I’ve admitted it before and I’ll do it again right now: I have an incredible job. It’s not all BMWs and Mercedes though. As I write these lines, I have a Toyota RAV4 in Auto123.com’s lot, raced around Montreal in a Santa Fe the week prior, and am scheduled to truck about in a Chevy Colorado (am very excited about this though!) next week.
Once in a while though, I do pinch myself. Not only did I spend a week with a 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS, but smack in the middle of said week, I spent a day at the Circuito Ascari driving various GTS Porsches including a Cayman. I have an incredible job.
It’s one thing to scoot about the daily grind in the Cayman GTS, but it’s a whole other experience when I get to put it through its paces. As you may have guessed, the Cayman GTS is an astonishing car, both on and off the racetrack. On the road, the car commands exotic car attention with nearly the same kind of performance (and that sound!), while on the track and in the right hands it’ll do the same. The Cayman GTS is a mountain of a car, in a very compact and insanely sexy body.
The 2015 Cayman GTS is fabricated with the best tools produced by Porsche to make going fast easy.
From a chassis point of view, the GTS includes PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management), which not only supplies the car with adjustable dampers but a 10mm lower ride height. If my presser in the gallery looks especially low, that’s because it is also equipped with the Sports chassis that drops the car a further 10mm.
The Sport Chrono Package and Sport Exhaust are both standard. They sharpen the experience both physically and emotionally, akin to meeting the woman of your life for the first time; that tingle, that incredible sense of wellbeing… If you’re single: Forget about Match.com or eHarmony, get a Cayman GTS. It’ll be cheaper in the end, but I digress.
PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring) with electronic rear differential lock (w/PDK) is an option on the Cayman and was fitted to the Cayman I drove in Spain. It kept the car online at every corner; in actuality, it pushed the Cayman tighter with each apex using a light amount of braking on the inside rear wheel. The outside rear wheel made use of the extra torque, and all I can say is that I was blown away by the sheer amount of grip the car had. PTV can be difficult to experience on the road. Track time is revealing. At the limit (mine, in fact), the car still had plenty of wiggle room -- uncanny, and quick to boot.
The sound of an awakening horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine, when cold, is coarse and magical. GTS is synonymous with more power and so the Cayman GTS’ 3.4L puts out 340 horsepower over the S’ 325, while the torque figure rises by 7 to 280 lbs.
Although loud, the H6 is deceptively silky and eager to climb its way up the rev counter. The effortless arrival of power is slightly at odds with the 6-speed manual’s very tall gearing; however, the torque and hp pull hard, and loud. Did I say loud? The PDK’s gearing is a little tighter which explains its one-tenth quicker 0-100 km/hr (4.8 vs. 4.9), and its marginally lower top speed of 283 km/hr (vs. 285).
The Cayman GTS’ cruelest trick is that it doesn’t feel as fast as it actually is. It is so refined, even in this near most hardcore version, that you could be going faster, but the local long-arm-of-the-law will eventually get you. On a track, it’s much of the same.
From the road to the track
The 911 is brilliant, and that will never change. There’s tons of engineering behind the Carrera to make as good as it is and one can almost feel it, whereas the Cayman is so effortlessly good that it seems natural and unburdened by technological doo-dads (although they are at work). The Cayman GTS is naturally talented.
A GTS is meant to combine luxury, comfort, and performance. The seamless transition from road to the track is proof that Porsche has attained their goal. Fact is, a base Cayman or an S can do the same, but the GTS is faster and looks cooler in the process.
On the road, the GTS’ lowered ride height poses no ill effects on its ride quality. In fact, smooth is an operative word here and unless purposefully aiming for potholes, the Cayman handled Montreal’s worst roads without breaking a sweat or anything else.
6M or PDK?
Shoot me. This decision would be the most drawn out when I order my Cayman (in a dream I will have again). I know the colours, inside and out, will get Alcantara, PCCB, Sport Chassis, and a few other nifty options -- but which ‘box? I just don’t know.
The 6M is magnificent with ideal weight behind the clutch, perfect pedal placement for heel-toeing (in Sport as Sport +, the throttle is blipped for the driver) and the shifter is as much fun to fondle as one’s own… Ahem. The PDK is lightning fast, can be manipulated with the paddles or left alone when in traffic, and it’s just so freakin’ smart… I’d be damned one way or another.
Seating for two
If there’s one limitation to the Cayman, it’s the fact that it’s a two-seater; just ask Miranda. The equal number of trunks actually makes it a potential choice for a camping weekend.
The seats are incredibly supportive, not to mention firm and comfortable, while the driving position is racecar-like. The dashboard and centre console are identical (or nearly) to all other Porsches and, as such, fantastic.
A naked Cayman GTS retails for $85,800. As tested, with options, the car was worth $101,910. My dream GTS is over $10k more, and that’s without the $4,520 PDK option…
There are few cars that can go toe-to-toe with a Cayman GTS or reach its extremes of balanced performance. The next Audi TT RS might be close. Then there’s the Lotus Exige, which is sublime but punishing compared to the Porsche. Or! You can always get a Cayman GT4!