturer’s decision to launch a car on a racetrack. This is not one of those times. As good as the Cayman S was on the road—and it was fantastic—the approximately 3000-pound coupe simply comes alive when it pretends to be a race car. Turn-in is quick, sharp, and fast. With most of the vehicle’s weight between the front and rear wheels, plus a hyperstiff chassis, there’s virtually no understeer. And really, there’s no bad behavior whatsoever. Only my shortcomings as a driver.   Helping the Cayman S to be such an effective track toy is the PDK (double-clutch) transmission. I drove both a manual and PDK Cayman S, and there’s no question in my mind the latter’s the one to get. The six-speed manual is OK (Porsche still expects about a 50-percent take rate, though that sounds high), but like all modern German shift-it-yourself units, the action’s a little rubbery. Compared with the PDK, the manual seems like an afterthought. The new manual does feature (non-defeatable) rev matching when you downshift—a cool feature, but it does take some of the fun away from performing your own heel-and-toe downshifts. Still, it’s obvious that the development dollars went into the seven-speed PDK, which not only shifts faster, but returns better fuel economy. In cars equipped with the Sport Chrono package (one of those must-have options), you get Sport Plus mode. While the paddles work well, on the track just let the PDK do the shifting. It’s freakishly intuitive. I should point out, however, that Walter Röhrl controlled his gears via the paddles.
The traditional knock on the Cayman has been that Porsche won’t allow it to be the car it could be. To protect the all-important 911, Caymans don’t have enough power. If you just stop and look at the 0-60 time (Porsche’s estimating 4.6 seconds for the PDK-equipped Cayman S, and that’s probably conservative), it seems as if the car is plenty fast. However, at one point, I was trying to get around a van on an impossibly scenic Algarvean road and I found myself saying, “This thing needs another 250 lb-ft of torque.” I really loved the Cayman S’ high redline (7800 rpm) on the track, but on the road there just wasn’t enough gumption. Put another way, it took quite a while to reach 145 mph, and you’d need one hell of a straight to hit the PDK’s 174-mph top speed. (Manual tranny cars can go 175 mph.) Torque is twisting force, and even the 3.4-liter Cayman S doesn’t have a lot of it (272 lb-ft). For the record, the base car’s 2.7-liter mill makes do with just 213 lb-ft. Why no turbo? I asked, and Porsche says it simply won’t fit. The conversation about the Cayman’s lack of power always leads to price, and while Porsche has kept the base prices reasonable—it increased by only $700 for the Cayman to $53,550 and by $1700 for the Cayman S to $64,750—people who opt for the S tend to go for lots of options. Meaning that, yes, there will be six-figure Caymans. For that kind of money, all sorts of cars with way more power come to mind. Corvettes with big engines, C63 AMG, Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Audi RS5, and—dare I say it?—a 911 Carrera S, among other choices. But “needs more power” is what we said about the last Cayman S, and we loved that car. The Cayman has never been about brute force. It’s always been a back-road surgeon, one of the very best-handling cars for sale, period. In that regard, nothing has changed. Allow me to say that all the mack-daddy supercars coming to this year’s Best Driver’s Car have been put on notice.

11 comments:

  1. My name is Eunice from Canada

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  3. I am David Eric,I want to say thank to dr.trust for everything he did in my life. To everyone who doesn't believe in spell, I was one like you at first. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to do this since I've tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of my time and money. However, when I read so many testimonials of dr.tust how he help people to get back their ex lover. dr.tust answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my ex girlfriend back. So my story is that I was at my office when the girl I suppose to marry told me that she wasn't in love with me and never will it be and that she didn't want to speak or see me again, especially since she was talking to this other guy. i email dr.trust and tell him everything.he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the one that was to get her back to me and stay with me and to marry me.As soon as he finish the spells, my girlfriend came back into my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful to him, that is why i am sharing this testimony to those who need his help. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to what dr.trust said would happen. I’m very happy for the love spell dr.trust have done for me, my ex girlfriend is now back to me and we are living so happy. if you asked me or my friends if I would have anticipated how things were right now…no one would believe it! contact is email address (ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com or ultimatespellcast@gmail.com tell +2348156885231) David Eric

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